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Fund for Excellence in Essex County (FEEC) Grant

Grants to Essex County, Massachusetts Nonprofits
to Build Capacity and Improve Effectiveness

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Essex County Community Foundation (ECCF)

Deadline Date:

02/15/18 - for Institute for Trustees Scholarship; 3/12/2018 - for Collaboration Grants


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Grants of up to $15,000 to Essex County, Massachusetts nonprofits for capacity building efforts to help improve their ability to serve local residents in the broad areas of arts and culture, education, environment, health, social and community services, and youth development.

For the 2018 funding cycle, ECCF has two capacity building 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 innovations. ECCF recognizes the value of collaboration as one of the many important tools to affect the greatest good. To that end, ECCF is committed to supporting the capacity of organizations working on existing collaborative efforts across Essex County.

As such, ECCF will award capacity building grants to nonprofit collaboration 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.

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

2. Institute for Trustees Scholarships:

As part of the Foundation's ongoing commitment to supporting capacity building, ECCF will award scholarships to attend the Institute for Trustees (IFT) to board members and executive directors of nonprofit organizations in Essex County. The IFT is the region’s premier training opportunity for nonprofit leadership. See to learn more about the Institute.

ECCF awards up to three 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.

Selection Criteria:

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. ECCF seeks grant making opportunities where our investment can make a difference. When reviewing Fund grant proposals ECCF 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

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 167154

Number of Grants:

For the Institute for Trustees Scholarships, ECCF awards up to three scholarships per applying 501c(3) organization.

Estimated Size of Grant:

Grants for the Capacity Building for Essex County Collaborations category will be up to $15,000.

Term of Contract:

Grants for the Capacity Building for Essex County Collaborations category will be one-year grants.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

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. ECCF supports 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.


For the Capacity Building for Essex County Collaborations category, 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

Pre-Application Information:

How to Apply:

Application Deadline:

Collaboration Grant Applications are due by 5:00 PM Monday March 12, 2018. Notification will be by the end of April.

Institute for Trustees Scholarship Applications are due by 5:00 PM 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.

All grant awardees will be invited to receive their grant award at ECCF’s Celebration of Giving Breakfast on Thursday May 3, 2018.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply online at:

Staff Contact:

Carol Lavoie Schuster
Vice President for Grants and Services
978-777-8876 x33

General Contact Information:

Essex County Community Foundation
175 Andover Street, Suite 101
Danvers, MA 01923

Phone: 978.777.8876

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Massachusetts: Essex County