Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund
The Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund supports a range of projects that bring collections closer to people.
We award the fund on behalf of Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and have awarded over £11m in 170 grants since 2011. You can find out more about the most recent recipients (July 2022) of the funding below.
The Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund has evolved with the aims of both Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and the Museums Association, see our impact report. We are launching a new phase the fund for 2023 onwards.
We have made changes to focus on funding museums and their community partners for inclusive collections and participation work. We are interested in supporting social and climate justice using museum collections, in ways that are relevant to local contexts and relationships.
All applications to the fund must focus on existing collections, typically held by an Accredited museum or partnership of museums and other organisations. We will agree funding outcomes with successful applicants that relate to their ambitions for inclusion.
Collections Fund impact report
The Museums Association has been awarding the collections fund on behalf of the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation for over 11 years. The fund has changed over time, with an increased emphasis on innovative collections practice with social impact.
We have put together some of our key learning from the fund, highlighting its gradual evolution over the years we have run it and demonstrating the impact the fund can have on collections, people and the museum sector.
What’s on offer
The new phase of the fund will:
- Support work that furthers the established strategic aims of the applicants in relation to diversity, equity and inclusion, and/or is community-led.
- Offer core funding to museums, to offer greater flexibility and support embedded change in organisations. Grants will be of a similar size and duration to in previous years.
- Enhance our learning from grantees and share this with the wider museum sector, for example foregrounding leading practice in funded museums and undertaking research with action learning sets.
The application process will be very similar to in previous years: a two-stage application process with expression of interest deadlines in March and September, supported by advice from the MA’s Collections Development Officer.
Please look back in November to see full application guidance, forms and terms and conditions.
How to apply
The Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund is currently closed. A new phase of the Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund will be formally launched at our Future of Museums: Collections event on 22 September and at our free Members Together meeting at St Fagans in Wales on 27 September.