Processing Your Payment

Please do not leave this page until complete. This can take a few moments.

Updated: March 16, 2021

Nonprofit Notebook: MCF Start Up/Scale Up grants; kid-focused nonprofit gets United Way boost

wood working workshop people wearing masks Photo / Sarah Banks, Tear Cap Workshops Tear Cap Workshops in Hiram was a 2020 recipient of a Maine Community Foundation grant to support a makerspace program and to develop a new work space for an entrepreneur or artisan.

Last year, the Maine Community Foundation's awarded $200,000 to 10 nonprofits through its Start Up/Scale Up grant program, including Tear Cap Workshops in Hiram to support a makerspace program and to develop a new workspace for an entrepreneur or artisan.

The foundation is now seeking applications for 2021 grants for Maine nonprofits that help new ventures start and grow through collaborative workspaces and incubator and accelerator programs.

Grants will be awarded to organizations and projects that meet the criteria and that have the greatest potential to support innovation and entrepreneurship in Maine.

Priority is for projects or groups that provide access to resources; support entrepreneurs and businesses in rural communities and in areas with limited access to resources; and serve entrepreneurs and businesses founded or led by women and Black, indigenous and other people of color; and include partnerships and collaborations with other organizations, individuals, businesses, or institutions. 

Maximum grants of $25,000 are available to support a range of program expenses as well as capital investment in equipment, technology, and buildings. The application deadline is April 1, and more information plus applications are available here.

In a separate grant program, Maine Community Foundation is also seeking applications from nonprofit and municipal organizations for projects and organizations that promote Maine traditional handcrafts. 

New this year due to the pandemic, the Belvedere Traditional Handcrafts Fund fund will offer general operating support grants only to organizations whose sole mission centers on Maine traditional handcrafts.

The maximum grant award is $10,000 for work that will begin Sept. 1 or later, and more information about that program can be found here.

$15K for Kids First 

Maine Community Foundation, headquartered in Ellsworth with additional additional staff in Portland, Dover-Foxcroft, Rockport, and Mars Hill, works with donors and others to improve the quality of life for all Maine people.

photo of girl hugging bear (seen from behind)
Courtesy/Kids First
Kids First is a Scarborough- based nonprofit that is committed to keeping children of divorced or separated parents "out of the middle."

Kids First Center, a Scarborough-based nonprofit that aims to give children a neutral place to express their feelings when their parents separate or divorce, was recently awarded a $15,000 one-year grant  by United Way of York County.

The money aims to allow the organization to continue its work to enhance co-parenting communication skills and offering online support groups for children. 

“Since moving our location from Portland to Scarborough, one of our top priorities has been to partner with the local United Way agency, and we are thrilled to have been awarded this generous grant to help support our mission," Kids First Executive Director Tim Robbins said in a news release.

United Way of York County said it has supported 59 programs by 39 organizations this past year through a combined $622,588 in investments, giving a shout-out to individual and group donors.

"Considering these very challenging times, we are enormously grateful to those companies and individuals throughout York County who were able to support our fundraising efforts this past year,” said Brian Petrovek, president and CEO of United Way of York County.

Sign up for Enews

Related Content


Order a PDF