Exciting Changes Ahead! We're crafting an all new website to enhance our connection with you, our cherished community. Stay tuned for an amazing experience coming your way soon!

grantmaking, yes, but we
give more than money

ECF is a resource to nonprofits in many ways — to develop successful grant projects, share expertise and make connections, and to offer workshops.

developing successful grant projects

We counsel prospective grantees before they begin the application process, encouraging them to test their ideas and assess potential. Our grants committees evaluates each proposal on its own merits and ensure our grantmaking reaches many corners of Evanston. Once selected, our grantees participate in orientation before launching their projects. The ongoing grants process ensures accountability, with steps for interim reporting, evaluating implementation options, and fine-tuning of projects. As one grantee recently remarked, "A Foundation grant of $10,000 is more like a grant of $50,000 because of all the comes with it."

sharing expertise, making connections

We share our expertise and introduce outside expertise when it's needed to tackle community challenges. The community benefits from our role as a knowledge base for those working to make Evanston a better place, and we’re often the catalyst, ensuring all the right partners are at the table to tackle a critical issue. We look for connections — among issues, organizations, opportunities — and support collaborations and partnerships to bring together different areas of expertise. We provide counsel on issues ranging from board development to building organizational endowments to enhance sustainability.


Workshop series are offered for frequent learning opportunities for staff and board members of Evanston nonprofits and organizations.