We're proud to launch our 2023–2027 strategy

At this time of acute social and economic challenge, when inequalities in our society, and the impact of climate crisis are increasingly evident, foundations have a vital role to play in identifying and responding to need, and using their resources wisely to make the biggest difference possible.

ACF is the leading membership association for foundations and independent grant-makers in the UK. We strengthen trusts and foundations so they can rise to the challenges of our time. Our vision is diverse, vibrant and effective foundations working together for social good. 

Our new strategy is focused on our role as a membership association and how we can effect positive change with and for our members.
Thank you to our members, partners and stakeholders for your support in getting us here. This new strategy builds on the last, keeps our core values but reframes our focus and activities to deliver a refreshed vision and purpose.

Our vision, purpose and values

Diverse, vibrant, and effective foundations, working together for social good    We strengthen trusts and foundations so they can rise to the challenges of our times   We care, we are open, we are evidence-based, we are ambitious 

Our objectives for the next five years

What can members expect over the next five years?

  • A diverse and inclusive thriving membership
  • Value for all foundations, regardless of size, area of interest or location in the UK
  • Inspiring, practical and accessible learning and support
  • Practical tools and resources to enable and empower Stronger Foundations
  • Vibrant communities of practice and brave spaces to share knowledge and ideas
  • Our website becomes the ‘go to’ place for advice and information tailored to foundations
  • Data to deepen our understanding of barriers to, and support progress towards, diversity, equity and inclusion
  • Amplified foundation voices to influence policy and ensure a supportive legal and regulatory framework in the UK

About our members 

Together our members cover the full range of foundations, from small to large and operating in many different fields of grant-making, including social change, the environment, research, education, across the UK and overseas. Our work builds common understanding of the role of foundations, including with government, and enables our members to be more than the sum of their parts, collaborate and develop their practice, navigating complexity in the challenges they face.

Find out more about our membership benefits and how to join our community

Members   Our members hold one third of the assets of the charity sector
Our members represent 40% of the grants given by UK foundations   Signatories to the Funder Commitment on Climate Change 
 Collaboration opportunities on the Funders Collaborative Hub    

Our strategy provides the framework to strengthen and support foundations to rise to the challenges of our time. I’m excited to help members realise that potential.”

Carol Mack OBE, ACF's chief executive

How did this strategy develop?

In developing this strategy we have listened to our members, to civil society organisations and the infrastructure bodies that represent them, funders more broadly and ACF’s peers. We heard that the key challenges for foundations are: 


We did two rounds of engagement:

1. A month-long conversation in February 2022 to better understand the challenges and opportunities the future holds and the role foundations and ACF might play to enrich society. This conversation was framed around four questions:

   What are the challenges and opportunities for foundations?
 What three words would you use to describe ACF? 
 What two things would help foundations be even more ambitious and effective? 
 Who should be collaborating and on what?
2. Two focus groups over summer 2022 where members were invited to feedback on a draft version of our emerging ambition and goals 

15-minute read: our strategy in full

Read our strategy





You can also find out more at our AGM in June - more details to follow. 

Tell us what you think of the strategy. Email or tag us on your tweets


Thank you if you completed our recent membership feedback survey, including your views on the strategy