Community Building Grant Program

Maine Community Foundation

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Predicted Deadline
The next cycle for this opportunity is predicted based on past data. If you save this grant, we’ll notify you if there are any changes.

Predicted deadline: Feb 15, 2021 8:59pm PST

Grant amount: Up to US $10,000

Fields of work: Environment Community Services

Applicant type: Indigenous Group, Government Entity, Nonprofit

Funding uses: Training / Capacity Building, Project / Program

Location of project: Maine

Location of residency: United States

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About this funder:



About the Program

The Community Building Grant Program invests in local projects and organizations that work to build strong communities. It is a grassroots grant program focused on efforts to use, improve and/or increase access to community assets. These community assets include natural and built resources, as well as community members, their views and voices, local leaders, and the relationships or connections among people and organizations across the community.

The Community Building Grant Program is one of the only grant programs in Maine that supports a broad range of projects and organizations across the entire state, including arts, education, environment, economic development, and human services. It is also MaineCF’s largest grant program and receives more than 400 applications annually.

The Community Building Grant Program awards three types of grants:

  • New Project Grants are those that are no more than two years old (one year of pilot, one year of full implementation).
  • Expanding Project Grants have already been successfully implemented and will be serving a different population, geographic area, or include new services or content other than what was previously implemented.

Project grant requests must have clear start and end dates and have defined goals or outcomes. Projects running for more than two years are not considered new projects and are not eligible for grants unless they are expanding.

  • Capacity-building Grants support community based-organizations that are actively engaged in work to strengthen their community. These grants will be awarded to support activities that will make an organization stronger, more successful, or more efficient. Capacity-building activities may include but are not limited to:
    • training for board, staff, or volunteers
    • improving financial management or information systems
    • acquiring technology to improve or expand services
    • developing new sources of earned income
    • strategic planning focused on achieving a specific goal.

Capacity-building grant requests must include an explanation of how the activities will improve the organization.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Who is eligible to apply
    • Nonprofit 501(c)(3) federal tax-exempt organizations, including most municipalities
    • Public schools
    • Public agencies working for the State of Maine
    • Indian tribal governments (or political subdivisions) recognized by the Department of the Interior
    • Non-exempt groups with a fiscal sponsor that is a 501(c)(3) organization, public school, or public agency. 
  • The Community Building Grant Program will only support projects and organizations that meet all of the following criteria. Projects or organizations must…
    • Invest in people by strengthening skills, knowledge, abilities, and/or well-being of community members
    • Maximize community strengths and resources by improving access to or the use of community-based resources, including people, organizations, and built and natural environments
    • Engage community members by involving those people who will benefit in the design, delivery, or evaluation of project activities and goals.
  • Eligible expenses
    • Project and capacity-building requests may include staff time, technology, materials, and equipment that are necessary to achieve the planned goals or outcomes.
    • Applicants for Community Building are encouraged to request support for “indirect” or administrative costs.
      • Indirect costs must be no more than 20% of the total amount requested from MaineCF.


  • The Community Building Grant Program cannot be used to support the following activities, programs, or expenses:
    • Ongoing activities: This includes activities that are part of the organization’s mission, with no clear start or end date, or those that have been implemented for more than two years and are continuing without expansion.
    • General operating expenses: This includes any expenses related to the daily operation or running of the organization. For example, rent, utilities, office equipment and supplies, insurance and general salaries for administrative staff or the executive director. While operating expenses may be included as “indirect costs,” they are not eligible as full requests.
    • Major capital expenses: This includes purchasing assets such as buildings, land, or vehicles.
    • Camperships: This includes funding for admission, enrollment, tuition or other costs related to short-term programs that are primarily recreational or social.
    • Endowments, capital campaigns, or annual appeals.
    • Regranting: This includes making grants to a secondary grantee through a competitive process.
  • What we will not fund, without exception
    • Expenses already incurred
    • Political campaigns
    • Lobbying in the form of calls to action on a specific vote
    • Religious activities: including, but not limited to, religious services, promotion of religious beliefs, or activities that are restricted to church or religious group membership
    • Regranting to a secondary grantee through a competitive process.


This page was last reviewed November 06, 2020 and last updated February 17, 2020