our work

digital equity

advancing digital equity

Together with local partners, donors, community leaders and municipalities, ECCF will invest more than $2 million to empower thousands of Essex County residents with the ACCESS, TOOLS AND LEARNING to fully participate in the digital world – INCREASING THE QUALITY OF LIFE for themselves, their families and their businesses.

Digital Divide Study

Icon of the english version of the Digital Equity Report

As an essential step towards addressing these inequities, ECCF partnered with the Center for State Policy Analysis at Tisch College, Tufts University to produce a baseline analysis of how the digital divide impacts each of Essex County’s 34 cities and towns.


> Read the report in English

> Read the report in Spanish

ECCF’s Digital Equity Initiative


For generations, economic and racial inequities have existed for hundreds of thousands of Essex County residents. The COVID-19 pandemic has particularly and profoundly exposed the breadth and depth of the digital divide in our region.


> Read more about ECCF’s commitment to advancing digital equity in Essex County

initiative launch event

On June 10, 2021, at the conclusion of ECCF’s Rising Together event, there was a live Zoom session revealing the details of ECCF’s $2 million dollar plan to advance digital equity in Essex County. See the live zoom session below in addition to clips from the Rising Together event addressing digital equity.

Zoom Recording

ECCF’s Stratton Lloyd

Working Together 

ECCF's $2M initiative

We believe that NOW is the time to bridge the digital divide in Essex County by investing in real solutions that make short-term strides as we build a learning coalition and ecosystem to ensure ongoing innovation and resiliency.

Addressing this singular challenge will have rippling effects in so many other areas of need. Through partnership, we can each play an important role in this effort and improve the quality of life here in Essex County.

our vision for change

By working collaboratively with our communities to empower thousands of Essex County residents with the access, tools and learning to fully participate in the digital world, we aim to achieve:


  • 10,000 households and businesses are connected with free or affordable ACCESS to the internet
  • 5,000 people have reliable DEVICES to connect to the digital world
  • 1,000 people and businesses can successfully use their devices to NAVIGATE the internet


  • 100+ for-profit, nonprofit and government partners will work together to deliver digital solutions that improve the lives of people across the county
  • A strong ecosystem is in place to tackle identified systems solutions that improve digital equity to Essex County for the long term



Invest in existing cross-sector partnerships or prototypes that can be accelerated and/or amplified across our region.


Encouraging multi-organization collaboration to pilot or build new solutions. Funding will take into account viability, thrivability, project leadership and ability to scale and impact residents.


Forming a cross-sector learning collaborative to build the civic and human infrastructure neccesary to co-create and implement county-wide digital equity solutions.

Support ECCF’s efforts to explore and address the Digital Divide in Essex County,

digital divide news

Column: New collaboration will help increase internet access across Essex County

As chief program officer of nonprofit North Shore Community Development Coalition (CDC), Felicia Pierce meets many Essex County residents who lack some of life’s most basic necessities, including access to the internet. According to a recent report commissioned by ECCF, nearly 60,000 households in Essex County do not have access to a high-speed internet connection, a service that surpassed being a “nice-to-have” a long time ago.

Letter: Supporting efforts for digital literacy

The Daily News’ April 12 editorial, “Bridging the digital divide,” shines a critical spotlight on the impact of the digital divide in communities north of Boston, and the work of organizations like the Essex County Community Foundation (ECCF), which is convening a broad-based effort to provide residents with the digital devices, internet connectivity, and skills training they need to participate in our increasingly digital world.

Challenges and Opportunities of the Digital Divide

On April 7, 2021, ZurickDavis was joined by ECCF's Beth Francis and Stratton Lloyd to talk about ECCF's study and work in advancing digital equity in Essex County. Learn more and watch the presentation here.

What’s Happening with ECCF

On April 8, 2021, George Binns hosted ECCF’s Stratton Lloyd and Kate Machet on “What’s Happening in Beverly MA” to discuss the background and activities of ECCF with emphasis on the Digital Divide/Equity.

Our View: Bridging the digital divide

COLUMN IN THE EAGLE TRIBUNE SEE ORIGINAL ARTICLE IN THE EAGLE TRIBUNE HERE. If we didn’t lead digital lives before the pandemic, we certainly do now. We’ve been to class and work from our kitchen tables. We’ve visited with grandchildren and gone to the doctor on Zoom....

Column: Now is the time to bridge the digital divide in Essex County

The digital divide is not new. For decades, there has been a wide and growing gap between the information haves and the have-nots. But as it has done so often in the last eight months, COVID-19 has blown the roof off another longtime disparity that has become one of the most pervasive challenges of this pandemic.

work & impact

get in touch

Kate Machet headshot

Kate Machet

Director of Strategic Initiatives

ECCF Logo in White Overlay


  1. 175 Andover Street, Suite 101
    Danvers, Massachusetts 01923