In April 2015 a group of colleagues working with or in the world of foundations came together for dinner. The conversation began to explore how foundations can contribute to revolutionising the ecosystem of finance and support for charities and social enterprises. This led to a range of initiatives being taken by participants: a widely read and influential blog post authored by Jake Hayman; efforts with the Stephen Lloyd Awards to open up its’ assessment processes; two stakeholder surveys; an extensive literature review; more drinks and dinners; and culminating in a two-day hack held in Oxford in April 2016. Collectively this activity sits under the umbrella of the Foundational Thinking initiative.

Foundational Thinking is intended to explore the ways in which grantmaking foundations – both public and private – can innovate and adapt to better serve the needs of the organisations they support and ultimately communities and beneficiaries.