EKCT was founded on the 12th March 1963, to provide a formal structure for Ernest and his family to devote time and resources to charitable activities.

Ernest had two great passions in life: conservation of wildlife and the natural environment and the encouragement of youth enterprise and outdoor activity. These ideals along with the founding guidelines to support the family’s home county of Sussex, remain core areas of activity.

The board of trustees is made up of members of the Kleinwort family, independent trustees and a corporate trustee who oversees administration and governance. The trustees have wide discretionary power to promote and support charitable purposes and activities, and choose to be exclusively grant-making, with no fundraising or operating activities. The current guideline is to make grants towards a broad range of purposes, funded from returns on investments and cash deposits.

Areas of activity

Principal support is given to charities working in the fields of wildlife and environmental conservation (UK and international), charities operating in the county of Sussex, and to a much lesser extent charities working in the field of reproductive health (international). The trustees use the following programme areas to classify their grants:

  • Care of the Elderly
  • Disability
  • General Welfare
  • Hospices
  • Medical Research (particularly care of sufferers from lesser-known
  • Reproductive Health (International)
  • Wildlife & Environmental Conservation (UK and International)
  • Youth