our mission

Helping Evanston thrive now and forever 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.

our four pillars

elevate-voices-250x250.png Developing an equitable community in Evanston is dependent upon the elevation of leaders and voices from across the entire community. ECF must be equitable and inclusive in our programming and grantmaking, and expand our leadership, outreach, advocacy, and educational offerings, especially to communities who have been historically excluded. Here’s how we’ll do it:

 Key Initiatives

  • Raise up underrepresented voices in our community listening, program development, advocacy, and grantmaking.
  • Expand our signature program – Leadership Evanston – to a Leadership Institute, with a focus on new models of community leadership, previously underserved audiences including youth and people of color, preparing the next generation of knowledgeable, concerned, active citizen leadership within Evanston.
  • Prioritize the repair of barriers to equity and justice in our grantmaking
  • Support community advocacy efforts and collective impact initiatives.
build-justice-250x250.png The pandemic made apparent the vast disparities in resources and opportunities existing in Evanston. And, while in some ways the initial crisis is past, we know that many of these disparities have existed for generations, and many Evanston families continue to struggle. We need to bolster all in our community to face whatever challenges lie ahead. Here’s how we’ll take it a step further:
  • Build and collaborate on programs that will specifically improve family economic stability in communities of color, including supporting and expanding reparations
  • work in Evanston.
  • Play a leadership role in creating and funding a permanent guaranteed basic
  • income program in Evanston.
  • Relocate ECF’s offices to a community where we can serve as an economic anchor, including partnering with local businesses owned by women and people of color
  • Play a leadership role in the Savings for Success childhood education savings program
connect-and-strengthen-200x200.png Non-profit organizations are the heart and soul of Evanston. A strong, vibrant, and collaborative non-profit sector is absolutely crucial to build an equitable and healthy community, and to sustaining a strong quality of life. Here’s what we will do to help achieve this:

Key Initiatives

  • Spearhead opportunities for shared operations and efficiencies among Evanston nonprofits, empowering organizations to more strongly fulfill their missions.
  • Expand the ECF nonprofit learning series to better meet current and future needs, including managing through transition, stabilizing the nonprofit workforce, and building a just and equitable nonprofit sector.
  • Support nonprofits in building the capacity to effectively serve the Evanston community.
evolve-ecf-250x250.png Utilizing the principles of Ubuntu, we commit to continue building a connected and equitable organization by implementing the learned lessons of our past.

our commitments

The Evanston Community Foundation will focus our work to support

  • We will foster an internal culture of racial justice and belonging.
  • We will hold ourselves accountable for living our values of justice, equity, and inclusion in all our partnership, grant-making, and programming.
  • We will secure the resources to position ECF to more strongly respond to community needs and emergencies.