April 6, 2021
NiSource Charitable Foundation and Essex County Community Foundation Announce Awards of $1 Million in Grants to Nonprofits

Andover, Lawrence and North Andover, MA — Today, the Essex County Community Foundation (ECCF) on behalf of the NiSource Charitable Foundation, announced $1 million in one-year grants to support nonprofit organizations in the communities of Andover, Lawrence and North Andover. These grants are part of a five-year, $10 million commitment by NiSource Charitable Foundation to support new and important initiatives in the Merrimack Valley. The nonprofit organizations awarded were recognized for their outstanding efforts in various areas including basic needs and hardship assistance, economic and workforce development, safety, STEM and energy education, and environmental stewardship.

After the December 2020 application deadline, the grant review process, which was administered by ECCF, involved input and oversight from an advisory committee that consisted of local civic and business leaders, representatives of local charitable organizations, and representatives of NiSource and Eversource Energy. The committee members have diverse personal and professional backgrounds, and the committee has a strong awareness of issues affecting these communities and thus, opportunities for impact.

The Fund at ECCF, which is a Field of Interest Fund, receives its financial support from the NiSource Charitable Foundation; a charitable foundation funded by NiSource Inc., the former parent company of the Columbia Gas of Massachusetts business. While NiSource no longer operates in Massachusetts, the company is continuing its support of the communities of Andover, Lawrence and North Andover.

“We are pleased to be able to continue our support for the people of Merrimack Valley whom we are deeply inspired by,” said Joe Hamrock, CEO and President of NiSource. “We also are appreciative of the Essex County Community Foundation’s work in administering this fund. We are excited that these incredible organizations will have the opportunity to further their work in filling gaps and improving their communities.”

“Congratulations to the nonprofits awarded with a grant funded by the NiSource Charitable Foundation through ECCF.  We are inspired by their respective missions and their vision to bring about change in their communities with these resources. These nonprofits are delivering vital services to tens of thousands of residents.  We are grateful for the work of these organizations and our communities are stronger because of their efforts,” said Beth Francis, CEO of Essex County Community Foundation.

The NiSource Charitable Foundation through the fund at ECCF encourages and incentivizes cross-sector and cross-organization collaboration. Grants are intended to be one-time, one-year grants to be used within 12 months and organizations are able to apply yearly if they wish to. For future grant eligibility visit https://www.eccf.org/fundformerrimackvalley/.

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Grantees and other Applicants with questions are encouraged to email Carol Lavoie Schuster at c.lavoieschuster@eccf.org. Any questions regarding the NiSource Charitable Foundation should be directed to Scott Ferson at ferson@libertysquaregroup.com.

Column: Systems of support help local students make gains

Column: Systems of support help local students make gains

Though the long-term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on students is not yet fully known, what we do know – and what the early data confirms – is that learning has suffered, equity gaps have widened and the time to come together to create systems that work for all students is now.

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