The Fund for Excellence in Essex County (FEEC) supports nonprofit organizations in Essex County by providing capacity building grants. These grants strengthen nonprofit organizations ability to perform their work more effectively through improving their infrastructure. By investing in capacity building, ECCF is demonstrating our commitment to the foundational support of nonprofit organizations that will ultimately impact the people and places that make up our community of Essex County.
For the 2018 funding cycle, ECCF has two capacity building opportunities (note, we welcome applications for both opportunities):
Capacity building for Essex County Collaborations: In 2018, ECCF will award capacity building grants to nonprofit collaborations that have demonstrated the ability to work together and are committed to high-level impact in Essex County. These grants are designed to provide Essex County collaborations with the capacity building funding that will transform their ability to reach their full potential.
- Institute for Trustees Scholarships: As part of our ongoing commitment to supporting capacity building, nonprofit organizations in Essex County can apply for scholarships for their board members and Executive Directors to attend the Institute for Trustees (IFT). The IFT is the region’s premier training opportunity for nonprofit leadership. See eccf.org/ift to learn more about the Institute.
Please see the specific guidelines outlined below for each of these opportunities.
1. Capacity building for Essex County Collaborations: Collaboration can be a powerful tool to combine spheres of influence, cost efficiencies, align work, strategies, and innovate. ECCF recognizes the value of collaboration as one of the many important tools to affect the greatest good. To that end, we are committed to supporting the capacity of organizations working on existing collaborative efforts across Essex County. Our intention is to provide collaborations in Essex County with a one-time transformational grant that will help them reach their full potential. In 2018, ECCF will award capacity building grants to nonprofit collaborations in Essex County who demonstrate how a capacity building grant from ECCF will elevate their work to new levels, allowing them to reach their full potential and ultimately those they set out to serve.
The 2018 awards will be one-year grants of up to $15,000. Funding is limited and the grant program is highly competitive.
ECCF understands that collaborations have many costs. Examples of possible funding opportunities include but are not limited to:
- Evaluation and measurement
- Technical support
- Consultant fees related to strategic development or collaborative execution
- Systems integration
- Time of senior staff to develop the collaboration
- Professional development for senior staff
- Equipment that is solely related to the collaboration
Grants will not be awarded:
- To individuals
- To organizations located outside of Essex County
- For sectarian or religious purposes
- For political purposes
- For debt or deficit reduction
- For capital campaigns for buildings, land acquisition or endowment
- To support academic research
- To address funding gaps due to mismanagement or poor planning
- To support work that has already taken place
- For purposes which are generally a public sector responsibility
- For feasibility studies
- For website development
- To state and local government agencies
2. Institute For Trustees (IFT) Scholarships: As part of our ongoing commitment to supporting capacity building, nonprofit organizations in Essex County can apply for scholarships for their board members and Executive Directors to attend the Institute for Trustees (IFT). The IFT is the region’s premier training opportunity for nonprofit leadership. See eccf.org/ift to learn more about the Institute. ECCF awards up to 3 scholarships per applying 501c(3) organization. This scholarship only covers tuition fees to attend the IFT. Emphasis is given to organizations that demonstrate the need of the prospective scholarship recipients.
Collaborations will be judged on their ability to demonstrate effective and exemplary models that affect change in Essex County, Massachusetts. ECCF seeks grant making opportunities where the investment of up to $15,000 can make a difference. When reviewing grant proposals we will look for collaborations that:
• Demonstrate a well thought out strategy to affect change in Essex County
• Demonstrate aligned leadership across the collaborative
• Demonstrated the ability to work together
• Evidence that the request will help transform the collaboration’s ability to meet its goal.
• Evidence that the grant will help the organization secure future funding, affiliation, stability or other benefit
• Evidence that the collaborative and its objectives meet a documented need of Essex County residents
• Proposal completeness, clarity and conciseness
Massachusetts 501(c)3 agencies located in and serving Essex County citizens working in the broad areas of arts and culture, education, environment, healthy, social and community services and youth development. Please note that there is no longer a limit on the size of the organization's operating budget to be eligible to apply. Due to some additional funding opportunities, ECCF is encouraging proposals from organizations with missions relating to the environment.
ECCF is committed to non-discrimination. We support organizations that use all reasonable efforts to recruit, hire, train, promote and serve persons without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, age, disability, or any other characteristic protected by law, except where such status is a bona fide qualification for the service being provided and is related to the organization's mission.
Stand-alone programs within umbrella organizations may be eligible for capacity building support if they meet the following criteria:
- The umbrella organization provides the 501(c)3 status but not much more
- The program has a separate budget and must raise its own funds to cover this budget. The umbrella organization may cover a small amount of the administrative costs.
- There is a letter of agreement/understanding between the program and the umbrella organization.
Collaboration grant application: 5 PM Monday March 12, 2018. Notification will be by the end of April.
Institute for Trustees scholarship application: 5 PM Thursday February 15, 2018. Notification will be by March 1 to ensure attendees the ability to register for the sessions of their choice at the IFT.
Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted.
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.
ECCF staff reviews all proposals, completes site visits and makes funding recommendations to the ECCF Board of Trustees for approval.
Our review process takes approximately one month to complete. Proposals that do not meet the submission deadline or grant guidelines will be screened out and applicants will receive early notification of their denial. Otherwise email responses to grant applicants are sent after the Board vote.
Fund for Excellence in Essex County Grant Awards
Collaboration grant awardees will be invited to receive their grant award at ECCF’s Celebration of Giving Breakfast on Thursday May 3, 2018.
Agencies receiving grants from the Fund for Excellence in Essex County must submit a final report on their project by January 1st of the year following the grant award. Final reports are required in order to be eligible for future grant funding. If projects are not complete by the January 1st deadline, agencies should submit an Interim Report on their progress and request an extension.
For more information or to discuss a program idea, please contact:
Carol Lavoie Schuster
Vice President for Grants & Services
Essex County Community Foundation
175 Andover Street, Suite 101 Danvers, MA 01923
Tel: 978-777-8876 x 133