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The Women’s Fund of Essex County

The Women’s Fund of Essex County raises funds and awards grants to nonprofit organizations that serve women and girls in need and at risk within Essex County. Grants are awarded annually to organizations that have demonstrated success but require an additional infusion of funding to maximize their impact. By pooling The Women’s Fund donor gifts, we increase the breadth and depth of each individual’s contribution across a broad range of issues and solutions. Over the last 17 years, The Women’s Fund has donated more than $2.5 million to Essex County programs serving women and girls.

Historically, we have focused on supporting highly effective nonprofit programs with proven track records, clear objectives, and established budgets. Each grantee’s program was monitored and evaluated through written interim & final reports.

For 2021, considering the Covid-19 pandemic, The Women’s Fund has modified the applicant qualifications, deadline and the application process. We will be offering one-year unrestricted grants of up to $10,000 to Essex County nonprofit organizations addressing the significant needs & impacts of Covid-19 and/or societal inequities, primarily as it relates to women and girls. The only caveat is that the grants be spent in a way that will help women and girls most impacted by these crises. We will also expect an end of year summary of how the funds were utilized so we can share with our donor base. 


Grant Guidelines

funding priorities

The Women’s Fund seeks to support nonprofit organizations with proven track records, clear objectives and established budgets. For the 2021 grant cycle, The Women’s Fund will focus on organizations that serve at risk women or girls in Essex County with services and/or programs addressing needs related to the impacts of Covid-19 and/or societal inequities in three fields of funding:

  • Economic Self-Sufficiency and Security
  • Health and Well Being
  • Leadership and Empowerment



The Women’s Fund is limited to nonsectarian programming for Essex County women and girls of all religious, ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Programs sponsored by religious organizations are eligible provided that enrollment is open to all qualified women and girls and the program is free of mandatory sectarian religious instruction.

Generally, grants will not be awarded:

  • To individuals
  • To agencies with pending 501(c)3 status
  • For debt or deficit reduction
  • For political purposes
  • For sectarian or religious purposes
  • For endowment or capital campaigns
  • For research or feasibility studies


Geographic Limitations

We support nonprofit organizations serving the residents of Essex County, MA. We prefer the organization be located in Essex County but it is not a requirement. The grant funds must be spent within the county.

application deadline

Applications must be received no later than end of business day January 11, 2021.  Incomplete or late applications may not be considered. Grant awards will be announced no later than May 1, 2021.

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
  • The Women’s Fund Grants Allocation Committee will carefully review applications beginning in mid-January and will schedule any necessary follow up conference call visits in February and March to qualifying nonprofit organizations. Given Covid-19, we will not be making any site visits for the foreseeable future.
  • The Committee will vet final funding decisions in early April and make recommendations for approval by The Women’s Fund Advisory Board and by the Essex County Community Foundation Board of Trustees.
  • Grant Awards are announced no later than May 1st.
reporting requirements

Grantees will be asked to submit a brief report by December 31, 2021 outlining the use of the grant. This information is useful to The Women’s Fund for our fundraising efforts as we look to expand our capacity to aid organizations assisting women and girls across the county. We also will request that our logo be displayed on grantees’ websites as a funding partner and be featured in a press release on your social media platforms.



January 11, 2021


By May 1, 2021


Up to $10,000


Supporting nonprofit programs serving the residents of Essex County, Massachusetts, with priority given to organizations located in Essex County.


Final reports should be submitted through the Application Portal.


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.

ECCF Logo in White Overlay


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