ACF has over 330 members, comprised of trusts, foundations and independent funders. They are located across the UK and include family trusts, corporate foundations, livery companies and broadcasting appeals that range in size from small and local grant-makers to some of the world’s largest foundations. Benefits of membership include ...

Information and guidance
We keep our members informed of the issues that affect them with targeted, timely and up-to-date information, and we provide guidance, practical advice and inspiration on key topics to enhance our members’ effectiveness, which feature;

  • a monthly newsletter summarising what UK foundations need to know about changes in charity regulation and the voluntary sector, and a magazine packed with features and shared experience;
  • briefings on topical or policy and regulatory issues such as the implications of Equality Act, the new SORP, or the Lobbying Act for foundations and grant-makers;
  • free copies of our publications which provide vital reference material or summarise current thinking for foundations, and such as foundation engagement with the Social Investment market, or our ground-breaking series of publications on the management and governance charitable endowments.

Events and networking
ACF is the only organisation that brings foundations from across the UK together; playing an essential role by providing a safe space, in person, online and in print, for trustees and foundation professionals to gather together as colleagues and peers. Our members benefit from;

  • discounted fees for our annual conference - the premier networking event for foundations - and our professional development seminars which offer expert and practitioner insights to ensure foundation staff have the skills they need;
  • exclusive access to member-led peer networks on areas of funding interest or grant-making practice. These networks meet at least twice per year and each have a dedicated space on our website for members to sign up and contact each other between meetings;
  • an annual reception for foundation Chairs and special events for foundation leaders, such as recent roundtables on Funder Plus and Place-based funding;
  • and support from a dedicated staff team to answer queries and put members directly in touch with their peers.

ACF works towards increased public understanding of the work and role of UK trusts and foundations, and the establishment of a sympathetic policy and operating environment for the benefit all charitable foundations. Our sustained engagement with governments, policy-makers and charity regulators also provides a platform for our members to voice their perspectives and to have greater collective influence on legislation and decision-makers. Through our policy function ACF represents foundations in a range of ways;

  • positively influencing the Charities Act 2006; the new SORP, the Charity Commission guidance on charities and investment matters and most recently the Law Commission report on social investment;
  • defending the right of foundations to determine their own pay-out rates in accordance with their objectives, successfully resisting a proposal by the Westminster Government to introduce a minimum annual rate in 2012;
  • building a strong and informative evidence-base around the work and role of UK foundations, Foundation Giving Trends and Family Foundation Giving Trends, which show the size, shape and importance of the sector as well as tracking patterns of spending and endowments, enabling members to understand how their own foundation fits with their peers.

We support UK foundations and grant-making charities