Fund for Excellence in Essex County Grant

Essex County Community Foundation

Grant amount: US $1,000 - US $7,500

Anticipated deadline: Jan 15, 2019

Applicant type: Nonprofit

Funding uses: General Operating Expense, Capital Project

Location of project: Essex County, Massachusetts

Location of residency: Essex County, Massachusetts

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The Fund for Excellence in Essex County (FEEC) grants support specific projects that strengthen the capacity of a nonprofit organization to perform its work more effectively through improving their infrastructure. For the 2017 funding cycle ECCF will award FEEC grants to assist nonprofits to strengthen an organization’s Board of Directors. Grants will be given for the following kinds of projects:

  • Recruitment of new Board members
  • Orientation of Board members
  • Training and education of Board members
  • Board coaching
  • Board/CEO relations
  • Board diversity
  • Board succession planning
  • Scholarships for attendance at the Institute for Trustees

ECCF awards one-year grants of up to $7,500. Funding is limited and the grant program is highly competitive.

Funding for equipment is limited to purchases those that are part of the overall capacity building project.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Organization eligibility:
    • 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.
  • 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.
    • The program is core to the mission of the umbrella organization and serves a substantial number of the core client population.


  • Due to some additional funding opportunities, ECCF is encouraging proposals from organizations with missions relating to the environment.
  • Projects will be judged on their ability to help the organization manage positive change, improve services, meet their mission and programs, strengthen financial stability and develop potential for other funding sources.
  • When reviewing Fund grant proposals we will look for:
    • Nonprofit organizations that have a sound plan for use of the funds to strengthen their capacity as a nonprofit organization serving Essex County
    • Evidence that the project will help the organization improve its ability to meet its mission.
    • Evidence that the grant will help the organization secure future funding, affiliation, stability or other benefit
    • Evidence that the organization and its programs that meet a documented need of Essex County residents
    • Proposal completeness, clarity and conciseness


  • In addition, 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
  • Staff salaries are not eligible for funding, however, consultant fees directly tied to developing the capacity of the organization to successfully transition may be considered.

About this funder:

View past grantees & full 990 summary