About Us

Our Mission

Episcopal Charities brings to a broken world the hope for lasting change, rooted in Episcopal vision, faith, and experience expressed through collective community efforts.

Our Values

"In a values-based organization, people at every level come together for a higher purpose." From Values to Action, Harry M. Jansen Kraemer, Jr.

At Episcopal Charities, our mission - bringing a message of hope to a broken world - is the higher purpose that calls together people from all walks-of-life and from all corners of the Diocese. These are the values that guide our every action and inspire us to give the very best of our time, money, and talents...as, together, with God's grace we pursue this higher purpose.

  • We are called to love through service by the One who loved and served us first
  • Striving for justice and upholding the dignity of all people
  • Walking alongside, building relationship
  • All are welcome
  • Seek diverse, informed perspectives to make decisions and ensure robust systems and controls
  • Acknowledge challenges and seek solutions out of mutual accountability and interdependence
  • Consistency in actions and commitments to build trust
  • Commitment to vision, mission, and results; discipline to say "no"
Making a Difference
  • Willingness to challenge the status quo and take measured risk
  • Evaluation on long-term impact, not just activity
  • Stamina for systemic change; real change takes time
  • Engaging communities before programs for sustainable results
  • Spirit of inquiry (listening) over spirit of advocacy (telling)
  • Rooted in local leadership, building on local assets
  • Intentionally leveraging relationships and resources as a catalyst to move communities toward action
  • Use the ability to convene as a means for developing partnership

Our Ministries

Since Episcopal Charities and Community Services [ECCS] was founded in 1960, God has used this ministry to transform thousands of lives in the Diocese of Chicago.  Today, this life-changing social outreach is accomplished through ECCS’ support of its ministry partners and, increasingly, through its New Ventures and Capacity Building initiatives.

This year, Episcopal Charities will:

  • Grant $450,000 to support the work of its ministry partners, representing the largest single source of unrestricted grants for each agency.
  • Further support and strengthen its diverse partners through the Capacity Building program by helping them manage effective governing boards, increase their fundraising, and better communicate their ministries.
  • Explore innovative, community-based partnerships to respond to some of today‘s most important, unmet social problems.

Episcopal Charities and Community Services is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization registered in Illinois and governed by an independent board of trustees.  Its ministry is entirely funded by charitable donations received from individuals, congregations, businesses, and foundations.  Because income from invested funds is used to pay for modest administrative costs, 100% of every dollar contributed to ECCS is applied directly to its ministries; administrative and fundraising costs are paid for from investment income.

Our History

1957 - The first “United Episcopal Charities Appeal” raises $37,000 as a result of a consolidated appeal for funding to support the work of eight partner agencies.
1960 - Episcopal Charities and Community Services is chartered in the State of Illinois as a 501(c)(3) public charity.
2000 - New Initiatives in Ministry grants help local congregations develop responses that meet their community’s unique needs.
2003 - Grants from The Chicago Community Trust and the Polk Bros. Foundation help launch the Capacity Building Program that helps partner agencies develop stronger governing boards, increase their fundraising, and raise visibility for their work in the Diocese.
2005 - Ravenswood Community Services is approved at convention as ECCS’ newest ministry partner.
2006 - ECCS’ board of trustees authorize additional funding to explore new ministry partnerships as New Ventures.
2011 - Episcopal Charities’ annual unrestricted grants and other funding to ministry partners over the past decade surpasses $11 million.