2018 Grant Recipients


2018 Grant Recipients

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




Economic Self Sufficiency and Security  |   $101,000

Health & Well Being  |  $105,000

Leadership & Empowerment  |  $69,000


Amirah, Inc.

Survivor Mentoring Program

In a safe home for victims of sexual trafficking, Amirah offers whole person care to help survivors recover from physical and emotional trauma.


Anna Jaques Community Health Foundation

Taking a Stand Against Opioid Abuse

A trusting, therapeutic relationship is developed with pregnant women in the Newburyport area identified as showing risk factors of drug addiction. They are provided with coordinated care and supports through case management, counseling and referrals.


Bellesini Academy

Alumni Support Program

This program aims to continue this Lawrence school’s support of its female graduates throughout the rest of their academic careers. Through application guidance, school visits, and other services, the school continues its relationship with the graduates,

 creating a community that fosters future success.


Beyond Soccer, Inc.

Girls in Sports Programs

Enabling Lawrence girls of all ages to participate in soccer programs, this organization connects girls to leadership and mentoring opportunities, healthy living guidance, and academic support.



CSEC Outreach Program

This Lynn organization addresses the issue of Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children by implementing the My Life My Choice Program for young girls in their residential housing. The curriculum’s three facets are prevention, intervention and transition support, and aims to increase awareness levels of girls who are vulnerable to commercial sexual predators.


Community Action Inc.

Head Start Financial Literacy and Mentoring Program

Using the highly regarded Budget Buddies curriculum, CAI helps mothers whose children are in the Head Start programs in the Haverhill area gain financial literacy.


Compass Working Capital

Family Self-Sufficiency Program in Lynn

Compass works with Lynn residents in subsidized housing to build assets through intensive financial coaching and savings opportunities, enabling them to attain their financial goals and security.


Emmaus, Inc.

The Empowerment Project at the D’Youville Center for Social Justice

Homeless women in the Emmaus’ Haverhill shelters are able to build self-esteem, to learn to cope with trauma-related stress, and access tools and workshops for fostering economic self-sufficiency.


Family Services of the Merrimack Valley

Stand and Deliver

Public school Lawrence girls are offered one-on-one academic mentoring with volunteer business professionals on site at Pfizer, New Balance, Raytheon and other leading Essex County businesses.


Groundwork Lawrence

Cooking Matters Program

GWL utilizes the national Cooking Matters program to educate Lawrence women and their families on nutrition and budgeting for healthy food shopping. In the cooking classes, the participants learn how to integrate healthy foods into culturally appropriate



Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center

Empowerment and Wellness Workshops

Domestic violence victims in the Newburyport area are served by an array of free Wellness Workshops and support groups as part of the Center’s trauma-informed approach to helping participants heal physically and emotionally from abuse.


Lazarus House

Opening Doors out of Poverty through Culinary Work Prep

Participants in this intensive program in Lawrence receive 200 hours of training from local professional chefs and are placed in paid internships with the goal of securing permanent job security.


LEAP for Education

Sisters for Success

This Salem organization offers a self-esteem and confidence-building program for high school girls. Meeting bi-weekly with LEAP staff and community partners, the girls come together in a safe, non-judgmental space in the Teen Center, and are empowered to share challenges in their lives and to learn strategies to attain a successful future.



Lifebridge Women’s Groups

Homeless single women in the Seeds of Hope Housing in Salem are provided with comprehensive support groups, which focus on health and well-being, job training and art therapy.


Northeast Hospital Corp. (Beverly Hospital)

Connecting Young Moms

This program offers pre- and post-natal support for low-income women with their Doula program, group workshops, support groups, and enrichment opportunities, all of which help these mothers attain their parenting, educational, and occupational goals.


Pathways for Children

Parents as Advocates and Leaders

Cape Ann mothers of children enrolled in Head Start and Early Head Start are offered unique opportunities as Policy Council members. Their experiences on the Council empower the women, and serve as a platform to improve their child’s educational experiences, as well as expanded job and leadership advocacy opportunities.


RAW Art Works

Women Art Muralists

High school girls enrolled in the WAM program are offered weekly sessions during the school year and into the summer. Girls work with an art therapist and community partners to create public murals, sculptures and other works of art throughout the Lynn community.


Russian Community Association of Massachusetts

Refugee Service and Leadership Teams

This program serves Lynn-area refugee girls in grades 6 through 12 and their mothers, with the goal of preparing these newly-arrived immigrants for mainstream programming. Cultural differences and barriers to societal integration are addressed, and the women and girls are empowered to become engaged members of their communities through service learning projects.



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 almost $2 million to over 100 programs that truly change lives. 

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