ACF launches Stronger Foundations Project to develop leading grant-making practice

The Association of Charitable Foundations (ACF) is launching a new project to support foundations to be ambitious and effective in the way they use their resources.

The Stronger Foundations Project will identify leading practice for foundations, in response to the sector’s desire to develop its practice in areas such as good grant-making, learning and impact, diversity, and transparency.  

The project will be co-developed with ACF members, beneficiary groups and other funding experts, and will commence in Autumn 2017 with a one-day scoping event that brings these stakeholders together.

It will aim to articulate a number of good-practice principles underpinned by peer-review and training opportunities. Overall, it is anticipated that the project will lead to enhanced effectiveness of individual foundations as well as greater awareness and responsiveness to the concerns of beneficiaries.

ACF Chief Executive Carol Mack said:

Charitable foundations make a huge contribution to civil society and communities across the UK, with grants of over £2.7b per year. This project is about enhancing their contribution further by drawing on beneficiary views and leading expertise from within the funding community. Our aim is to spread leading practice among foundations, to support them to be ambitious and effective in the way that they use their resources.

Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive of NCVO, said:

Better grant-making practice and increased transparency make it easier for grantees and foundations to work together effectively for the people and causes they care about. There is already a lot of exemplary practice to learn from among foundations, and this project presents an important opportunity to share it and to help all foundations work to the standards set by the best. I know charities will welcome this important project and I look forward to seeing its results.”

ACF Chair Amanda Jordan OBE said:
This is a significant and important step for ACF, kicking off its new strategic cycle with a commitment to leadership and high quality support for the foundation sector. The issues likely to be covered are of immense importance to the entire foundation community and those organisations and individuals that they exist to support.


Editor’s notes

  • Charitable foundations make grants of over £2.7bn per annum, exceeding total grants made by government to charities. (Sources: Foundation Giving Trends, ACF, 2016; Civil Society Almanac, NCVO, 2017)
  • ACF is the membership body for the UK’s endowed foundations and charitable grant-making trusts, founded in 1989. ACF’s vision is a world that is supported, sustained, and strengthened by the effective use of foundation resources. Our mission is to support foundations to be ambitious and effective in the way that they use their resources.
  • Contact Keiran Goddard, Head of External Affairs:, 020 7255 4499

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