Stronger Foundations

Stronger Foundations helps grant-making charitable foundations identify and pursue ambitious practice

Implementing its 40 'pillars of practice' will enable foundations to be ambitious and effective in using all their resources for public good.

Self-assessment tool

Members can now assess themselves against the pillars of stronger foundation practice using a self-assessment tool.

Access the self-assessment tool



Thematic reports



What are the 40 pillars?


The 40 pillars of stronger foundation practice



Want to learn about the main principles emerging from Stronger Foundations? 

  Read the report on five cross-cutting themes:  Download


 Are you a chair of a charitable foundation? 

  Read the report on the 10 pillars of stronger practice for chairs of foundations:  Download


Are you a smaller foundation? 

  Read the report on the 10 pillars of stronger practice for smaller foundations: Download


  Measuring the strength of your own foundation

Initial findings from the Stronger Foundations self-assessment tool

July 2021



Becoming Stronger Foundations

Our latest report draws on data from the self-assessment tool.

March 2022




Members' involvement 

Stronger Foundations is the largest foundation engagement initiative globally to date, and ACF members have been involved throughout.

More than 100 foundation representatives were directly involved through one of six working groups between May 2018 and May 2020, each of which focussed on a different thematic area (see below), with many more involved through regular communications, regional events across the nations of the UK (in collaboration with existing funder networks), and member surveys on particular issues. The working groups' main task was to examine, discuss and debate a series of challenging questions about foundation practice related to its theme. They were comprised of senior foundation representatives drawn from across ACF's membership, including a member of ACF’s board.

Each group met seven times over an 18 month period. Meetings varied in format depending on the topic and desired content, including more than 50 presentations of evidence (by internal and external experts), small group discussions, whole group exercises and visits. View the working groups' terms of reference here


Find out more about each of the working groups: 

After all six working groups concluded their work, ACF published a series of reports on the 'pillars of stronger foundation practice' for each thematic area. These are available at the top of this page under 'Pillars in practice'.
ACF is now supporting its members and the wider foundation sector to implement the recommendations and pursue stronger practice.


Find out more

Blogs and social media

ACF published a range of materials throughout, including articles and blogs, webinars and via social media using the hashtag #StrongerFoundations. You can find many of these on the individual Working Group pages, including a snapshot of every working group session.

Below is a list of blogs on the initiatives' themes:

Report launch webinar recordings

How to get involved

To speak to ACF about how your foundation can be involved in Stronger Foundations, or find out more about the progress to date of the initiative, please contact our head of practice, Jim Cooke, at [email protected].

You can join the conversation on LinkedIn or X using the hashtag #StrongerFoundations