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ACF launches the Stronger Foundations self-assessment tool

ACF has launched the Stronger Foundations self-assessment tool, a new resource to come out of the Stronger Foundations initiative.


The Stronger Foundations self-assessment tool allows members to choose the thematic area they would like to prioritise and supports them to take action in pursuing best practice in this area. It provides a mechanism through which foundations can:

  • Consider the example actions and behaviours for each pillar
  • Reflect on and score their own performance
  • Record examples of how and to what extent the foundation is meeting each pillar
  • Summarise planned future actions

The tool and the results can be helpful in a variety of contexts, such as board-level discussions, staff away days, strategic reviews and team meetings. We recommend that foundations repeat the surveys at regular intervals to enable them to track progress against any internal targets that they may set.

The tool is available to all members and can be accessed via the ACF website members login.

We would like to encourage as many members as possible to use the tool and are actively seeking feedback on it over the next four weeks to ensure it is as effective as possible in supporting foundations. There is a feedback form embedded in the tool for members to record and submit feedback to us. We would love to hear what you think.  

Over the past two years, more than 100 ACF members spent a combined total of 2,000 hours in examining six different aspects of foundation practice: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; Impact and Learning; Strategy and Governance; Transparency and Engagement; Investment; and Funding Practices. The new interactive self-assessment tool comprises of six surveys drawing on the pillars of stronger foundations practice outlined in the six thematic reports which concluded the Stronger Foundations discovery phase.

The pillars identified by members through the initiative set a high bar for foundations to aim for. To support members in engaging with these pillars, the launch of the self-assessment tool is accompanied by a new report on ‘Five cross-cutting themes: Mission, Knowledge, Power, Accountability, Connection’, pulling out key themes running through all six thematic areas. ACF hopes this will give foundation trustees and staff a route into the Stronger Foundation programme and inspire them to pursue and achieve ambitious and effective foundation practice.

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