Maine Charity Foundation Fund

Total grant applications received in the last cycle: 61 applications for a total of $359,319 in requests
Grant dollars awarded:
Average award:
Percentage of applicants that received grants: 31%
Number of grants awarded:
Additional dollars awarded through donor-advised fund referrals:
Application deadline:
September 15

Recent Grants from the Maine Charity Foundation Fund

Decisions will be mailed in early December.


The Maine Charity Foundation was established in 1921. In September of 1993, its assets were transferred to the Maine Community Foundation, where it became part of the competitive grant program. Since then, the Maine Charity Foundation Fund has distributed more than $1.6 million in grants to support a range of community-based programs.


The Maine Charity Foundation Fund has a broadly defined goal of supporting “charitable and educational purposes within the State of Maine.” The specific priorities within this broad goal area are defined by an advisory committee.

New Focus

Nearly a third of older people in Maine live in communities without access to public transportation. This can present many challenges as we outlive our ability to drive. For older people, especially those living in rural areas, this lack of transportation can result in missed medical appointments, malnutrition, and social isolation   all significant threats to good health and quality of life.

For the 2018 grant cycle, the Maine Charity Foundation Fund (Maine Charity) grants will support community-based efforts to improve or increase access to transportation and/or to reduce social isolation for older people.

Types of Support - Maine Charity grants will only support the following types of requests:

1) New Volunteer Driver Programs: support to create new volunteer driver programs for older people in underserved communities and populations.

2) Transportation Program Expansions: support to expand existing transportation programs to new or underserved locations, on new days/times, or adding transportation services for new purposes (e.g., expanding transportation services from just medical appointments to also include supermarkets or social gatherings).

3) Transportation Program Improvements: support to improve the effectiveness and/or efficiency of existing transportation programs. This may include developing partnerships with other service providers, improving technology, and/or training and outreach.

4) New Social Programs: support for new programs that bring older people together, connect them with community groups and/or provide access to other social events, designed to reduce social isolation. Applicants are strongly encouraged to include a plan for transportation for participants who need it. Awards will not support existing programs.

Priorities – Maine Charity grants will place priority on applications that do one or more of the following:

  • Meet gaps in services/programs or provide service/programming where there is none currently (in the case of new or expanding programs)
  • Creatively use existing resources
  • Are clearly laid out and ready to implement.
Eligible Expenses
All grant requests may include:
  • All applicants must meet the Maine Community Foundation’s general grant guidelines
  • Staff time for program coordination
  • Reimbursements or stipends for volunteers
  • New software and/or technology
  • Meetings for outreach to community members and organizations, and developing partnerships
  • Inventories of existing programs or services, and identifying gaps
  • Technical assistance.
Ineligible Expenses
  • Vehicles
  • Annual appeals and capital campaigns
  • Multi-year requests (the grant period is one year, though an organization may submit requests in consecutive years)
  • Expenses that have already been incurred.
All requests must include:
  • An explanation of how the proposed programs or improvements will address existing gaps
  • A plan for measuring the success of your program (e.g., increase in the number of riders, hours, or distances served, satisfaction surveys of participants and/or from organizations serving participants)
  • Letters of agreement from proposed partner organizations
  • A draft timeline for implementing the elements of the program
  • Applicants for new transportation or social programs are strongly encouraged to consult or partner with an organization experienced in providing transportation to develop and help start their program (e.g., a CAP agency, senior center, local/regional nonprofit, Maine’s Impact Cancer Network, or regional transit provider).
Maximum grant award: $10,000

Please note: Fund priorities and guidelines are reviewed and subject to change annually.

How to Apply

Complete the online grant application by clicking the link in the Online Grant Application box at the top right of this page. Online applications must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on September 15.

Project Progress Report

All grant recipients will be required to submit a Project Progress Report (Word Document) approximately 10 months after receiving payment of the grant. 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 Maine Charity Foundation Fund, please contact Senior Program Officer Laura Lee at (207) 412-0838 or

Maine Charity Foundation Fund Advisors

Steve Podgajny, Chair, Brunswick
Steve Farnham, Mapleton
Patty Hamilton, Bangor
Tracy Harty, Farmington
Barbara Wentworth, Saco