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Esmée Fairbairn Foundation is one of the largest independent grant-making foundations in the UK.

The Foundation make grants to organisations which aim to improve the quality of life for people and communities in the UK, both now and in the future.

They consider work which others may find hard to fund, perhaps because it breaks new ground, appears too risky, requires core funding, or needs a more unusual form of financial help such as a loan.

They also take initiatives themselves where new thinking is required or where they believe there are important unexplored opportunities.


Esmée Fairbairn Foundation have always believed in the need to support and maintain a free, stable and socially cohesive society. This means one in which enterprise is encouraged and people are able to realise their potential, take advantage of opportunities, and play their part in civil society and democratic life.

The Foundation commit approximately £30 million annually towards a wide range of work. Their primary interests are in the UK’s cultural life, education, the natural environment and enabling people who are disadvantaged to participate more fully in society.


Equal opportunities and diversity
The Foundation wishes its policies and practices to support and encourage the development of a free, stable and socially cohesive society. Applications are welcome for funding from all sections of the community.

Association of Charitable Foundations
Esmée Fairbairn Foundation is a member of the Association of Charitable Foundations.


St Mary’s University College received a grant of £ 88,500 towards the salary over two years of a Project Development Officer to encourage dialogue between 600 pupils from different religious backgrounds in 40 Northern Ireland schools, and to interact with Principals/Teachers and with NICCEA.


For further information on the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation please visit their site here.