Our Grants

Thanks to the generosity of our individual, business and foundation contributors, The Women's Fund has awarded $1,335,000 to over 90 nonprofit programs across Essex County directly benefiting thousands of women and girls by providing the outreach, skills, knowledge and mentoring for their self-sufficiency and self-determination.

Our Grants

  • Big Sister Association: Community Based Mentoring

  • Girls Scouts of Eastern Mass.: FabFactor – Finance & Business Series

  • YWCA of Greater Lawrence: Women’s Health Advocacy Project

  • Jeanne Geiger/GISA: Project Bold – Action for Safety

  • Express Yourself: Who Run’s the World? Girls!

Total Grants: $1,335,000

The Women's Fund seeks out and funds highly effective nonprofit programs which provide outreach and life skills for women and girls. Our goal is to identify those points of intervention in the lives of women and girls in need or at risk that can change their future. Our grants address issues in economic self-sufficiency and security, health and well-being, and leadership and empowerment.

We pool individual donations, maximizing the impact of each donor's contribution across a range of issues and solutions.

We target programs with proven track records, clear objectives and established budgets. We evaluate and monitor program success through on-site visits, and by requiring written interim and final reports from grantee agencies.

We make 1 to 3 year grant commitments for program sustainability.  Multi-year funding is contingent upon successful evaluation each year of the program’s alignment and progress to goals.

2016 Grant Awards: $280,000

Leadership & Empowerment:  $66,000, Economic Self-sufficiency & Security:  $111,000, Health & Well-being:  $103,000

2016 Recipients

Bellesini Academy
After-School Enrichment and Evening Study Program for Girls’ School
Middle-school girls at Bellesini Academy in Lawrence participate in enrichment activities after the academic day to promote personal growth and to prevent negative behavior that can arise from unstructured and unsupervised after school time. The activities are broad in range, including sports, art, choir, computer programming, drama, service club, study hall and others.

Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence
Girls Academic Basketball Program
BGCL holds middle-school aged girls accountable for strong academics and character in this after school basketball program. In addition to playing time, the girls are mentored, provided tutoring and other supports to promote successful and healthy lifestyle choices.

Bridgewell, Inc.
Women’s Residential Program
Bridgewell’s program in Lynn is for female residents receiving substance abuse treatment. Funding is for for life-skills development and recreational activities which assist in recovery including art therapy, physical activity through YMCA memberships, and music opportunities.

Budget Buddies, Inc.
Building Capacity for the Budget Buddies Financial Literacy Program
Budget Buddies works with local social service agencies to facilitate financial literacy programming for women through instructional workshops and volunteer-led, one-to-one mentoring.  Funding this year has allowed for an expansion to mothers of Head Start children in the Greater Lawrence Community Action program, and to the participants in the Family Self-Sufficency programs offered by the Andover and Methuen housing authorities.

Citizens for Adequate Housing
Building Resilient Families
This program, for homeless Lynn area families living at Inn Between and Inn Transition, strives to build stability and resilience through its Art Therapy for Children program, in-house mental health counseling, and workshops on nutrition, safety, substance abuse, and health education. The goal is to break the cycles that lead families to homelessness.

Safe Haven
An all-volunteer, female-led organization in Lawrence, Delamano offers a 24-hour hotline for domestic violence victims, and provides them and their families with immediate access to transportation and emergency housing. Victims remain connected to Delamano until they are placed in more permanent shelter and are directed to local social service agencies for further support.

Esperanza Academy
Graduate Support Program
Esperanza Academy is a tuition-free private school serving middle-school Lawrence girls. A goal of Esperanza is to create a college-bound culture. The Graduate Support Program is designed to provide academic and social supports necessary for alumnae to succeed in high school, college, and beyond. After girls graduate from Esperanza, they still receive support from the school and many return to serve as mentors and role models to the younger girls.

Family Promise North Shore Boston
Family Partnership Component
This program offers homeless families shelter in several area churches and synagogues, while providing the families with intensive case management, support and advocacy.  After attaining housing, the families are then provided with transitional counseling support for up to a year. Often this support is provided by mentors who have been served by the program.

Family Services of the Merrimack Valley
Big Friends/Little Friends Community-Based Mentoring
Family Services matches girls aged 6 to 17 throughout the Merrimack Valley with adult female mentors. This program supports the ongoing relationships in multiple ways to ensure that the girls have positive role models and encouragement to overcome difficult circumstances.

Girls Inc. of Lynn
Project SOAR (Skills and Opportunities for Academic Resilience)
A college- and career-readiness program for at-risk junior and senior girls, Project SOAR provides weekly case management support as well as one-on-one mentoring for seniors as they navigate the college admissions process.

Healing Abuse Working for Change (HAWC)
Support Groups
HAWC provides group therapy in multiple Essex County locations and in several languages to aid women recovering from domestic violence. Led by trained advocates, the women are offered emotional support, empowerment strategies, and access to resources to facilitate their future security.

LEAP for Education
Girls Who Code
An after-school and summer provider of STEM education programs, LEAP has partnered with the national organization Girls Who Code to teach computer science and to stimulate interest in tech-related fields to girls in Salem and neighboring towns.

Lynn Economic Opportunity
Pregnant and Parenting Teen Support
This program offers individual case management support to pregnant and parenting teen girls. The young women are visited by home counselors who identify specific needs, are offered services of a registered nurse, attend a 10-session support group, and have their infants enrolled in either Early Head Start home-visit care or center-based care.

Domestic Workers’ Rights and Empowerment in Essex County
MataHari provides grassroots leadership development and empowerment of domestic workers (nannies, caregivers, and housecleaners) in the greater Lynn area to increase wages, raise standards and improve working conditions through public advocacy and education, job training and professional development, and mutual support.  

North Shore Elder Services
Improving Health Outcomes for L.I.F.E.
The goal of this program is to provide low-income frail elders living at home an improved quality of life. In monthly visits by registered nurses, barriers to self-care are identified, and trained volunteers provide medical advocacy and accompany elders to medical appointments.

Notre Dame Education Center
Nursing Assistant Job Readiness Training
NDEC offers Lawrence area women the opportunity to train to become nursing assistants and home health aides. One component of these 9-week, 5-day per week courses is job-readiness preparation, where the adult learners are allowed job shadowing opportunities, are coached on resume writing and interview skills, and are given other tools to successfully enter the medical services job market.

Pathways for Children
Teen Mentor Program
A component of Pathways’ Family Enrichment Program, the Teen Mentor Program trains high school girls to serve as mentors to children ages 5-12 in need of strong role models. The volunteer mentors undergo an intensive screening and training and meet weekly with their mentees on site in Gloucester where there is access to the services of a social worker.

RAW Art Works
Free Afterschool and Out of School Arts Programming for Underserved Girls
RAW uses the power of art to engage at-risk girls ages 7 to 20 from the Lynn area. In a safe, supportive environment, trained art therapists and teaching artists offer several programs designed to intervene in the lives of these young women to build skills for securing a successful future. RAW’s college mentoring and counseling programs for juniors and seniors ensure that 68% of their students go on to 4-year colleges (far exceeding Lynn and state averages) with the balance going on to community college or professional training programs.

The Open Door
Women and Children First to Good Food
The Open Door in Gloucester, in addition to serving the community as a food pantry, provides wrap-around case management services to low-income women heads of households and their children to ensure access to nutritious food and nutrition education. The program includes communal meals, recipe distribution, counseling on nutrition, and assistance in accessing benefits and support offered by partner agencies.

Tri-Town Council
Stand Tall!
Middle-school girls in Boxford, Topsfield, and Middleton who participate in this program attend workshops that focus on leadership and strategies to cope with the difficult issues that arise in this age group. They build self-confidence and resiliency in these weekly sessions.

Wellspring House
Medi-Clerk Job Training
In collaboration with North Shore Medical Center in Salem, Wellspring trains low-income women for medical clerical jobs in hospitals or physicians’ offices. In addition to technical skills training and job shadowing, the program’s components include career counseling, job placement support, and a year of follow-up support.

Windrush Farm
Equine-Assisted Activities for Amirah Residents
This program, for victims of sexual trafficking who reside at the Amirah safe house, uses the power of relationships with horses to help the women heal. In a safe and supportive environment, trained instructors lead the participants in *powerful equine-assisted  exercises that help them learn to trust, gain self-esteem and renewed confidence.

YWCA of Greater Lawrence
Strong Voices, Safe Choices
The YWCA offers victims of domestic violence a program with therapeutic activities designed to help women recover their sense of well-being and personal safety. In partnership with IMPACT Boston, the women are given training in self-defense and effective tools to prevent and defuse potentially demeaning or violent situations.

Past Grant Recipients