who we are and
how we’ve grown!
The Evanston Community Foundation was started in 1986 to address Evanston’s big issues. Restless idealists realized the power of endowment to address long term challenges and needs they couldn’t foresee. They set their sights on a community foundation for Evanston’s future.
Their commitment to the long view was reinforced in the late 1990s when the ECF board recognized the Foundation’s endowment was not large enough for its grants to have a major impact on the community and achieving an expanded role in Evanston would require an investment in the Foundation itself. In December of 2000, the board engaged Sara Schastok, as its first executive director, and subsequently as the President and CEO. In November 2015 Monique Brunson Jones joined the Foundation as the new President and CEO, a position she held for five years. On December 11, 2020, Elspeth Revere joined ECF as the Interim President and CEO.
growing toward our potential
The potential for community leadership was implicit from the start but challenging to achieve with the Foundation’s slender resources. ECF was fortunate that the transformative years of the Communityworks Initiative, a partnership with the Grand Victoria Foundation and seventeen other Illinois community foundations, began in 2003. We committed to building our own capacity as an organization, to developing a strategic grantmaking plan that matched local needs and deployed community assets, and to raising an endowment dedicated to the target issues identified in our community impact plan.
Today’s ECF goes beyond grantmaking. We build partnerships with major institutions to set goals and achieve changes that will make Evanston a better community for more of its people. The Foundation continues to look to the future of Evanston through the grants and investments in community leadership that we make today, and by building the endowed funds to support this work for GOOD. We look working to working with you!