Community foundations have been a driving force in philanthropy since 1914, when Frederick H. Goff established the nation’s first in Cleveland, Ohio. More than 750 community foundations now serve communities across the country, with many more located in countries around the world.
Philanthropic individuals and families are key to MaineCF’s continuing growth and impact in Maine. Last year, their gifts ensured the community foundation could provide almost $58 million in grants to local nonprofit organizations and tuition assistance to Maine students through more than 650 scholarship funds.
MaineCF’s 20-plus competitive grant programs provide support to a vast array of nonprofit organizations and projects for land protection, historic preservation, the arts, and many more initiatives.
Our County and Regional Program, MaineCF’s largest annual grant program, is tailored for Maine with endowed funds for each county. Committees comprised of local community members provide on-the-ground, local leadership for each county fund. Their knowledge of local issues is vital as they review and recommend grants to local nonprofit organizations and projects. This spring MaineCF awarded $2 million through 256 Community Building grants.
Donors with donor-advised funds also play a crucial role in grantmaking at MaineCF. In 2021 donors made close to 4,000 grants totaling about $29 million – at least half of the community foundation’s grants. Their support has been key as nonprofits rebuild after months of stalled events and fundraising throughout the pandemic.
Additional donor support allowed us to award proactive grants of more than $4.5 million during the pandemic for a broad range of needs – food pantries, transportation and tablets to keep older people connected, social services, and support for child care that allowed essential workers to help when we needed them most. This spring donors stepped up with additional contributions to our Critical Issues Fund, which provided emergency funding to organizations that assist asylum seekers.
MaineCF serves Maine people through their neighbors – philanthropists of all levels who donate to existing charitable funds or create funds to support their interest areas and communities. You can give now or plan for later through a planned gift. Funds can be established with cash or non-cash appreciated assets and your charitable contribution may qualify for a tax deduction (subject to IRS limitations).
MaineCF offers several ways for individuals to make planned gifts. One of the simplest is a bequest – a statement in your will or living trust that a share of your estate will be distributed to the foundation for the purpose you name.
Donors with advised funds often establish close connections with MaineCF’s staff, who are very knowledgeable of Maine issues and can alert you to grant proposals that match your interests. Our new online platform, Giving Together, also allows these donors to review and support grant proposals vetted by MaineCF staff.
As we look forward to our 40th year, the Maine Community Foundation is proud to build on the dreams of Ed Kaelber and Bob Blum. Their vision has endured, with our commitment to better lives for Maine people through nonprofit partnerships and strong stewardship of charitable funds for the long term.
If you would like to learn more about the Maine Community Foundation, we encourage you to visit mainecf.org or reach out to Jennifer Richard, director of gift planning, email@example.com or (207) 412-0833. If you’d like a copy of our new annual report, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (207) 667-9735.
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