Essex Community Foundation
In 1990’s Ian and Angela Marks were instrumental in establishing and developing the Essex Community Foundation’s Endowment Fund that helps a multitude of small local volunteer led community charities and social enterprises in their development of thriving local communities. Over the past 21years ECF have distributed over £31 million in local grants.
Giving in East Anglia towards the delivery of support to the most disadvantaged beneficiaries remains a strategic strand for the foundation’s grant-making.
Tributes paid to ECF Founder – Ian Marks CBE DL
Ian was a philanthropist who was passionate about helping to improve the lives of others less fortunate. His efforts to establish ECF led to the development of one of the leading charitable organisations in Essex. He was our greatest champion and we will forever be grateful for his foresight and generosity and his enthusiasm for our work, which will continue to drive and inspire us to do more.” – ECF’s chairman Jonathan Minter –
A different example of Ian Marks identifying an opportunity of leveraging extra funding, was his encouragement and managerial support he gave to the then small Sustrans charity.
Sustrans were creating cycle routes around Bristol, and he supported their application for major funding from the Millenium Fund, to develop a whole National Cycle Network. The Millennium Fund put in £40 million and voted it the best Millennium project. This amount was then matched by local authorities, resulting in an overall investment of £100 million in the National Cycle Network. Now th3re are over 10,000 miles of cycle routes.
During his chairmanship, Ian Marks recognised some major needs and was visionary in seeing opportunities to create highly leveraged pragmatic approaches to collaborate towards their alleviation. Not only was he able to direct multi-year or significant funding towards a few selected charities, but he also offered his business experience and networking to help their causes.
An incredibly wide-reaching and long-term impact resulted from his initiative in the late 1990’s that inspired and enabled others to work together in trying to cancel unpayable debts in sub-Saharan African countries. Ian Marks along with other members of The Network for Social Change, appointed a charismatic and effective political lobbyist and campaigner, Anne Pettifor, who worked with a coalition of national organisations and regional and local groups. The Jubilee 2000 Debt Campaign was very successful in writing off $100 billions of debts owed by 35 of the poorest countries.
Remembering Jubilee 2000 supporter Ian Marks
There are many that have claimed credit for the success of the Jubilee 2000 movement in persuading world leaders to cancel the debts of more than 30 low income countries. But one man’s crucial part in building and supporting that movement – Ian Marks – has largely been ignored. Not that he ever craved recognition. He was far too modest for that, a modesty that owed much to his deep faith.” – Jubilee Debt Campaign –