Join ACF

Membership of ACF is open to any UK organisation which is an endowed foundation, or makes grants for charitable purposes. ACF interprets the term grant-making to include investing for charitable purposes.

Examples of this might include, but not be limited to, the following activities undertaken for charitable purposes:

  • Grants of money, or donations of assets or professional support; 
  • Investing via loans, equity-like capital and other social investment instruments;
  • Investing directly or via partners to develop programmes of research, policy work or practical interventions.

Please note: UK charities which are both fundraising and grant-making are welcome to join ACF, but may not use their membership or ACF meetings in order to seek grants or raise funds.

Before you apply, find out about our membership benefits.


Membership categories


Open to UK charities which have grant-making as a principal function and which make grants from income of which at least 30% is derived from assured sources*. Full members have access to the complete range of ACF services and benefits, and may also elect ACF's Trustee Board and vote at formal meetings.


Only open to grant-making organisations which don’t meet the conditions of full membership because grant-making is not a principal function, their income is not assured**, or they are based outside the UK. Associate members have access to the complete range of ACF services and benefits.


A discretionary category for organisations which administer or act as a trustee for several grant-making trusts or foundation.

How to join 

To join ACF please complete our online membership application form. Please note membership applications usually take 1-2 weeks to be processed and approved.

If you have any questions about the membership application process or you would like more information about ACF's services and support for trusts and foundations please contact Natasha Robinson, head of membership: [email protected] or telephone: +44 (0) 20 7255 4499.

*Assured sources of income:

  • Interest and dividends on investments
  • Rent from land or property
  • Spending of capital
  • Regular long-term donations, committed for at least 3 years
  • Well established periodic public appeals.

**Non-assured sources of income

  • One-off or irregular donations from individuals and companies
  • One-off public appeals
  • Payroll giving, except where established over a long period
  • Grants from government or other grant-making trusts and foundations.