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Blog: The Giving County Chronicles

'Purity of Intention' subject of van Otterloo Celebration speech
May 12, 2017

On May 4, 2017, ECCF held its 4th annual Celebration of Giving at the DoubleTree in Danvers, where over 400 guests honored several local philanthropists and nonprfoit organizations, including the van Otterloo family of Marblehead, who were given the George Peabody Award for outstanding philanthropy in the county. Following is the full text of the speech made by Sander van Otterloo, who accepted the award for the family. 

Left: Sander and Erin van Otterloo, Rose-Marie and Eyk van Otterloo and Ana Colmenero and Hoyt van Otterloo were given the George Peabody Award at ECCF's 2017 Celebration of Giving. PHOTO BY KEVIN HARKINS/HARKINS PHOTOGRAPHY



Values - and Paella - the focus of ECCF NextGen Gathering
October 12, 2016

Values. We all have them. But how do you prioritize yours? And how do they drive your decision-making?


As part of its NextGen initiative, Essex County Community Foundation recently gathered its growing cohort of Millennial and GenX change-makers to answer these questions and more, and to enjoy an evening of networking, idea sharing and some incredible paella and sangria.


Founded in 2014, NextGen seeks to educate, engage and connect Essex County’s next generation of philanthropic leaders. The Foundation’s goal is that by providing the tools, resources and knowledge necessary to ensure long-term philanthropic impact, ECCF can help secure the future of local philanthropy. 


2015 IFT inspires, drives nonprofit leaders to do more
May 5, 2015

Despite the early spring snowstorm, nearly 400 nonprofit leaders and innovators gathered at the Pingree School in South Hamilton on March 28 for the area’s premier leadership conference hosted by the Essex County Community Foundation.

For six years, directors, trustees and executive directors have looked to the Institute for Trustees for advice on how to take their organizations to the next level. The annual, all-day conference features networking opportunities, presentations and educational workshops run by the region’s leading experts on board development, financial sustainability, fundraising, strategic planning and more.

Caring for Kids: Remembering and Honoring A Colleague
February 19, 2015

We all know someone who's made a difference in the lives of area youth. That's why this year's Diruhi Mattian Memorial Award, presented during the 2015 Youth At Risk (YAR) conference, needs your help.

With the nomination period nearing its deadline (Feb. 25), there's still time to honor that local hero by submitting a nomination form to the YAR committee. We're looking for a colleague who serves at-risk youth, makes outstanding contributions within a field that supports young people, or even advocates for colleagues who spend themselves helping our youth.

How the Institute FOR Trustees Got Its Groove—and Everyone Benefitted!
January 27, 2015

With the 2015 Institute for Trustees just around the corner (March 28), we sat down with Julie Bishop, ECCF’s vice president of grants and services, to hear her perspective on what many tell us is the region’s best leadership conference. Julie helped found IFT and has been a part of planning each one since!


New Year Resolution: Turning Dinner Parties into Giving Parties
January 8, 2015

Talk about a great New Year’s resolution: a group of friends makes a year-long commitment to monthly dinners where they learn about local nonprofit work and giving opportunities. The result can make a huge difference for our communities, as it did last month when The Charity Girls of Northeast Massachusetts awarded $17,000 in grants and had a whole lot of fun together all year long!

Meet Dave Edwards: Q & A With ECCF’s New CEO!
December 15, 2014

We knew our ECCF partners and family would want to get to know Dave Edwards, the Foundation's new CEO. So before the holidays (and even though he doesn’t ‘officially’ start until January 12), Dave took the time to sit down with us and talk a bit about his vision, his family and who he'd have over for dinner from Essex County history:

The Spirit of Christmas Comes (Again) to Essex County
December 10, 2014

There’s no need to check twice: the nice list across Essex County has grown inspiringly long this Christmas! Whether in the form of grants from an ECCF fund, a festive event, or an opportunity to serve in one of many out reach efforts this season, several good folks are making sure the holidays are a little brighter for others. Here’s a sampling:

The Gift of Teaching Our Children to Give
December 2, 2014

Carol Lavoie Schuster, ECCF's assistant manager of grants and services, writes about how a special book helped inspire her five year old daughter to give where she lives. Now Carol is on a mission to help other parents teach their kids about giving!

Most parents know that raising a child is a mirror of our greatest successes and most humbling failures. Our kids often teach us how to be better humans. And in my house, while it’s crazy most of the time, I trust it is a gift.

Local Business Redefines Holiday Giving Through ECCF Fund
November 29, 2014

(This story appeared Dec. 8 in The Gloucester Times.) Long time Gloucester resident Dick Wilson has always been one to give to his community. Whether helping establish low income housing at the CapeAnn YMCA, organizing a new stadium for the high school, or throwing parties simply to bring people together, Wilson models giving quietly and consistently.

Fall Workshops Bring Game Changers and Culture Shapers
November 18, 2014

Talk about inspiring! This fall, ECCF’s Center for Nonprofit Excellence offered five timely workshops covering topics such as story telling and fundraising to annual funds and shaping organizational culture. They drew 184 attendees (executive directors, staff, and board members) from 106 amazing nonprofit organizations doing great work in 23 towns or cities across the County.

Where's Dave?
A Top Ten List For Celebrating Our Community Foundation
November 12, 2014

ECCF’s CEO is a multi-tasker. Whether on the phone, over email, or in his letters, conversations or meetings, Dave Welbourn can’t help but communicate the message and story of ECCF. And because we're celebrating the 25th Annual National Community Foundation week, we thought it was a good time to ask him to reflect on just what he says about ECCF. Call it Dave's Top Ten List for Celebrating ECCF. Here's what he said:

Potholes, Horses and Modern Day Good Samaritans
November 5, 2014

On one of those heavy days of rain just before Halloween last week, the husband of ECCF’s program assistant Joan Henkels was driving home from work on Lawrence Road in Boxford. His car suddenly hit a pothole and one of the tires blew. Craig managed to pull the car into the entrance of Windrush Farms, but when he realized his cell phone battery had died, he knew he was in trouble. He’d need an extra hand or two propping up the car to change the tire. In the pouring rain. As the sky darkened.

After the Fire: Lawrence Giving Inspires Many
October 30, 2014

“Lawrence really does take care of its own,” said Jay Caporale, executive vice president and director of philanthropy, as he saw the quick community response after the city’s tragic fire October 21.

Devouring the Kool-Aid of Charitable Giving
October 23, 2014

Binkley Shorts drove a lot of rental cars throughout his career. As a partner with Wellington Management, he spent considerable time on the road in a job he loved: researching companies for investment purposes. This morning, the now-retired but still busy nonprofit boardmember brought his wisdom to ECCF’s gathering of professional advisors, attorneys and accountants. And the discussion was lively and vibrant.

The Story Behind the (2014 ECCF) Story
October 15, 2014

Essex County grows great things. Always has. We've known that for a while here at ECCF, and now after many conversations, speeches and meetings, that idea of "growing" became the seed for our 2014 Annual Report, a publication hot off the press and worth sitting down with a cup of coffee to peruse. 

’Tis the Autumn of Stories and Gifts and Names
October 9, 2014

There’s a reason people come to Essex County for the fall. Yellows, oranges and reds splash across trees and yards everywhere—an added treat for anyone attending a Center for Nonprofit Excellence (CNE) fall workshop as well. But there’s an even better reason folks come to the workshops: for eight years they’ve provided vital organizations with training, tools and support to build their operational expertise.

Where's Dave?
Dave Goes on a Field Trip: Tour de Essex
October 2, 2014

It isn’t necessarily in a CEO’s job description, but guiding tours throughout Essex County is second nature to Dave Welbourn. And last Thursday, he was more than happy to join friends from the Tower Foundation on a tour they wouldn’t quickly forget.

Studying the Future, Spreading the Word
September 24, 2014

Millennials (ages 22-35) and Gen X-ers (ages 35-47) make up about 30 percent of the population in Essex County. That’s why Jay Caporale, executive vice president, and Carol Lavoie Schuster, assistant manager of grants and services, led a research team recently to explore this rising demographic. And last Friday, Sept. 19, at the Andover Rotary Club weekly breakfast, Jay shared some surprising results from ECCF’s first 2014 Next Gen Study.

Where's Dave?
Eggs, Bacon and Estate Planning
September 17, 2014

CEO Dave Welbourn likes breakfast. Especially if he’s sharing the vision of ECCF over eggs and bacon with friends, like he did yesterday with the Essex County Estate Planning Council.

Defining the P-Word
September 10, 2014

It’s a tricky word. Ask a dozen people what they think the word “philanthropy” means and you’ll likely get twelve different answers, including, as we did recently, “Isn’t that the study of bugs?”

Where's Dave?
Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer—NOT!
September 4, 2014

This is CEO Dave Welbourn at his desk—he writes hundreds of emails here, works on ECCF budgets and grant distribution pie charts, and makes lots of phone calls from this very spot. 

In between weekend trips to Maine and meetings with nonprofit leaders or Trustees, Dave somehow fit in time at his desk to write more emails and articles. In short, his summer days were hardly lazy or hazy, though he might tell you they were a little crazy. Crazy good, that is.

How to Launch a New Directory, One Nonprofit at a Time
August 25, 2014

Even with plenty of exciting partnerships, workshops, funds and grant opportunities to keep up with, ECCF staff and interns found the time to comb through some 3,083 IRS listings of 501c(3) organizations with one simple goal: to update and improve our nonprofit directory.

Getting Real Job Experience at ECCF
August 13, 2014

From accounts payable to learning new software programs, two interns are getting real job preparation at our ECCF office in Danvers.

Where's Dave?
A Summer of Moving Things Forward
August 7, 2014

He’s not a pushy guy, really. But CEO Dave Welbourn has been pushing a lot of good things forward this summer. In between some well-deserved time off in Maine to helping rearrange the ECCF offices, Dave has fit in staff meetings, annual report analyses and many conversations with nonprofit leaders about possible strategies for the futures of their organizations, such as The Encore Boston Network.