Essex Community Foundation

Before applying please read our guidelines via the link below.

Application guidelines

Where does Essex Community Foundation’s funding come from?

Funding comes from various sources, either as one-off donations or through the management of funds on behalf of donors, for example:

  • Donations from people who want their charitable giving to help local organisations
  • Individuals wanting to set up named or family funds
  • Companies wanting a more strategic approach to their charitable giving
  • Charitable trusts where the trustees no longer want the responsibility of managing the trust
  • Local and central Government and public agencies who see Essex Community Foundation as a conduit to ensure that public funding reaches grass roots communities

Is there a paper version of the application form you can send me?

Once you have clicked on the 'Apply Now' button on the application page you are asked to enter your email address. This will then give you access to your own application form, which you can print off to discuss with your colleagues. If you do not have regular access to email or the internet we can send a Word version via post just call the grants team to arrange this.

We have a capital appeal can you support us?

We don’t provide donations towards a general appeal e.g. you are trying to raise £200,000 for refurbishments to your village hall and you would like a donation from us for £10,000 as a contribution towards the total appeal. We would decline this request.

However, if you told us that you were carrying out a refurbishment of your village hall costing £200,000, of which you had raised nearly all of the funds and you now needed £4,000 to buy some white goods for the kitchen then we could consider this application, just contact us if you are in any doubt.

How long does a decision take?

We aim to let you know within 12 weeks. The decision can sometimes be made sooner, but we will let you know as soon as possible.

How will our application be assessed?

The aim of the grants assessment is to ensure the applicant organisation meets the eligibility and criteria of ECF and to establish and summarise the overall need for their services. Each application is assessed using the following criteria:

  • Evidence of need
  • Community involvement
  • Management and governance
  • Value for money
  • Lasting benefit

A summary is produced of your application and we use a scoring system based on the five points above. ECF's Grant Assessors and the Head of Grants and Programmes review and discuss all applications before presenting them to the many funding panels ECF work with.

How likely is it that my application will be successful?

Essex Community Foundation receives more applications than we can support, currently about 1 in 4 applications are successful. 

Who makes the decisions?

A distinguishing feature of ECF is our ability to use local Grantmaking Panels to understand and respond to community needs. We work with a growing network of local residents, company employees and local business people, currently 200 people, who sit on our grantmaking panels and make decisions on the distribution of such funds.

We also have discretionary funds where our Trustees have sole responsibility of the decisions and works with the team to identify priority areas. In either case, the Trustees of ECF have overall responsibility for all of our grantmaking.

What Fund should I apply to?

You do not have to apply to a specific Fund. We have a General Programme which means we accept applications year round and there are no deadlines so you can apply at any time. Our general funds can support one off or continuing work and you can apply up to £10,000 (over one year) by using the online application form for the corresponding amount you need.