Evanston Community Foundation (ECF)
Community foundations represent the fastest growing segment of philanthropy and have become the key agents in increasing place-based philanthropy. Evanston Community Foundation (ECF) exemplifies this growth and increased impact. ECF builds, connects, and distributes resources and knowledge through local organizations for the common good of all of Evanston. Established in 1986 the Foundation has awarded over $9 million in funding to the Evanston community to support a more vibrant, just and inclusive community. Today ECF has grown from assets of $3 million in 2001 to $25 million in 2017. Unrestricted and board-directed endowment funds are ECF’s core of funds (64%) while another 80 funds serve diverse purposes defined by community organizations and donors. With these assets, ECF exercises a community leadership role and provides for the common good of residents by building the organizational capacity of Evanston’s nonprofit sector via grants, technical assistance and collaborations that meet shared goals.
With our most recent strategic plan we are supporting systems change, racial equity and cross-sector collaborations to improve the lives of people who live, work and love Evanston. ECF is accredited by National Standards and is a member of the Alliance of Illinois Foundations maintaining a commitment to use best practices for community foundations across the country.
The staff is 5 full-time and 4 part-time employees supported by a dedicated board of community and business leaders.