2019 Grant Recipients


2019 Grant Recipients

Other Years' Recipients: 2019 | 2018  |  2017  |  2016  |   Previous Years




Economic Self Sufficiency and Security  |   $115,666

Health & Well Being  |  $73,500

Leadership & Empowerment  |  $74,500


Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence
Girl Lab Jr.
Launched in 2014, Girl Lab provides STEAM-based programming for middle school girls.  This grant funds Girl Lab Jr., allowing the successful program to expand STEAM- based opportunities to elementary school girls using the evidence-based READING IS FUNDAMENTAL curriculum to discover the world around them through reading, fun activities and experiments.

Center for Women & Enterprise
Community Classrooms: Entrepreneurial Education & Mentoring for Women in Lynn
This program provides women from Lynn with intensive entrepreneurial education and 1-on-1 mentoring through the CWE Community Classroom’s 16-week Business Planning & Mentoring program. The program will help participants improve their financial literacy, start new businesses, create jobs, and drive economic growth.

Chica Project
Chica Project
Through a network of accomplished multicultural women, Chica Project empowers     Latina youth in Lawrence to recognize their strengths and build the self-efficacy needed to graduate from high school, attend college and move on to pathways to economic success. This grant funds programming in four areas: Mentoring, Leadership Development, Network Development and Career Exploration, and Civic Engagement and Community Service.

Citizens Inn
High Impact Programming for Families Experiencing Homelessness
At Citizens Inn, 100% of the clients served in their shelters are families, 76% of which are led by single mothers. This grant funds programming designed to empower families for long-term stability including In-House Mental Health Counseling, Art Therapy for Children, and Yoga, Wellness & Nutrition Programs. 

Community Daycare Center of Lawrence
Teen Parent Program-College & Career Readiness Enhancement
For teen parents, continuing their education and securing job skills are critical to the future of both mother and child; doing so depends on accessible, high-quality child care and considerable guidance and support. This grant allows the Teen Parent Program to enhance its College and Career Readiness focus by increasing the depth and breadth of training, guidance, and opportunities related to college and employment.  

Esperanza Academy
Graduate Support Program
This program provides academic, emotional, and social support to help Esperanza alumnae succeed as they transition to high school and college.  The program recognizes students’ needs for academic, social and emotional support, as well as opportunities to grow and develop as leaders in their community. Esperanza aims to break the cycle of poverty through education, and the Graduate Support Program is an integral part of its mission.

Family Services of Merrimack Valley
Big Friends, Little Friends Youth Mentoring Program
BFLF, a community-based youth mentoring program, currently supports 50 girls, ages 6-17 and their mentors for purposes of friendship, guidance, skill-building and access to opportunities and resources. With 26 girls on its waitlist, Family Services will create and support 10 more gender-specific matches each year that attend to the distinct needs and strengths of these girls. In addition to current recruitment methods, BFLF will implement a ‘Youth Initiated Mentoring’ (YIM) process to recruit new female volunteer mentors. 

Girls Inc. of Lynn
Woke Women
This social justice program, created by the teens themselves, is designed to provide a safe environment for girls to meet and discuss social justice issues they face daily as low-income, female teens of color. Through WOKE WOMEN, the teens will be empowered to become leaders in their communities and in life.

LEAP for Education, Inc.
Fashion Design-STEAM Program for High School Students in Salem
After a youth survey identified fashion design as a major interest, this six-week course gives LEAP students an opportunity to design and develop their own fashion pieces. This program offers a creative integration of STEAM disciplines, including the arts, math, and engineering. This program provides a career exploration opportunity into the fashion industry. 

Lynn Economic Opportunity (LEO)
ESOL, Financial Literacy and Job Readiness for LEO Parents, Lynn
LEO provides a path to comprehensive parenting skills, English language proficiency and job readiness for parents whose children are enrolled in LEO Head Start. Since 2016, LEO has run progressive classes in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) that include a financial literacy and job readiness component. This multi-year grant allows LEO to increase the number of parents the agency can serve effectively. 

Northeast Hospital Corporation (Beverly Hospital)
Integrative Care Program for Pregnant and Parenting Women with Substance Abuse Disorder
The Integrative Care Program’s goals are to promote recovery in pregnant women, parenting women, and improve perinatal care for both mother and child. This grant allows for the expansion of this program to include more women and their babies. 

Notre Dame Education Center
Nurse Assistant and Home Health Aid Training
The program’s goal is to educate Lawrence area women to become nursing assistants and home health aides, who will then provide high quality, compassionate care in the Lawrence community.  This grant funds Job Coach and Coordinator positions as well as the National Work Readiness Certificate Coach, both of which are vital to the success of the program and its students. 

Self Esteem Boston
Self Esteem Success- Self-Sufficiency Skills for Women in Correctional Programs
This grant will expand Self Esteem Boston's Essex County women's programs to a new site in Essex County: Women in Transition program at the Salisbury Correctional Center. This program fills a void in the service delivery system for women in recovery, who are in crisis, and are not being provided by other government or non-profit programs.      

The Open Door 
Healthy Girls Grow
This program provides two, 12-week nutritional education workshops, along with access to healthy foods to the students of O’Maley Innovation Middle School in Gloucester. The curriculum includes the science behind eating a balance of protein, carbohydrates and fat, open sessions for discussion, cooking demonstrations and meal kits. 

Wellspring House 
Medi-Clerk Training Program
The newly accredited and comprehensive Medi-Clerk Program offers disadvantaged women job training and placement in the thriving healthcare industry, while also awarding them college credit in a supportive environment. Funding from The Women's Fund allows the program to increase the number of women served from 30 to 50 per year and includes up to 24 months of career counseling and mentoring support to help women move toward rewarding careers and long-term financial stability. 

YWCA Northeastern Massachusetts
STEM Career Exploration for YWCA Girls Center
This grant supports a Career Exploration Program curriculum for girls ages 10-13, taking the existing STEM education component of the Girls Center to the next level, and giving this younger audience an understanding of where STEM knowledge and skills can be applied “in the real world.”  This experience will play an important role in each individual’s selection of high school, post-secondary courses and career paths. 


Grant process

Grant process

The Women’s Fund of Essex County supports highly effective nonprofit programs that provide outreach and life-skills training for women and girls in Essex County. We pinpoint programs with proven track records, clear objectives and established budgets. We evaluate and monitor each funded program’s success through written interim and final reports from grantee agencies.

Pooling all of our donations allows us to maximize the impact of each donor’s contribution across a range of issues and solutions. We make one-year to three-year grant commitments for program sustainability and impact. 

We are proud to have donated more than $2 million to programs impacting the lives of women and girls in Essex County. 

The Women’s Fund raises funds and awards grants to nonprofit agencies within Essex County that serve women and girls in need and at risk. Grants are awarded annually to programs that have a demonstrated success but require an additional infusion of funding to maximize their impact.

From skills training and employment-readiness, to the promotion of health and well being, financial literacy, empowerment and mentoring, The Women's Fund supports a wide range of programming targeted to helping women and girls grow stronger and more self-sufficient.

Funding Priorities

The Women’s Fund seeks to support existing programs that offer the most impact for the grant dollar. The Women’s Fund selects highly effective nonprofit programs that provide outreach and life skills for women and girls. We pinpoint programs with proven track records, clear objectives and established budgets. To this end, we focus on identifying programs that serve women or girls in any of our three fields of funding:

Economic Self-Sufficiency and Security

  • College, employment and career readiness

  • Stay-in-school mentoring and academic success strategies

  • Science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) support

  • Access to employment opportunities

  • Financial planning

  • Homelessness solutions

Health and Well Being

  • Safety and security

  • Gender, language and cultural barriers

  • Self-esteem

  • Prevention of abuse, harassment and bullying

  • Health promotion

  • Addiction Recovery

Leadership and Empowerment

  • Leadership skills for girls, teens and women

  • Gender barriers

  • Mentoring

  • Engaging women and girls in leadership roles

We then evaluate and monitor program success through on-site visits and by requiring written interim and final reports from grantee agencies.

  • The Women’s Fund provides a one-year to a three-year commitment for funded programs,with a preference for multi-year grants.

  • Agencies can reapply with a different program for funding each year.

  • Funded programs are eligible for consideration every three years.

  • Grants will be awarded up to $10,000 in one year, not to exceed $21,000 over three years for each program. Please note that $10,000 will only be granted for one year of a multi-year grant.

Geographic Limitations

We support nonprofit programs serving the residents of Essex County, MA. We prefer the organization be located in Essex County. 


The Women’s Fund is limited to nonsectarian programming for women and girls of Essex County 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 pilot programs with no proven track record

  • For debt or deficit reduction

  • For political purposes

  • For sectarian or religious purposes

  • For endowment or capital campaigns

  • For research or feasibility studies

The Women’s Fund will not be the sole funder of a program.  Our goal is to help an agency develop a diverse funding base to ensure its viability.

Application Deadline

Applications must be received no later than the first business day in December. Incomplete or late applications may not be considered. Grant awards are announced the following May 1st.

Application Instructions

The application is completely electronic. Agencies can create and save application drafts and make changes any time prior to submission.We archive all submitted applications, allowing agencies to view their grant history with The Women's Fund at any time. 

Grant Selection Process

  • The Women’s Fund Grants Allocation Committee carefully reviews applications beginning in early December and makes site visits in January, February and March to qualifying agencies.

  • The Committee vets final funding decisions in early April and makes recommendations for approval by The Women’s Fund Advisory Board and by the Essex County Community Foundation Board of Trustees.

  • Agency grant awards are announced May 1st of each year.

Reporting Requirements

All multi-year grants will be contingent upon satisfactory completion or good progress on the stated program goals. Agencies with multi-year grants will be required to submit an Interim Report by May 1st the year after receiving their initial grant and each May 1st thereafter for the term of the grant. The Women’s Fund will not award second-year or third-year grants until the Interim Report is received.  Final Reports for all grants are due by May 1st of the year the grant expires. (Link to the Grant Report Form on the button below)

For more information or to discuss a specific program, please contact:

Hehershe Busuego
Program Officer
Essex County Community Foundation
175 Andover Street, Suite 101, Danvers, MA 01923
Tel: 978-777-8876