Essex Community Foundation
"When we started in 1996 we had no idea that we would take ECF into every part of Essex and build it into what it is today. We owe a great debt to the many people who have supported ECF over the years, their commitment and passion for our work and all it achieves has been extraordinary and Essex is stronger for it."
Ian Marks CBE DL, ECF Founder

About us

We help people give back to Essex and improve the lives of others.

Despite the county being perceived as part of the prosperous South East, there are many local residents living in deprivation and in areas which are amongst some of the poorest in the UK.

By working together, communities in the county have benefitted from £37.5 million of charitable grants awarded from ECF. Our extensive local knowledge and expertise helps donors channel their giving locally and help those most in need.

Our Vision

Strong generous communities – an Essex where everyone works together to enhance the quality of local life.

Our Mission

To inspire philanthropy and charitable giving – matching people, ideas, resources and needs to make a lasting difference.

Our Values

We are accountable to our communities and to our donors and fundholders.

We are committed to being approachable and accessible to our donors, grant recipients and strategic partners.

We encourage collaboration, partnership and sharing expertise and experience to support the continued development of the voluntary and community sector.

We act with the highest standards of integrity, transparency and professionalism at all times. 

How we do this

A board of trustees governs the Community Foundation and a team, led by our Chief Executive Caroline Taylor, oversees day-to-day activities.

Essex Community Foundation is a membership organisation and we welcome individuals, companies and voluntary organisations as new Members to give a broad base constituency for our activities.

Individuals, families and companies can set up a named fund at the Community Foundation to support community needs we identify and/or particular causes that match donors’ interests.

We match applications from voluntary organisations and individuals to the funds we hold, and advise donors to ensure their giving is effective. We handle all the administration and ensure all gifts are tax efficient. Most funds are held within our endowment, which is invested to maximise resources for grantmaking and operations now and in the future. We also manage flowthrough funds where donors give amounts annually.

Our financial statements are produced in line with our year end on 30 June.


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