Essex Community Foundation

Before applying please read our guidelines via the link below.

Application guidelines

Our grantmaking

We award grants to voluntary or community groups, which are charitable in purpose and are working for the benefit of people in Essex, Southend or Thurrock. We support a wide range of projects and welcome applications from both new and established groups.

Each year we invest about £1.5m of grant funding to about 500 voluntary and community organisations. Our average grant is around £3,500 - £4,000, however, in most recent years we have awarded grants closer to £250,000 and our smallest grants tend to be around £200.

We manage a number of funds, many of which are tailored to the individual wishes of our donors. We match their needs with those of the voluntary and community sector to ensure funding is given where it is most needed. Most of our funds awards grants for just one year but others, such as The Thriving Third Sector Fund, awards grants over a number of years.

We cover a broad range of issues and are able to consider most aspects of your organisations work.  We recognise the value of providing funds to support your everyday work and so can support the core running costs of your organisation. We will also consider funding a particular activity as part of your everyday work, for example, providing a crèche for children staying at a women’s refuge. And we will consider supporting a particular aspect of a larger project., for example, purchasing the white goods as part of a kitchen refurbishment to the village hall. We do not contribute funds to general appeals.

For the majority of our funds all you have to do is complete a General Application Form and we will find the right fund for you. But some of our funds do have their own application form. All of our application forms are listed here please read the guidelines before you start to fill in an application form. If you have any questions do not hesitate to call us on 01245 356018.

We are pleased to work in Partnership with The Henry Smith Charity which awards larger grants over a number of years.  If you are interested in making an application then contact Henry Smith Charity directly 020 7264 4970.

Please note - if your project is based in Romford, Ilford, Barking, Dagenham etc please contact London Community Foundation.

We are continually working to develop and secure new funds for the benefit of community organisations in Essex, Southend and Thurrock, so new funds will be available throughout the year. Sign up to our e-update  to receive regular updates.