The Foundation’s mission and resources guide our grant making activity. The Foundation funds innovative, community-based projects that promote investment and create or maintain jobs in the region by developing social, cultural, economic or environmental well-being.

The Foundation seeks to preserve Maine’s historic sporting camp industry as a means for improving the local economy in Maine’s remote, rural and depressed areas. We believe that these sporting camps are icons of Maine, Maine’s north woods regions, and Maine’s nature-based tourism industry. Strengthening these icons will help attract more visitors into these regions, and thereby helping to boost local economy.

We assist sporting camp businesses and local organizations so they can economically contribute to the community, employ local workers, are environmentally responsible, and provide the public with the unique culture, heritage and outdoor experiences that sporting camps have preserved for well over a century. Overall, the Foundation provides grants that will:

  • Provide an opportunity for sporting camps and local businesses to become self sustainable, improve the economy of depressed regions of Maine, and to bring a positive change for the business owner, the area’s unemployed, or seasonally employed. We are interested in the long term employment potential of each grant and we ask our grantees to work with staff to open new job opportunities to those who are in need of employment. For example, we look to assist businesses that plan to hire and train new employees, train/hire/apprentice local youth, or improve part-time or seasonal positions to full-time or year-round employment.
  • Generate a viable and sustainable financial return, either by maintaining or creating profits, return on investment or a tangible asset.
  • Protect and improve the stewardship of natural resources, so it may be enjoyed by the public and become an economic asset to the local area. The Foundation is committed to helping sporting camps succeed while preserving the quality of Maine’s environment. One depends upon the other. We encourage and help all of our grantees to identify the ecological aspects of their surroundings, and to developing practices that benefit both the environment and the business’ bottom line. Our interest is in assisting businesses and communities to provide services that are environmentally friendly and sustainable.
  • Preserve and promote the “Maine Sporting Camp” culture, heritage, architecture and outdoor traditions that began in the mid-1800’s, and were documented by many such as Henry David Thoreau.

Focus Areas

More specifically, funding would be made available for projects involving one or more areas, such as:

  • Community and economic development projects relating to forest-based cultural and heritage tourism;
  • Promoting and supporting forest-based arts, culture and heritage as a source of economic activity;
  • Developing and marketing nature-based tourism services;
  • Conducting research and addressing issues common to nature-based recreation and heritage tourism businesses to help build brand identity and quality;
  • Supporting the development and implementation of new products, new markets, and new business models aimed at long-term sustainability, or sustaining long-term viability of existing operations;
  • Conducting local forest-based conservation planning that leads to permanent land conservation;
  • Monitoring and providing data on the health and productivity of the local forest ecosystem;
  • Land and forest conservation to maintain productive traditional uses;
  • Public recreational infrastructure development (nature trails, scenic outlooks, signage, recreational facilities, etc.);
  • Technical assistance for modernization and diversification of sporting camps;
  • Stabilizing culturally significant structures;
  • Training and employment education, such as implementing training for high school students and adult workers in fields tied to forest-based tourism;
  • Expanding the sustainable use of renewable, small-scale energy projects (wind, solar) as replacements of diesel powered systems;
  • Small business and entrepreneurial development.

Grant Recipients

Grants are provided to assist sporting camp businesses and local community organizations whose needs align with the Foundation’s mission.

Typical Grant Size

Grants are expected to typically be in the range of $1,000 to $5,000, depending on resources available.

Application & Award Process

Applications will follow a format created by the Maine Community Foundation . Applicants will be asked to provide a budget and other information about the proposed project, including:

    1. Organization’s mission;
    2. Population served;
    3. Two most important programs or services the organization currently provides
  2. PROJECT OVERVIEW – Briefly describe what goal the project in intended to achieve.
  3. MEASURABLE RESULTS – Describe up to three measurable results or outcomes of this project that will help achieve that goal.
  4. SPECIFIC ACTIVITIES – Describe what specific activities will be done to produce those results.
  5. EVALUATION METHOD – Describe how the project’s progress and success will be measured and evaluated.
  7. PARTICIPATION – Describe who will participate in or be served by the project.
  8. SUSTAINABILITY – Describe how the project will result in or contribute to the preservation and sustainability of sporting camps and their local community. If the project is ongoing, what will be done to secure funding in the future?
  9. KEY PERSONNEL – List the roles, responsibilities, and qualifications of the key project personnel, and include a description of their specific role with this project.

The Foundation’s Board will review requests and select projects that seem to most directly and effectively contribute to advancing the Foundation’s mission.

Tracking & Monitoring

Grants would be recorded, and along with the grant award there would be a record kept of the original proposal, progress reports and the results of each grant. The Foundation’s Board will be responsible for assuring that the Foundation’s mission is advanced by all such grants.

All projects require completion reports and may require interim progress reports depending on the length of the project. Grants are generally offered on an expense reimbursement basis, thereby assuring that funds were used according to their intended purpose.