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 and independent trustees. The Director of EKCT oversees administration and governance, assisted by one member of staff. 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.

Covid-19 Response

Updated 11th May 2021

The Trustees of the Ernest Kleinwort Charitable Trust recognise the extraordinary challenges faced by charities during the on-going Covid 19 pandemic. Notwithstanding the Government roadmap out of lockdown, there remains considerable uncertainty about what will be permitted as the year progresses making the planning for both operational delivery and fundraising extremely difficult.

This, of course, comes on top of more than 12 months of significant disruption and adjustment. The Trustees remain heartened by the enormous efforts of charities, their staff and volunteers to adapt to meet the needs of their beneficiaries.

The Trustees were able to consider around 100 emergency applications for funding in 2020 and are pleased to have made available an additional £200,000 in crisis funding to assist those charities responding to immediately increased needs. The emergency grant application process is now closed and charities are requested to follow the steps below:

For organisations currently in receipt of funding and affected by the outbreak, please continue to get in touch if, as a result of the outbreak you need to:

1. Adapt activities – we acknowledge that agreed outcomes may not be achieved in the timeframes originally set.
2. Discuss dates for reporting – we do not wish to add pressure on organisations to meet tight reporting deadlines.
3. Financial flexibility – we are able to consider requests allowing organisations to use granted money differently if needed to respond to immediate needs e.g. buying equipment and covering staff sickness.
4. Discuss – additional needs, concerns and challenges.

For organisations in need of additional funding: The Trustees recognise that the current challenge for charities is to adjust to the longer term economic and operational impacts of the pandemic, in a changing and uncertain landscape. This may include long term changes to working arrangements and project delivery, as well as revised fundraising strategies to adapt to cancelled events and reduced donations.

The grant application forms include specific questions about the operational and financial impacts of Covid on your organisation, and applicants are encouraged to provide full and up to date information to help the Trustees identify the cases of greatest need.

The Trustees have taken steps to ensure they are able to continue to offer donations at the same level as previous years despite any volatility in the financial markets, to help support as many charities as possible during this time.



Header images credit to © Action for Conservation, Little Vermillion Flycatcher fledglings, Galapagos Conservation Trust © David Anchundia/Charles Darwin Foundation, © South East Dance, © Blue Ventures / Leah Glass, © Multiple System Atrophy Trust, © African Parks, © St. Catherine’s Hospice