OVERVIEW: The ECOM Foundation supports organizations that work in rural and off-the-grid rural farming communities where social services and other resources are unavailable. Areas of funding interest include education, healthcare, social services, and sustainable agricultural practices.
IP TAKE: ECOM favors local and community-based organizations in its grantmaking. One must-have funding consideration for the foundation is a significant degree of buy-in and cooperation from the local community.
PROFILE: Founded in 2006, the ECOM Foundation for Development of Origin Resources focuses its grantmaking on “better education, healthcare, social services, and environmental practices to achieve long term sustainability for rural growers and their families" in rural farming communities where coffee, cotton, cocoa, sugar, corn, and wheat are grown. The foundation believes in "ensuring a better life to origin producers" and "long term sustainability that will provide a permanent change in producing communities." ECOM suggests it ensures this change by working with local non-government organizations, other public charities, corporations, and local and national governments.
ECOM gives broadly to a variety of issues. In the past, the foundation has supported orphanages in Sumatra, high school agricultural programs in Papua New Guinea, and computer labs in Coast Rica. To learn more about the types of ventures that receive ECOM support, visit its Projects page.
Grantseekers should be aware that ECOM seeks projects that benefit rural farming communities over the long-term and those that demonstrate a great deal of sustainability. Unless the project is related to an acute emergency such as flash flooding—the foundation awards acute emergency-type grants occasionally—those looking for grants to support one-off or short-term projects are unlikely to receive funding here. The foundation supports projects in developing countries and does not impose geographic restrictions on its grantmaking.
The foundation accepts unsolicited grant requests throughout the year via its website. Most grants range from $2,000 to $25,000, and multi-year awards are not common. Those seeking grants for more than one year must reapply after their initial grant period has ended. Also, ECOM is a project-based funder, and does not typically award grants for general operating support.
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