Tributes have been paid to Ian as a man of vision and determination who changed the landscape of local charitable giving by setting up ECF in 1996. It was one of the first organisations of its kind in the UK and its aim was to improve the lives of people in Essex by giving support to voluntary groups and charities working at a grassroots level to help those most in need in the county.
Ian Marks CBE DL, inspired many people with his ambition to create a permanent financial resource for the voluntary sector in his home county and, even as ECF went from strength to strength, his mantra was unwavering, “There is still so much more to do.”
Ian’s wife Angela, who shared his vision of galvanising the community to tackle social issues affecting Essex, was unstinting in her support and helped make his philanthropic ambitions become a reality.
When he stepped down as chairman of ECF in 2003, Ian took on the role of president, in recognition of his achievements in establishing such an important resource for the people of Essex.
Since it was founded 21 years ago, ECF has awarded more than £31 million in grants from the charitable funds that it manages on behalf of individuals, families, companies and public agencies who want to make a difference in their local community.
Ian was a modest man who strongly believed that the success of ECF was not down to him alone. It was thanks to those who believed in his vision and everyone involved over the past 21 years; trustees, vice presidents, staff, volunteers, donors and voluntary groups, all working together for the good of Essex.
Laura Warren, ECF’s first chief executive, who worked with Ian Marks to set up the foundation said: “Ian started it all. Without his belief, that it is local people who have the power to bring change to their own communities, Essex would not have what it has now, a Community Foundation with funds now totalling £40 million, to support local causes in perpetuity. It was my good fortune to be appointed by Ian to spend 15 years as ECF’s founding CEO; he was an inspirational leader – visionary, demanding, enthusiastic, fun, and the most supportive Chairman one could have wanted. He was a very special man.”
– 12th February 2018 –