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 28th May 2020

The Trustees of the Ernest Kleinwort Charitable Trust (EKCT) have been truly heartened by the enormous efforts of charities, their staff and volunteers to adapt to meet the needs of their beneficiaries during the exceptional circumstances of Covid-19.

The Trustees have been able to consider around 100 emergency applications for funding since March 2020 and are pleased to have made available an additional £200,000 in donations to assist those charities responding to increased needs as a result of the pandemic.

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 most charities have now adapted as best they are able to the immediate challenges of the virus outbreak, and the current process of adjusting to the “new normal” represents a new phase.

Many charities are having to re-budget to take into account lost fundraising opportunities, cancelled events and reduced donations. This may be alongside increased costs to manage social distancing, PPE and other requirements.

The emergency grant process is therefore now closed and charities in need of funds are now requested to use the normal EKCT grant application process. The Trustees of EKCT 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.

Applicants should carefully read the information about the remit of the trust before making an application and use the eligibility questionnaire. Applicants are encouraged to make clear within the application how they anticipate the current circumstances will impact their forecast income and expenditure in the current financial year. Please note, given the current uncertainties, Trustees may defer release of any funds pledged until planned projects are ready to start.

Charities which have already made an application within the last 12 months or are in receipt of current funding from EKCT, are asked to telephone the Director (07539 701577) for a discussion before submitting any additional application.

Sussex-based charities are encouraged to visit the Sussex Community Foundation where there is a SCF local appeal and information on the distribution of the National Emergencies Trust funding.

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