The Maine Community Foundation approaches 40 years of charitable work

ELLSWORTH, Maine (WABI) – For nearly 40 years, the Maine Community Foundation has worked to improve the lives of Mainers.

In 2021, the Foundation awarded approximately $40 million in grants and an additional $3.5 million in scholarships. Now, in 2022, MaineCF picks up where it left off.

“We always say we have the best job in Maine,” said Cherie Galyean, director of strategic learning at MaineCF.

Founded in 1983, Maine Community Foundation has a simple mission: to work with donors and other partners to improve the quality of life for all Maine residents.

“None of this would be possible without donors who believe in Maine and who see us as a way to learn about Maine and learn about the work that takes place there,” Galyean said.

MaineCF has more than 2,000 funds, all set up by donors, and 25 additional competitive grant programs. They include the Maine Land Protection grant program which recently announced funding for 15 different projects totaling over $600,000.

“Our real goal is to provide access to land, land and water, for residents of Maine to ensure that not only a certain type of person has access to the outdoors in Maine” , Galyean said. “We’re really looking at access for low-income people, for people of color, for people with mobility issues or who wouldn’t otherwise have access to the outdoors.”

Another new announcement, the creation of the Parsons Scholarship Fund for LGBTQ+ youth and their allies. It becomes one of over 500 scholarship funds available to Maine students.

“Certainly they appreciate the funding because college is expensive, but more than that is the understanding that someone believes in them and supports them,” Galyean said.

After nearly four decades, Galyean says the pandemic has been a game-changer for MaineCF. She says many nonprofits have suddenly been faced with either decreasing funding or increasing needs, or both.

“We are always encouraging people to give, either to the Foundation to help us help nonprofits, or to give directly to nonprofits to help them through this time. It’s been a really, really tough time in the nonprofit sector, and we really appreciate any support people can offer,” Galyean said.

For more information about the Maine Community Foundation, visit their website: mainecf.org.

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