MaineCF Grants available for nonprofits with new pandemic funding focus

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Cousins Elaina and Olivia French relax in their newly built house at the Western Maine Play Museum in Wilton. (Photo by Amber Stone/Daily Bulldog)

ELLSWORTH — The Maine Community Foundation’s Community Building Grant Program is open and accepting applications from nonprofit and public organizations seeking funding for projects that strengthen communities.

The 2021 Community Building Grant Program will focus on funding to build community resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic, with changes to program criteria, priorities, and types of funding. Priority will be given to projects or organizations that support people at higher risk to be negatively impacted by COVID-19.

Two informational Zoom sessions for grant seekers will review program changes for community-building grants: Tuesday, Dec. 8, noon to 1 p.m., and Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021, noon to 1 p.m. Email to sign up.

The deadline for applying is Feb. 15, 2021. A volunteer committee of Franklin and Somerset county residents and community leaders reviews grant applications and makes recommendations for funding. Application, guidelines, and a list of 2020 grants are available at

In 2020, the Western Mountains Committee awarded $92,525 in grants to 11 nonprofits, including:
Town of Madison, to implement the “Living Well in Madison” Age-Friendly Action Plan; Wesserunsett Arts Council, to create and install banners and murals commemorating Skowhegan’s history; Western Maine Play Museum, for an after-school program for kids grades 6-8 to use creativity and technology to create short films.

The Western Mountains Fund is built through donations from the community. If you would like more information about the fund, please contact Lelia DeAndrade, Vice President of Community Impact, at (207) 412-0843 or by email at

Headquartered in Ellsworth, with additional personnel in Portland, Dover-Foxcroft, Rockport, and Mars Hill, the Maine Community Foundation works with donors and other partners to provide strong investments, personalized service, local expertise, and strategic giving to improve the quality of life for all Maine people. To learn more about the foundation, visit

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