Nearly $97,000 Maine Community Foundation grants aim to help strengthen nonprofit organizations and projects in Franklin and Somerset counties.

The 10 grants through MaineCF’s Community Building Grant Program include $81,760 recommended by the Western Mountains Committee and two additional grants totaling $15,000 from donor-advised funds, according to a news release from the foundation.

2023 Grants from the Western Mountains Committee:

• Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, to support vulnerable youth through employment, mentoring opportunities and internships to develop business and entrepreneurial skills: $10,000;
• Common Unity Place, to provide a community meeting place that supplies free clothes, meals, personal-care items, access to social services and other support: $5,000;
• Friends of L.C. Bates Museum, for the Young Observers Project, activities that develop skills needed to study, understand and support children’s natural environment: $1,800;
• High Peaks Creative Council, to bring craftsmen into schools to build steam-bent toboggans with students: $10,000;
• Literacy Volunteers, to educate, empower and connect adults in rural Maine, for whom literacy skills are a barrier to access: $5,000;
• Main Street Skowhegan, to foster connections among youth, mentors and community members through outdoor activities at Skowhegan Outdoors Basecamp: $9,960;
• Mission at the Eastward, to provide home repairs to low-income people and complete a tiny home to provide housing for people experiencing homelessness: $10,000;
• Rangeley Region Health and Wellness Partnership, to provide access to healthy food for rural and low-income older people: $10,000;
• Western Maine Community Action, to increase household safety, well-being and employability for community members: $10,000; and
• Western Maine Play Museum, to develop infant and toddler playgroups for early-childhood development that provides a community for their caregivers: $10,000.

From donor-advised funds (as of April):

• Greater Franklin Food Council, for its school garden coach to support garden and nutrition programming and hands-on instruction: $10,000; and
• United Way of the Tri-Valley Area, to remove financial barriers in low-income families so children can participate in extracurricular enrichment opportunities: $5,000.


The Franklin and Somerset County Funds are permanent endowments that support projects and nonprofit organizations that strengthen communities. Proposals are submitted through MaineCF’s Community Building Grant Program, the foundation’s largest, and are reviewed by a committee of community members.

The next proposal deadline is Feb. 15, 2024. For more information, visit

The Franklin and Somerset County Funds, established in 1992, are built through donations from the community. For more information, contact Program Officer John Ochira at 207-412-0837 or



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