January 17, 2020
The Story Behind ECCF’s New Look

New Year. New Brand. New Plan. 
In 2020, ECCF Unveils its New Brand Presence and Strategic Plan for the Future

Essex County Community Foundation was founded with a vision to strengthen the region’s nonprofit organizations. In our first year, we managed five charitable funds and awarded $4,500 in grants. This was ECCF in 1998: a new and passionate organization committed to improving the lives of all people in Essex County’s 34 cities and towns.

From those humble beginnings, and for the next 22 years, ECCF evolved and expanded our work, connecting donors to causes they care about, incubating innovative initiatives that have impacted the region, and transforming the way Essex County creates lasting change – together.

A New Year.

The ECCF you see today is made up of 230 charitable funds – a family of thoughtful and conscientious fundholders that care deeply about our region – and grants $7.7 million annually to nonprofit organizations on the front lines of social change and students that will help shape the course of our future.

Through its community leadership initiatives, ECCF works collectively with its communities to break down barriers and overcome the challenges that impede our highest quality of life. ECCF is committed to growing these efforts – to a be a partner with local nonprofits, municipal leaders and funders – so together, we can do more for Essex County. And we are affirming this promise with a new identity.

A New Brand and Tagline.

Elevate Your Giving, ECCF’s new tagline, is an expression of the Foundation’s mission to inspire all forms of philanthropy in Essex County.  It’s the value that ECCF brings to our donors, our nonprofits and our community. It’s also an invitation for all to join in the work.

“This is so much more than just a new tagline. Elevate Your Giving really communicates everything that ECCF represents and strives for,” said ECCF President and CEO Beth Francis. “Our role as a community foundation is to provide tools, knowledge and opportunities that inspire charitable giving and elevates the meaningful work happening in the County.”

ECCF helps donors elevate their giving with tools like charitable funds that meet each donor’s unique giving goals.  We help fundholders elevate their giving strategy by providing insights on our region’s challenges and connecting them with the thousand nonprofits doing vital work.  We elevate the critical efforts of our local nonprofits by delivering training, support and visibility to causes. And we elevate the impact of collective giving by partnering with and investing in important systems work addressing our region’s biggest challenges.

Accompanying this tagline, ECCF’s new logo is a visual representation of our evolution. While we continue to honor history and tradition, we also place a high value on ingenuity and an open-mindedness to new solutions that can help solve increasingly complex challenges.

“Every detail of this new logo – from the colors to the font – were carefully thought out,” said Crystal Bates, ECCF’s director of development and communications. “The greens and blues are nods to our agricultural and seaside roots. The circle represents inclusivity and a call for collective action. Even the fonts were carefully chosen to be welcoming for all generations.”

A New Plan.

Twenty-two years of building a foundation for and by the people of Essex County has led us to this: Engage. Lead. Thrive. – a new three-year strategic plan for 2020-2022 that takes our work together to the next level.

In the next three years, our goal is a sustainable, nimble community foundation that helps our 34 cities and towns thrive and prosper. And by the close of 2022, we envision ECCF as a family of 400 charitable funds that grants $12 million annually to our region’s nonprofit organizations and students.

This new plan was designed by more than 1,300 people from across Essex County and, over a four-month span, multiple community convenings, hundreds of nonprofit surveys and countless conversations with our donors and supporters have helped shape this ambitious plan, the details of which you can read about at eccf.org.

“We are incredibly proud of this strategic plan,” said Francis. “It not only takes advantage of two decades of foundational work, but it also builds upon the incredible collective achievements of the past three years.”

Most importantly, it anticipates a future for Essex County in which people are more deeply engaged than ever before; public-private partnerships thrive; increased resources for our nonprofits are put to purpose; and the next critical systems-change initiative is defined and launched.

“This is an exciting time for ECCF, and for Essex County,” said Francis. “As a new year – and a new decade – begin to take shape, we look forward to putting this new brand and new plan into action for the region, and to continue on this path of collaboration towards a future that is bright and prosperous for us all.”

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