About us

Who we are

We work with individuals, families, businesses and charitable trusts, introducing them to local groups tackling issues in our communities.

By investing the donations we receive and the funds we manage, we provide a sustainable source of funding that local organisations can tap into, year on year.

We use our skills and expertise to carry out due diligence on applications made to us for funding and match the charities’ needs with the wishes of our donors. We give out around £4.5 million in grants each year.

Our history

We were set up by an Essex couple when they sold the family sweet-making business, Trebor, to Cadburys in 1989. Ian and Angela Marks decided to give back to the county where their family had lived and worked for generations.

Ian and Angela believed that a community foundation could provide the route through which people could come together, make donations and support charities and voluntary groups in their local area that were improving the lives of local people. It could also foster a stronger sense of community spirit.

In April 1996, Essex Community Foundation was launched with Ian as its first Chairman.

Ian sadly died in 2018, but he inspired many people with his ambition to create a permanent financial resource for the voluntary sector in his home county.

His mantra was unwavering, “There is still so much more to do.”

Thanks to his vision we have grown to support hundreds of organisations each year and continue to inspire more and more people to join us in growing our funds to make an even bigger impact.


Our Vision remains to encourage strong, generous communities – an Essex where everyone works together to enhance the quality of local life.