Leading Change. Transforming Communities.

Greater Lawrence Summer Fund

A Family Services youth trip funded by GLSF
Greater Lawrence Summer Fund

Powering Summer Opportunities

The Greater Lawrence Summer Fund (GLSF) focuses on closing the opportunity and achievement gaps for thousands of low-income youth in greater Lawrence each year by providing enrichment activities during out-of-school time.

For over 25 years, this fund has supported high-quality summer programs that:

  • Enhance social, academic and emotional abilities
  • Discourage unhealthy behaviors by providing safe alternatives
  • Reduce summer learning loss, which has been shown to widen the achievement gap between low-income youth and their more affluent peers

Funding Priorities

The Greater Lawrence Summer Fund (GLSF) supports enriching summer opportunities for inner-city school-aged children and teens in the Greater Lawrence communities by connecting donors with agencies in need of funding for such programs. GLSF seeks to achieve maximum impact of philanthropic dollars by supporting programs that:

  • Respond to community needs with high quality summer programs for as many school-age youth as possible in Greater Lawrence.
  • Provide young people with opportunities for skill development, personal growth and exposure to new experiences.
  • Provide enriching educational opportunities that address summer learning loss and the opportunity gap often affecting youth in low-income communities.
  • Promote and encourage interaction and communication among youth and staff from different ethnic and racial backgrounds and from different neighborhoods.

In addition, GLSF is seeking to support the revitalization of the Lawrence Public Schools. To that end, GLSF is also interested in programs that:

  • Partner with the Lawrence Public Schools (one or many schools within the system) to provide collaborative and creative educational summer opportunities for youth. Please note that agencies applying for such funding may submit more than one application to GLSF. For example: Agency XYZ has a new program that they are working on in collaboration with the schools. In addition, Agency XYZ has a program for which they traditionally apply to GLSF. Agency XYZ is allowed to apply to GLSF for both programs.


Applicants must have a 501(c)(3) tax status under the IRS tax code and serve residents of the designated communities of Lawrence, Andover, North Andover and Methuen.

Agencies located outside the area are eligible to apply for funding but proposals must include details on the number of Greater Lawrence youth participating. Such programs should reserve the funds received from GLSF to youth from the designated communities. Transportation is a factor in approving such programs. Evaluation of these programs includes the response to the needs of urban youth.

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 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 raises its own funds to cover this budget. Note: If the program has only a small amount of administrative costs covered by the umbrella organization, they are still eligible to apply.
  • There is a letter of agreement/understanding between the program and the umbrella organization.
  • The program is core to the mission of the umbrella organization and serves a substantial number of the core client population.

GLSF grants will not be awarded:

  • To individuals.
  • For sectarian or religious purposes. Note: GLSF is limited to non-sectarian programming for youth of all religious and ethnic backgrounds. Programs sponsored by religious organizations are eligible, provided enrollment is open to all youth, and the program is free of mandatory religious instruction, worship, or other sectarian activities.
  • For political purposes.
  • For debt or deficit reduction.
  • For capital campaigns for buildings, land acquisition or endowment.
  • To support academic research.

Residential camps should meet American Camping Association (ACA) guidelines. Day programs should meet the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) licensing requirements.

Selection Criteria

In addition to the program objectives outlined above, applicants should consider the following criteria:

  • The management staff should have considerable administrative experience, and there should be involvement of the Executive Director and Board of Directors in the planning and monitoring of the summer activities.
  • An orientation should be provided for all staff members involved in the program which should include program philosophy, the needs of youth served, and multicultural issues. Special supervision and training is strongly recommended for teen employees.
  • The program should be fiscally sound with a balanced budget.
  • Funds must be used for program operation, not capital expenditures.

Application Deadline

Proposals must be submitted online by no later than March 15th.

 Incomplete or late proposals will not be considered.

Application Procedures

Agencies participating in GLSF should not submit separate proposals for their summer program to donors participating in this coordinated grantmaking process. For the published list of GLSF donors, please see our 2013 GLSF Donor Report. An agency may submit proposals to donors who are not part of the coordinated process.

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 & Funding Process

ECCF staff, together with the GLSF Committee members, reviews all proposals to the Fund in early spring of each year.  The Committee makes grant recommendations to the ECCF Board of Trustees for approval. The review process takes approximately two months. Our goal is to notify agencies by the end of May of the grant award, well in advance of program start dates.

Proposals that do not meet deadlines or guidelines are screened out by the Committee and will receive early notification.

The GLSF Committee awards grants to agencies based on need and quality of programming.  These are established through Committee proposal reviews and the information gained through annual site visits which are done while the programs are in session.

A staff person or member of the Committee may contact applicants for additional information about a proposal or to arrange a site visit during the review process.  The Committee may also contact other funders, community leaders or local agencies to learn more about the organization applying for funds and to discuss the outlined plans.  Copies of proposals submitted to ECCF may be shared with others during the review process.

Please note: The Committee conducts site visits each summer to a select number of agencies. If you are a new applicant to GLSF (or have received funding in the past and skipped a few years but are now reapplying) and you receive funding, we will require a site visit to your agency.

GLSF is a donor collaborative fund, and is therefore funded by a variety of donors that include individuals, corporations and foundations. In addition, we have two foundations who give "in parallel" by working alongside the GLSF Committee on selecting programs to fund. The grant awards from these funders may come either through ECCF or directly from these foundations. We will work diligently to communicate with GLSF grant recipients who recieve awards from our parallel funders.

Reporting Requirements

GLSF grant recipients must submit a final report by November 1st. If Final Reports are not received by this date, applications will not be accepted for the following grant cycle. Please complete your GLSF Final Report via the application portal. 

For more information or discussion of a project or program idea, please contact:

Hehershe Busuego
Program Officer
Essex County Community Foundation
175 Andover Street, Suite 101, Danvers, MA 01923
Tel: 978-777-8876 x128
Email: h.busuego@eccf.org