The Women’s Fund of Essex County is a community of women, families and businesses dedicated to creating social change for women and girls in need or at risk.  Our vision is to empower all women and girls to meet their full potential.

We raise funds and make grants to targeted nonprofit programs in Essex County that are changing the lives of women and girls in significant and sustainable ways.  In addition, we work to raise awareness of the needs and issues impacting local women and girls, and of the power of women's philanthropy to help change our community and world.

We focus on Essex County because we believe that the most sustainable change begins locally.


Our Work

Our primary work is to raise funds and make grants to selected nonprofit programs in Essex County that are serving women and girls in the following fields of focus: economic self-sufficiency and security, health and well-being, and leadership and empowerment. 

Through our grantmaking, we simplify donor decision-making. Our extensive due diligence enables us to find targeted, effective programs that have significant impact on the lives of women and girls.  Some of these programs may not be on the radar of most donors.  We pool individual donations maximizing the impact of each donor’s contribution across a range of issues and solutions.  We fund programs where our donors’ support really makes a difference. 

We finance these grants by raising funds through our Annual Appeal, on-line donations, business and foundation donors, and our popular fundraising events.

By and for Women

In 2003 eight visionary and passionate women created The Women’s Fund. Today we are a vibrant volunteer organization dedicated to creating transformative social change for women and girls, and, by extension, families and communities.

Our Executive Committee and Advisory Board have broad philanthropic, community and professional experience ensuring strong governance and oversight. Our mission and decisions are guided by written bylaws, a disciplined and transparent grant process, and periodic strategic reviews. We maintain a strong and growing reserve fund.

Advisory Board

2016-2017 Board:
Lynn Bryant, President, Rosemary French, Vice President, Kathryn Harris, Treasurer, Sheridan Maguire, Secretary, Susan Robie, Grants, Kennon Anderson, Susan Beckmann, Gretchen Berg, Meg Erickson, Becky Hallowell, ArriAnna Harvey, Francie Hill, Cara Hutchins, Pam Jaynes, Alison McMaster, Rachel Pohl, Debbie Powell, Wendy Roworth and Jane Stark.

The Community Foundation

The Women's Fund is a field of interest fund of Essex County Community Foundation (ECCF). ECCF bears the fiduciary responsibility of the fund by providing the 501(c)(3) tax exemption for all donations. The Foundation also provides administrative support and oversees the effective management of the financial assets of The Women’s Fund. For more information, visit www.eccf.org.

The Women's Funding Network

In January 2011, The Women's Fund of Essex County joined The Women’s Funding Network (WFN) and their more than 160 women’s organizations spanning 30 countries, including public charities, foundations and funds.  WFN was established in 1985 as a global movement to optimize the success of women’s organizations to create change by giving its members access to a forum of shared knowledge, ideas, tools, consultancy and training.