Essex Community Foundation
"Working with ECF is increasing our understanding of local issues and enabling us to give support where it is needed most."
Rickard Luckin


Today’s forward thinking businesses are concerned about communities and social responsibility. 

Despite this, many companies do not have the time, staff or expertise to handle charitable appeals or make detailed choices about where their money should go.

ECF provides the practical support and advice needed to achieve this through a range of services tailored to match corporate aspirations and objectives with the needs of local charities, voluntary and community organisations. 

By setting up a Fund with ECF, your company maintains control of where your monies go and receives full recognition for all grants and donations that are made. Such a relationship takes away the administrative burden of giving and leaves you and your company confident that donations are applied to best effect. All appeal letters can be handled by ECF, so your company will never have to say no again; if the appeal does not meet your criteria, we can look for support from another Fund under our management.

All applications are assessed, many are visited and all projects put forward for funding have the full approval of ECF’s Trustees who are legally responsible for all of our Funds.

Just some of the many options available to a company wishing to channel their charitable Funds whilst retaining grant decision making and staff involvement are detailed below.

Become a Member

ECF welcomes companies, public agencies, individuals and voluntary organisations as new Members.  By making an annual subscription Members are supporting ECF work to meet the needs of local communities.


ECF is always pleased to discuss sponsorship opportunities with local companies.  There are many ways to be involved, either through the sponsorship of an event or reception or the production of our Annual Review, other publications and marketing materials. Previous sponsors include Essex & Suffolk Water, Coutts & Co, Ford Motor Company and Rathbones. For an initial conversation about sponsership, call Jo Macaulay, Head of Communications, on 01245 356018.

Named Fund

You decide on the name of your Fund which can be your company name or, in the case of owner-managers, your family name. This is promoted by ECF in line with your company’s wishes.  It can be a flowthrough Fund, an endowed Fund or a combination of both. For an endowed Fund, ECF seeks a single donation or a pledge over time, of at least £25,000.

You can choose to restrict your grant distribution to a geographical area, for example near your company offices, or to particular charitable activities such as developing skills of young people. ECF will promote and seek applications that meet your required criteria.

Your staff can also be involved in the distribution of grants from your Fund. ECF will assess applications and present a list of potential beneficiaries that meet the criteria of your fund. Final approval can rest with you, in the full knowledge that every recommendation has been assessed and approved. ECF can also arrange visits to the supported organisations for your staff which can provide local media opportunities.

Flowthrough Fund

A Fund where monies are deposited and distributed as grants within a defined period of time, often annually. 

Endowed Fund

A Fund which forms part of ECF’s investment portfolio. A percentage of the income of the capital value of the Fund is distributed in grants annually year on year. ECF’s investment managers take a long-term approach to investing and growing the value of our Funds over time. An endowed Fund is a permanent testimony to a company’s commitment to the community, for example the Beresford Foundation and Arthur J. Gallagher Community Fund. 

Gift of Shares, Land and Buildings

ECF can accept these types of gifts which are a tax efficient way of giving and where the benefit to the charity may be many times more than the cost to the company. Companies can claim a deduction on the gift of shares for Corporation Tax purposes in addition to the relief from Corporation Tax on Capital Gains.

Tax Benefits

All cash donations made by companies may be offset against Corporation Tax.

Payroll Giving

Registering your company for Payroll Giving provides your employees with a convenient way to make small contributions through their salary on a regular basis. Donations are taken directly from the source of the donor's income and employers deduct the specified amount before tax. This has been shown to have a very positive effect on employee relations, and demonstrates that their company is committed to supporting its staff and the local community.  
Make a Donation: Your company may choose to support ECF by giving a one-off or regular donation. Every donation is publicly recognised and pooled with others into our Acorn Fund, a discretionary capital fund, the income from which enables us to support local communities for years to come. All donors have the opportunity to attend Foundation events and receive up to date information on local activities.

Get in Touch

To discuss how ECF can help you whatever your level of giving or area of interest, please call Perry Norton, Head of Development, on 01245 355947.