Gracie Fund

Award Size: Student loan reimbursement of up to $5,000, renewable for up to 3 years
Application Deadline: July 15
Gracie Fund Application: Word 

History and Purpose

The Gracie Fund offers student loan reimbursement incentives to encourage natives of Washington County, or those who consider Washington County their “home,” to establish roots in the community following completion of their post-secondary education. Applications are invited from students who have recently completed school and are building a professional and personal life in Washington County.

The Gracie Fund fosters community development by helping recipients connect to Washington County through their commitment to a career and community service.

Please note: The IRS considers these awards taxable income.

Community Service

The key component of the Gracie Fund program is community service. With the assistance of the fund administrators, participants will develop a volunteer action plan outlining short- and long-terms goals based on their interests and skills. Washington County offers a multitude of volunteer opportunities. Action plans might entail working with a local development group on attracting businesses to the area, assisting in designing a comprehensive plan for a town, volunteering with a local arts or human services agency, or serving on a town board.

Participants will be connected to the area’s leaders and organizations by the staff at the Sunrise County Economic Council, which has developed networks and partnerships of residents working together for the benefit of Washington County, many of whom are graduates of the Washington County Leadership Institute.

Eligibility Requirements

  • The Gracie Fund invites applications from natives of Washington County, or those who consider Washington County their “home,” who have recently completed school successfully and are building a professional and personal life in Washington County. Preference will be given to applicants moving back to Washington County.
  • Applicants must commit to fulfill their community service obligation by volunteering with a Washington County organization (e.g., social services agency, library, school, church, sports team, etc.).
  • Applicants must commit to active participation in the Gracie program (building an action plan, attending semi-annual meetings of Gracie participants).
  • Preference is given to applicants who intend to work and live in Washington County for a minimum of two years.

Selection Criteria

Award consideration will be based on:

  • Evidence of a strong commitment to establishing roots in Washington County
  • Evidence of prior community service
  • Evidence of financial need

How to Apply

Download the application above and mail it to:

Gracie Fund
Maine Community Foundation
245 Main Street
Ellsworth, ME 04605

When to Apply

All applications and required information sent separately must be postmarked by July 15. Incomplete applications or those postmarked after this date will not be processed.


The Maine Community Foundation and the Sunrise County Economic Council, located in Washington County, jointly administer the Gracie Fund. For more information, contact either organization.