Frances Hollis Brain Foundation Fund

Number of grants awarded: 31 grants totaling $175,740
Average grant size: $5,500
Percentage of Stage 2 applicants that received grants: 83 percent
Application deadline: April 9

Recent grants from the Frances Hollis Brain Foundation Fund

Photo: A Company of Girls in Portland, with a mission to empower girls and their families and foster community through the arts, has received grant support from the Frances Hollis Brain Foundation Fund. Photo: Thalassa Raasch/MaineCF


The Frances Hollis Brain Foundation Fund is a donor-advised fund of the Maine Community Foundation that supports nonprofit organizations and projects that serve disadvantaged, underserved and/or vulnerable communities.

David and Frances Brain established the Frances Hollis Brain Foundation in 1993 as a tangible expression of their values. Through the foundation, they sought with their family to address their social concerns and encourage future generations of the family to contribute to the well-being of their communities in Maine, Georgia, and Kentucky. Grantmaking in Maine will be made through the Maine Community Foundation beginning in 2017.

Types of Support

The Frances Hollis Brain Foundation Fund supports IRS-designated tax-exempt charitable organizations in the following areas:

  • Early childhood care and education (defined as ages 0-8)
  • Extended day learning (after-school and summer learning programs)
Health care
  • Community clinics and safety net providers
  • Oral health initiatives
Hunger prevention and food security
Homelessness alleviation

Legal services connected with the above areas


Geographic areas: The fund makes grants to nonprofit organizations that focus on individuals who live in Greater Portland, Lewiston/Auburn, Bath/Brunswick, Biddeford/Saco/Sanford, or those that have a statewide mission.

Priority will be given to organizations and projects that:

  • support the underserved, the disadvantaged or those who do not have the resources to provide for themselves
  • have a broad base of community support, and
  • demonstrate effectiveness.

Eligibility Requirements

All applicants must meet the Maine Community Foundation’s general grant eligibility requirements.

Grant size ranges from $2,500 to $10,000. Most grant awards are $5,000.

  • The fund will not provide funding to individuals, for annual fund appeals, tickets to charitable events, endowments, or for political purposes
  • The fund typically does not support grant proposals that require a multi-year commitment
  • The fund will not award a grant to the same organization in two consecutive years
  • Organizations that have received a prior grant from the fund are not eligible to submit a new application until the fund has received a written report on the results of previous grant awards.

How to Apply

Please apply through the Online Grant Application link at the top of the page.

This program uses a two-stage process: 1) a brief initial application and 2) a full application for those who are invited to move to the second stage. Use the online application link at the top of this page to apply. The application deadline is April 9 at 11:59 p.m. Notifications regarding Stage 1 will be sent by email by April 30. Please contact MaineCF if you did not receive a Stage 1 notification.

Those who are invited to submit a full application will be contacted by email with a link to the Stage 2 application. The deadline to submit a Stage 2 proposal is May 21.

Notification of grant decisions will be made in early July.

Project Progress Report

All grant recipients are required to submit a Project Progress Report approximately 10 months after receiving payment of the grant. Reports are submitted through the online system. Select the Online Grant Application tab at the top of the web page and log into your account to access the form. Organizations that fail to file a progress report will not be eligible for future funding from Maine Community Foundation competitive grant programs for one year or until the missing report is filed.


If you have any further questions regarding the Frances Hollis Brain Foundation Fund, please contact Stephanie Eglinton via e-mail or by phone at (207) 761-2440.