Why Join?


Why Join the Early Childhood Funders Collaborative?

ECFC is a collaborative of committed early childhood funders who have been learning together and improving our collective positive impact for children birth to 8 years old for over 20 years.  ECFC’s strength is our engaged membership which is uniquely comprised of diverse foundations, including a range of sizes and local, regional, and national scope.

What We Do

& Networking

Member engagement opportunities including workgroups, committees, meetings and briefings, including connections with top researchers and practitioners.  Learn more…

Aligning & Leveraging Resources  

Opportunities for members to explore  and elevate aligned funding and leveraging philanthropic resources, such as the BUILD Initiative.  Learn More…

Promoting Effective Local, State & Federal Policy

ECFC sponsors policy briefings, develops recommendations, and shares our learning with policymakers at all levels.
Learn more… 

ECFC Membership Criteria

ECFC members demonstrate:

A clearly articulated strategic approach to grantmaking in early childhood, with a focus on early childhood development and education, supporting young children (prenatal to eight), as well as their families. Such a strategy may be demonstrated by a comprehensive systemic and policy approach to early childhood grantmaking.

Evidence of a significant and ongoing portfolio of early childhood investment within the foundation. This is demonstrated by an early childhood budget that is at least 25% of the foundation’s grantmaking budget, on average, or a minimum of $1 million each year. New members will have completed a minimum of one year of grantmaking in early childhood.

A dedicated staff person who is knowledgeable about early childhood issues and ready to actively participate in ECFC through attendance at meetings and serving on committees.

A policy and/or systems focus for at least some of the foundation’s early childhood investments. This may include grants that promote positive systems change through demonstration projects, research, or work to increase the field’s understanding of an issue or best practice; the formulation, adoption, and/or implementation of policy; and/or public education or advocacy (additional examples are provided in Appendix C of the Strategic Plan).

ECFC members are expected to:

  • Attend two member-meetings per year.
  • Be actively involved in committees and workgroups that plan and direct our work.
  • Engage in other opportunities ranging from: sitting on our governing steering committee; hosting a meeting in your city; contributing articles and news to ECFC’s website; and topical learning and networking groups.

Funder Membership Levels

  • Annual Dues: ECFC member dues are based on a foundation’s total annual grantmaking budget (see right).

  • Supporting Membership: Members who commit to dues greater than the recommended amount.

  • Sustaining Membership: $25,000 – $50,000

For current and new foundation/grantmaker members whose institutional policies prohibit giving at the levels specified above, the Steering Committee will consider offering an exception. The recommended exception would consider dues based on total grantmaking in the program area that includes the early childhood portfolio (e.g.  the Education or Health and Human Services program.)

Associate Membership: Local & State Early Childhood Funder Collaboratives

(Download our Collaboratives Membership Flyer)

Local and state early childhood funder Collaboratives are invited to join ECFC as Associate Members.   Annual dues for Local & State EC Funder Collaborative Associate Members is $5,000.

As Associate Members, Collaboratives staff/leaders have access to all ECFC member benefits including:

  • Participation in ECFC member-only meetings and events
  • Access to the full ECFC member directory
  • Expanded access to our state and local Collaboratives Directory
  • Participation in ECFC workgroups and committees
  • Access to dedicated Member-only website content
  • Logo/organization listing in ECFC website, annual report and other
    member acknowledgements

Collaboratives staff and local/state members also access to other opportunities, including:

  • Networking with other funder peers, share resources and learn from each other
  • Participating in dedicated Collaboratives programming
  • Authoring guest blogs/articles for ECFC’s website
  • Accessing ECFC forums dedicated to Collaboratives (dedicated
    programming, Collaborative listserv, and resource library)
Foundation’s Total Annual Grantmaking Budget Member Dues
Up to $2M
$2M– $10M
$10M – $20M
$20M – $30M
$30M – $40M
$40M +

For more information, please contact:

Shannon L. Rudisill
Executive Director

Chere Williams
Program & Membership Associate