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Fund for Excellence in Essex County

We’re excited to present a new offering this fall from the Fund for Excellence in Essex County — a cohort learning program designed to support individual and organizational racial equity practice as well as pathways to action towards more diverse, inclusive, and racially equitable organizations. Over the course of about six months, participating organizations will have the opportunity to go deeper on key racial equity concepts and content and apply this learning real-time to their most vexing diversity, inclusion, and racial equity challenges. 


Grant Guidelines

funding priorities

The Fund for Excellence in Essex County (FEEC) grants support specific projects that strengthen the capacity of a nonprofit organization to perform its work more effectively. For the 2021 funding cycle, ECCF will award FEEC grants to support the professional development of nonprofit staff of organizations based in and serving Essex County, with priority given to organizations with budgets under $1,000,000.

Examples of types of requests that would be considered for these grants include:

  • Training and development
  • Leadership coaching and development
  • Succession planning
  • Conference registration fees, workshops, seminars, or webinars
  • Speaker series

ECCF will award one-year grants of up to $5,000. Funding is limited and the grant program is highly competitive.

Grants will not be awarded:

  • To individuals
  • To organizations located outside of Essex County
  • For sectarian or religious purposes
  • For political purposes
  • For debt or deficit reduction
  • For capital campaigns for buildings, land acquisition or endowment
  • To support academic research
  • To address funding gaps due to mismanagement or poor planning
  • To support work that has already taken place
  • For purposes which are generally a public sector responsibility
  • For feasibility studies
  • For website development
  • To state and local government agencies


selection criteria

ECCF seeks grantmaking opportunities where the investment of up to $5,000 can make a difference. When reviewing grant proposals, we will look for:

  • Clear organizational mission and vision
  • Evidence that the organization and its programs/services meet a documented need of Essex County residents
  • Clear articulation of how the requested professional development will strengthen the capacity of staff and the applicant organization and contribute to its ability to meet its mission
  • Staff and board leadership that is diverse and representative of the community that the organization serves. 


application deadline

This grant cycle will open in 2022.

application procedure

Proposals must be submitted through ECCF’s Application Portal.

If you do not yet have a login for our application Portal, please read our Grant Application Process page which will give you access to the Portal.

review process

ECCF staff will review all proposals and make grant recommendations to the ECCF Board of Trustees for approval. An ECCF staff person may contact applicants for additional information about a proposal or to arrange a site visit during the review process. This person may also contact other funders, community leaders, or other local agencies to learn more about the organization applying for funds and discuss the proposal. Copies of proposals submitted to ECCF may be shared with others during the review process.

reporting requirements

Agencies receiving grants from the Fund for Excellence in Essex County must submit a final report on their project by March 1st of the year following the grant award. Final reports are required in order to be eligible for future grant funding. If projects are not complete by the March 1st deadline, agencies should submit an Interim Report on their progress and request an extension.



This grant cycle will open in 2022.


Up to $5,000


Limited to nonprofit organizations located in and serving residents of Essex County, Massachusetts.

nonprofits & grants

get in touch

Carol Lavoie Schuster headshot

Hehershe Busuego

Director of Programs & Racial Equity
(978) 777-8876 x128

how can we help?

We would love to hear from you.

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