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leading Evanston
where it wants to go

The Evanston Community Foundation is dedicated to enriching Evanston and the lives of its people, now and in the future. We help lead Evanston where it wants to go.


We can’t imagine living in a community where some of our neighbors are struggling without working to change the picture. When we hear about a pressing need — or a great idea — we bring people to the table to get results and change lives. The Foundation builds, connects, and distributes increasing resources to bring our community’s visions to life.

Rapid growth since 2001 in our endowments, grants, and programs, has transformed ECF into a catalyst for growth and change. We take on challenges, collaborate to partner, and connect to realize visions. The Foundation’s high percentage of board-directed funds, together with our investments in programs and people, make us unique among community foundations of our size.

It’s our responsibility to align, strengthen and mobilize Evanston’s assets — whether those assets are our nonprofit leaders, our donors and their generous gifts, or the knowledge of our community members. The ultimate value of a community foundation lies in its longevity. Organizations come and go, but a foundation’s endowment and its leadership serve a community in perpetuity.

our mission statement

The ECF Board of Directors approved the revised mission statement in November 2016. Our mission:

Helping Evanston thrive as a vibrant, inclusive, and equitable community, the Evanston Community Foundation builds, connects, and distributes resources and knowledge through local organizations for the common good.

Evanston Community Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization established in 1986