Responding to the Foundation Practice Rating 2024

Published: 27 March 2024 
Foundation Practice Rating
Photo credit: Foundation Practice Rating

Reflecting on scoring an A’ overall in the Foundation Practice Rating for the second year running.

Our progress and that of others is definitely a positive, and shows how helpful it is to have this independent spotlight on our practice as a sector. As a founding supporter of the rating, it’s great to see this development.

Update on last year’s commitments

Last year, Paul Hamlyn Foundation made three commitments alongside our ongoing work to embed diversity, equity and inclusion across everything we do. These were:

  1. Continue to diversify our board and staffWe will use the findings from our recent survey on the demographics of board members and staff to direct our recruitment strategies to attract people from a wider range of backgrounds.
  2. Commit to listening more and responding better to grantee feedbackWe’ve recently received data from our grantee and applicant perception survey, and will be sharing our response to what we’ve heard.
  3. Make it clearer how to report malpractice at the organisations we fund

On the first commitment, we are continuing to use open recruitment in our current campaign for new trustees to enrich our Board discussions. As part of this, we have identified gaps in skills and experience to recruit against. We are trialling recruitment software for some roles to help de-bias’ the process and have worked hard to make our approach more inclusive and welcoming to people who might not have thought Paul Hamlyn Foundation is for them. We also publish gender and ethnicity pay gap data.

Secondly, we have been working with the findings of the Centre for Effective Philanthropy’s applicant and grantee survey, which we shared online. In August, we shared a thorough review of all the qualitative data (alongside some of the quantitative data) and included a section on how this was informing our practice as we evolve our approaches. This is long-term work, and we will keep posting blogs and articles to share our thinking and learning as we go.

Thirdly, in response to the Foundation Practice Rating, we reviewed how we manage reports of issues or incidents related to the organisations we fund. We now have two separate routes – one for people to report complaints about the Foundation itself and our practice as a grant maker, and one to report issues of concern about those we fund. We hope this is more accessible and transparent.

Our commitments this year

We’re making three commitments relating to areas of our strategy where we want to make progress this year. We will:

  • Better understand the diversity of our staff, trustees and advisors and broaden the range of data we collect

  • Improve the transparency and accessibility of applying for funding, enabled by a new website

  • Give more information on how we are listening and responding to the people and organisations we fund

We welcome feedback on our plans and progress. You can get in touch with us at or complete this anonymous survey.