About us

We are an independent charitable trust established in 1996 by local businessman Ian Marks CBE DL and his wife Angela.

When the family sweet-making business, Trebor, was sold to Cadburys in 1989, Ian and Angela 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.


We are governed by a board of trustees and our chief executive, Caroline Taylor, oversees day-to-day activities and leads our team.

We are a membership organisation and we welcome individuals, companies and voluntary organisations as new Members to give a broad base constituency for our activities. Our financial statements are produced in line with our year end on 30 June.

We are a registered charity (1052061) and company limited by guarantee (3062567) to support communities particularly, but not exclusively, in Essex. We are quality accredited by UKCF, the umbrella network for Community Foundations across the UK and we are registered with the Fundraising Regulator.