Who we are


Who we are

In 2003, eight visionary and passionate women created The Women’s Fund. Today, our volunteer board of 21 women is dedicated to creating positive social change for local families and communities.

Our Advisory Board has broad philanthropic, community, and professional experience, ensuring strong governance and oversight. Our mission and decisions are guided by written bylaws, a disciplined and transparent grant process, and periodic strategic reviews. We maintain a strong  reserve fund.

Through our rigorous grants allocation process we support a broad platform of carefully selected programs. They target solutions to complex and overlapping social issues impacting women, families and communities.

We are fortunate to have a broader community of women, families and businesses who, through fundraisers, annual appeals and volunteer projects, magnify the impact of our work. 

We are creating change, together.

George Peabody Award

2018 Awards Luncheon

Thank you to eveyone who supported our 16th Annual Grant Awards Luncheon. We celebrated the outstanding work that the eighteen agencies we funded this year are doing on behalf of women and girls in Essex County. Our featured speaker, Ted Bunch, Chief Development Officer of A CALL TO MEN, shared his work inviting men to join the conversation and change the messages we give today's youth in order to end all forms of violence and discrimination against women and girls.

Photos By: Alyse Gause Photography

2019 Power of the Purse

Inspired by the Victor Hugo saying, “As the purse is emptied, the heart is filled,” this community-building fundraiser features a raffle that offers chances to win distinctive handbags donated by renown designers and retailers. All the proceeds from this event are awarded to nonprofit programs that offer critical interventions and life skills to women and girls in need or at risk in Essex County. Power of the Purse 2019 was held at The Academy at Penguin Hall in Wenham. The generous donations from Timothy S. Hopkins Catering, PSP Imports, Notch Brewing, Alyse Gause Photography, and J Barrett & Company made for an enjoyable evening. 
Photos by: Alyse Gause Photography


Other Galleries

2018 Power of the Purse




Seated: Lisa Parker, Francie Hill, Bobbi Whiting, Sheridan Maguire, Ro French, Kennon Anderson, Elaine Quinn.
Standing: Liz Cartland, Joyce McMahon, Gretchen Berg, Susan Robie, Kim Trudel, Rebecca Riff, Willa Worsfold, Wendy Roworth, Sarah Wolfgang, Betsy Hopkins, Alison McMaster. Absent: Trish Moore. Photo by: Alyse Gause Photography

Advisory Board

  • Ro French, President
    Elaine Quinn, Vice President
    Bobbi Whiting, Treasurer
    Sheridan Maguire, Secretary
    Lisa Parker, Grants Allocation Committee Chair

  • Kennon Anderson
    Gretchen Berg
    Liz Cartland
    Francie Hill
    Betsy Hopkins
    Joyce McMahon
    Alison McMaster
    Trish Moore
    Rebecca Riff
    Susan Robie
    Wendy Roworth
    Kim Trudel
    Sarah Wolfgang
    Willa Worsfold

Grants Allocation Committee

Grants Allocation Committee

Grants Allocation Committee

  • Lisa Parker, Chair

  • Susan Beckmann
    Emily Gonzalez
    Leslie Hammond
    Francie Hill
    Susan Howell
    Cara Hutchins
    Rebecca Imperiali
    Katelyn Lordan
    Melissa Lorenzo-Hervé

  • Anne Mauck
    Beth Payson
    Debbie Powell
    Rebecca Riff
    Susan Robie
    Lisa Ann Santin
    Priscilla Schwarzenbach
    Sheila Serrao
    Bobbye Lou Sims
    Bobbi Whiting
    Sara Wolfgang

Essex County Community Foundation

The Women's Fund is a field of interest fund of Essex County Community Foundation (ECCF). ECCF is our fiscal agent and provides our 501(c)(3) tax- exempt status. The Foundation also provides administrative support and oversees the effective management of the financial assets of The Women’s Fund. For more information, visit


The Women’s Funding Network


The Women’s Fund of Essex County is a proud member of The Women’s Funding Network (WFN). The WFN was established in 1985 as a global movement to optimize the success of women’s organizations, giving its members access to a forum of shared knowledge, ideas, tools, consultancy, and training. Through the WFN, we are one of more than 160 other women’s organizations that span 30 countries, including public charities, foundations and funds.

We invite you to get involved.