Funding and Grant Sources

Please contact us if you have any comments or recommendations for additions to list for grant sources for libraries. Use the Contact Us page, choose Marijke Visser.

Be sure to check for new grants and possible ongoing opportunities from foundations, trusts and other nonprofits which are listed below the Recent Additions and Deadlines news feed.

  • Unfortunately for libraries, money doesn't grow on trees. Even in good economic times, few libraries have all the resources they need or want to serve their communities. Fundraising Resources - Capital Campaigns offers tools and help finding funding resources with a focus on capital campaigns.

Maine Public Library Fund Grants (Tax Check-Off)

The Maine Public Library Fund check-off was approved in the second session of the 125th Maine State Legislature. Maine citizens can donate to the fund on the Schedule CP which is used for voluntary charitable contributions. The fund is administered by the State Librarian. All money deposited in the fund and the earnings on that money remain in the fund to be used to provide grants to free public libraries for use in providing services identified as priority services by the State Librarian. This new grant program will provide grants to public libraries to encourage and support innovation in the creation and expansion of new library services and to support library staff professional development. More information and the online grant application is below. More information on the MPLF page.

General Grant Sources

Recent Additions and Deadlines  Subscribe to the library grant feed

Grant Descriptions

ARPA - Remote Work through Libraries Grant

Through a collaboration with the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) the Maine State Library (MSL) will invest $2 million in Maine’s 255 public libraries to expand their capacity to provide targeted resources, services, and physical space to support remote and hybrid workers across the state. Business owners and entrepreneurs that primarily operate with a virtual footprint will also be served.

Construction Funding Opportunities

There are a few opportunities for public library construction funds coming in the near future. The U.S. Treasury Department has funding available to all states via the Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund.  This possible funding will be determined by the Maine Connectivity Authority (MCA). The American Library Association (ALA) will be launch the Libraries Transforming Communities: Accessible Small and Rural Communities project that will offer more than $7 million in grants to small and rural libraries to increase the accessibility of facilities, services, and programs to better serve people with disabilities. There is also potential to request District Directed federal funding that the Maine State Library is learning more about. The MSL would like to learn more about the current need for funding public library construction projects.  Your answers to the questions below will help us determine the level of funding needed as well as provide you the information about your library's eligibility for some construction funds.

Read the MSL Construction Projects Summary document.

Take the construction needs assessment survey.


The Margaret  E.  Burnham Charitable Trust

The Margaret E. Burnham Charitable Trust was established to benefit nonprofit organizations (1) located or operating in the State of Maine and (2) serving within the State of Maine.  Funding Priorities: The Trust, in responding to the needs of the Maine communities it serves, is dedicated to funding five (5) significant program areas of interest within the following general annual distribution and allocation percentages:

Morton-Kelly Charitable Trust

The foundation's interests include historic preservation, historical societies, arts and cultural programs, vocational education, education and the environment. Initial approach should be made through a letter to:

Michael J. Quinlan
The Morton-Kelly Charitable Trust
c/o Jensen, Baird, Gardner and Henry
10 Free Street
Portland, ME 04112

John T Gorman Foundation

The John T. Gorman Foundation is a private foundation based in Portland, Maine. They advance and invest in innovative ideas and opportunities that improve the lives of Maine’s most vulnerable people in these four priority areas: improving educational achievement for young children, promoting successful transitions to adulthood for vulnerable older youth, helping struggling parents support their families and enabling low-income seniors to age in place.

The Aldermere Foundation c/o Trust Co. of Maine

The Aldermere Foundation c/o Trust Co. of Maine
145 Exchange Street,
Bangor 04401
Contact: Dee Condon Fax: (207) 941-2498

Independent Foundation was established in Maine in 1977.

  • Purpose and activities: Giving primarily for the arts, education, and religious organizations.
  • Fields of interest: Animals/wildlife, preservation/protection; Arts, Arts Education; Christian agencies and churches; Libraries (Public); Museums (art)
  • Geographic focus: Maine
  • Deadlines: None

Bangor Savings Bank Foundation: Foundation Grant Making

"The Bangor Savings Bank Foundation Grant Making was created in 1997 to help fulfill our commitment to improving community life in Maine. Today, the Bank has chosen to improve the impact and coordination of its giving by channeling all major charitable contributions from the Bank through the Foundation's grant-making process."

The Libra Foundation

  • The Libra Foundation is a private operating foundation established by Elizabeth B. Noyce which became active in June, 1989.
  • This foundation is authorized by the Internal Revenue Service to make grants and contributions to charitable organizations other than political organizations.
  • Applicants must be tax-exempt under 501(c)(3) of the IRS code and "not a private foundation" under section 509(a) of the code
  • Please direct inquiries, requests for application forms, letters and grant requests to contact information above.

The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy - The Maine Family Literacy Initiative

Becky Dyer
Maine Department of Education
State House Station 23
Augusta, ME 04333
Telephone (207) 624-6755

Purpose: Expand small family literacy programs throughout Maine.

Maine Philanthropy Center

The Maine Philanthropy Center is a nonprofit organization established in 1995 by a group of foundations to promote effective philanthropy in Maine.

The following locations serve as affiliates to the Maine Philanthropy Center.

  • Bangor Public Library
  • Camden Public Library
  • UM Merrill Library in Machias
  • Cary Library in Houlton

The Davis Family Foundation

The Davis Family Foundation provides grants primarily to Maine-based educational, medical and cultural/arts charitable organizations. 

  • Applicants must be tax-exempt under 501(c)(3) of the IRS code and "not a private foundation" under section 509(a) of the code.
  • Strong preference is given to organizations located in Southern Maine, but those in other parts of Maine and New England may be considered.

Maine Community Foundation

The Maine Community Foundation works with donors and other partners to improve the quality of life for all Maine people. The community foundation is committed to serve all of Maine; demonstrate respect for people and places; achieve quality and integrity in everything we do; and remain nonpartisan. The foundation offers several types of grants: competitive grants, grants for individuals, and grants from donor-advised funds.

Maine Humanities Council Let’s Talk About It

Let’s Talk About It is an adult reading & discussion program sponsored by Maine Humanities Council’s Center for the Book in partnership with the Maine State Library. Programs are offered free of charge to Maine libraries thanks to funding from the Belvedere Fund of the Maine Community Foundation & the citizens of Maine through the New Century Community Program, with additional support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Please note there are application deadlines for hosting a Let's Talk About It program for Summer, Fall, and Winter/Spring.

Rose and Samuel Rudman Library Trust

Managed by Maine Community Foundation, awards granted every year to public libraries in Maine communities with population under 10,000 people. Eligible libraries are located in Waldo, Knox, Hancock, Washington, Aroostook, Penobscot and Piscataquis counties.

The Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation

The Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation is a private non-profit organization that "promotes strengthening and supporting communities and draws upon the values and spirituality of the founders."

49 Florida Ave.
Bangor, Maine 04401
Telephone: 1-207-990-2910
Fax: 207-990-2975

Fight for a Better World Grant

Woozy Moo is a toy start up based in Atlanta, GA that recently launched a grant program supporting organizations worldwide addressing issues in social inequalities and injustices. Social inequalities/injustices can include but are not limited to the marginalization of select populations (LGBTQI, people of color, women/girls, the aging, refugees, indigenous people, etc.). .Funds may be used for general organization support or for a project.

Grant Size: up to $5,000


  1. Applicants may be US-based or non-US-based organizations.
  2. Applicants must submit a duly completed grant application.

The Onion Foundation

The Onion Foundation is a private philanthropic foundation based in Winthrop, Maine. Our mission is to encourage conservation and stewardship of the natural environment and to promote music and the arts in the state of Maine. The foundation has two regular funding cycles. LOI submissions for Cycle 1 (environmental projects) open in early January and Cycle 2 (music and arts projects) in early July. The Onion Foundation also awards mini-grants in support of school author visits.