Grant Opportunities

The Community Resilience Partnership offers two types of grants:  

  1. Community Action Grants: Municipal and tribal governments and unorganized territories in Maine who have joined the Partnership may apply directly for funds to support projects that reduce energy use and costs and/or make their community more resilient to climate change effects, such as flooding, extreme weather, drought, and public health impacts.  
  2. Service Provider Grants: Regional service provider organizations may apply for funds to recruit groups of two to five communities to complete the enrollment activities, join the Partnership, and apply for Community Action Grants.

Community Action Grants 

Community Action Grants can support two categories of climate action by communities: 1) actions from the List of Community Actions, an approved list of climate mitigation and adaptation activities that align with the strategies of Maine Won’t Wait, and 2) other projects proposed by a community that support capacity building, planning, and implementation projects.  
The List of Community Actions offers guidance for communities starting on climate plans and incentivize a baseline level of climate action across the state. The two grant options provide flexibility by allowing communities to choose actions from the List that are most relevant and feasible, while also providing support for community climate and energy priorities that may not appear on the List of Community Actions. 

About Community Action Grants

Once a community is enrolled in the Community Resilience Partnership, they are encouraged to work from their list of locally prioritized actions and the List of Community Actions to pursue Community Action Grants. Many, but not all, of the activities on the list could require funding support. 

Community Action Grants have a $5,000 minimum and $50,000 maximum request amount. Collaborative proposals by two or more communities are encouraged, in which case the group may request up to $125,000. 
There are two specific types of Community Action Grants:  

  • Grants to support implementation of one or more activities in the List of Community Actions that align with the state climate action plan, Maine Won’t Wait. There is no local matching funds requirement for these grants. 
  • Grants to support other community-defined climate and energy implementation priorities. A local match is required.
Grant Application Deadlines

Once enrolled in the Partnership, communities are eligible to apply for Community Action Grants. Enrollment and grant applications will be accepted simultaneously. 

The deadline for the next application round has not yet been announced. 

Grant Reporting

All funded projects will be required to provide quarterly updates, project deliverables, and a brief final case study that communicates lessons learned during the project.  

The applicant(s) should develop and track metrics, both for success of the project and progress toward long-term community goals. The Maine Won’t Wait Climate Action Plan has a list of metrics the state will track, should the community need examples.

Equity Outcomes

Maine’s climate response must ensure shared benefits across diverse populations of Maine people. Applicants should include robust community engagement in their action grant proposals, for example inclusive planning processes so that diverse community voices are able to participate.

Climate change impacts will create the greatest hardships for already marginalized communities. Communities in Maine must identify and promote solutions to help the people most vulnerable to climate impacts. Applicants should consider the potential benefits of their proposed climate action projects and, if applicable describe how the project distributes those benefits equitably.

Community Tiers

To ensure equitable access and outcomes by lower capacity communities, the Partnership has adopted a three-tier system classification system that tailors program requirements and incentives to community size.

Cost Sharing

There is no local cost share for Climate Action Grants that implement activities from the List of Community Actions.

A local cost share does apply for Climate Action Grants that implement other community priorities outside the list: 

  • Tier 1 and Tier 2 communities 
    • 10% local match.
  • Tier 3 communities  
    • 20% local match. 

Service Provider Grants 

Service Provider Grants support service provider organizations who recruit groups of two to five communities to join the Partnership, conduct robust community engagement that sets priorities for implementing actions on the List of Community Actions, and apply for Community Action Grants and other funding opportunities to implement community energy and climate priorities. 

About Service Provider Grants

This program’s focus on regional collaboration, local capacity-building, and community engagement that are critical for supporting municipal climate action. 
The desired outcomes from the Service Provider Grants are new enrollments in the Partnership by multiple communities, developing a list of each community's priority projects, as well as any cooperative group priorities, and applications to the Community Action Grant program. 

Service Providers are expected to assist communities with the enrollment activities and apply for Community Action Grants.

Grant Application Deadlines

The deadline for the next application round has not yet been announced. 

Grant Eligibility

Entities eligible to be regional service providers include

  • regional planning organizations
  • councils of governments
  • regional economic development organizations
  • county governments
  • academic institutions and cooperative extension programs
  • non-profit organizations
  • for-profit enterprises

Municipalities are generally not eligible for Service Provider Grants. However, in special cases, a community that can demonstrate robust in-house capacity may apply for a Service Provider Grant to provide relevant services to smaller communities in the same region. 

To achieve an equitable geographic distribution of capacity building investments, the Partnership intends to select proposals from each of four regions within the state during each grant cycle: 

  • Region 1: York, Cumberland, Sagadahoc, Lincoln, Knox, and southern Oxford Counties
  • Region 2: Waldo, Hancock, and Washington Counties
  • Region 3: Androscoggin, Oxford, Kennebec, Franklin, and Somerset Counties
  • Region 4: Piscataquis, Aroostook, and Penobscot Counties.
Grant Applications

Service providers may not submit more than one application per round. However, service providers may apply for both rounds of grants in the same year, if desired, so long as the groups of communities are distinctly different in each round. 

As part of the application to the program, prospective service providers will recruit a group of two to five communities. Prospective service providers may request up to $10,000 per community. Up to an additional $2,500 may be requested for communities in the group that are either in the highest social vulnerability category or have a population fewer than 4,000.

Applicants will include a letter of support from each community in the proposed group. Letters must be submitted with the application package. Letters received separately will not be read.

Once funds are awarded, communities within the service provider’s group will have up to 12 months to submit for enrollment in the Partnership, though many will find it feasible to enroll in time for the next Community Action Grant round in 6 months.

Cost Sharing

For all Service Provider Grants, a 15% cost share is required of the service provider. In-kind match is permitted.

Grant Reporting

All funded Service Providers will be required to provide quarterly updates, project deliverables, and a brief final case study that communicates lessons learned during the project.