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Hardscrabble Education Fund Grant Guidelines

Students using a Smart Board awarded by Hardscrabble
Hardscrabble Education Fund Grant Guidelines

PLEASE NOTE:  Beginning in 2017, the Hardscrabble Fund will support projects benefiting middle and high school students in the Lynn and Salem School Districts only.   Proposals will be considered that support instructional technology in regular mathematics and science classrooms. 


The Hardscrabble Education Fund began in 2002 with a gift from an anonymous donor who dreamed of making a difference in  six North Shore school districts:  Beverly, Lynn, Marblehead, Nahant, Salem and Swampscott. The teacher-generated proposals have included a broad array of projects that encourage experiential learning, promote teacher development, enhance technology in the classroom and augment instructional materials.  The Hardscrabble Education Fund has supported over $3 million in grants to teachers over the years.

"If the public school system were to fail in its mision, the foundation of our society would crumble. Without education, there can be no economic, no cultural, no physical, no intellectual well-being. The Hardscrabble Fund is a small step in the direction of a greater civility, an enlightened population and a stronger base of critical thinking." - Hardscrabble Founder

Funding Priorities

In 2017, priority consideration will be given to:

• Projects for middle and high school classrooms only.
• Proposals that support instructional technology in regular mathematics and science classrooms.
• Projects may encourage experiential learning.

One-year grants are awarded in amounts up to $5,000.


Only public middle or high schools operating within the constraints of local district rules are eligible for consideration. Public charter schools are not eligible. Proposals must be submitted by a teacher, principal or other professional staff member at the school. Only one application per person.  If teachers from an entire department or grade level are requesting the same grant, each teacher who will be  implementing the project in their classroom must submit an application. These individuals will also be responsible for submitting final reports.  Proposals submitted by outside consultants will not be considered.

Please note: Grants will remain with the original school if the applicant leaves his/her position before completing the project, provided that there is another teacher or staff person willing to take responsibility for the project.  Any change in project or lead teacher must first be approved by ECCF.

Application Deadline

Proposals are due April 15st.

Application Procedure

Proposals must be submitted through ECCF's


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

Applications are reviewed by an advisory committee and are generally awarded within 60 days. Site visits may be requested.

Reporting Requirements

Grant recipients must submit a final report by March 15th of the year after the award was made. If the project has not been completed, please submit an interim report, which should be followed by the final report at the end of the school year. Final reports should be submitted through the application portal.

For more information or to discuss a proposal idea, please contact:

Julie Bishop
Vice President for Philanthropy
Essex County Community Foundation
175 Andover Street, Suite 101, Danvers, MA 01923
Tel: 978-777-8876 x128
Email: j.bishop@eccf.org