Giving in Maine 2017

Each year, foundations and generous individuals provide millions of dollars of support to nonprofit organizations that strengthen the lives of Maine residents and their communities. As part of the Maine Philanthropy Center's commitment to promote philanthropy and increase its impact in Maine, we are proud to develop an annual snapshot of giving in Maine. 

2017 Giving in Maine Report Highlights

In 2015, there were 364 foundations registered in Maine. Those Maine foundations gave $160 million in grants throughout the world.

The role of foundation giving in Maine

Foundation giving made up 22% of total charitable giving in Maine in 2014. In contrast, donations from individuals accounted for 69% of the total charitable giving.

Proportion of Total Giving


Foundations Registered in Maine

Foundations registered in Maine reported $2.89 billion in assets in 2015. Those foundations gave $160 million in 2015, an increase of more than 118% since 2004.

Changes in the asset base and giving of Maine-registered foundations over time

Philanthropy in Maine grew enormously over the past 20 years. Both assets and giving of Maine-registered foundations are more than ten times what they were in 1995. More recently, from 2013 to 2014, the asset base of Maine foundations increased 7% and the giving increased by 5%, just under national averages.

Assets of foundations registered in Maine over the past 10 years

Giving by foundations registered in Maine over the past 10 years

The Top 25 Most Active Foundations in Maine

Top 25 Foundations, by total giving in Maine (in millions)

Top 25 most active foundations in Maine, by total giving in Maine in 2015

Why doesn't this list match up with some of the other lists of "top" Maine foundations? We distinguish between foundations registered in Maine and foundations giving to Maine. We compile the list based on the giving to Maine nonprofits and individuals. For example, the Lunder Foundation is registered in Maine and gave $1.8 million in 2013, so they appear at #9 in the Foundation Center's most recent list of top Maine foundations. However, in 2014 the Lunder Foundation's giving to Maine specifically was $8300, so they aren't included in our list of top Maine foundations. 

But what about...? This list does not include foundations registered in other states, public charities that act like foundations (such as United Ways), or corporate giving that is not through a foundation. 

Number and Size of Grants

6,041 grants were awarded by the top 25 most active foundations in Maine in 2014. The median grant size was $2,500.

Nearly 75% of the grants awarded by the top 25 most active foundations were under $10,000.

Bar chart of the number of grants awarded by the size of the grant.

Giving by County


Map of Maine foundation giving by recipient county.

These giving numbers reflect where the grant recipient is based, not necessarily the region the grant recipient serves. Because Cumberland and Kennebec counties are home to Portland, Maine's largest city, and August, its capitol, it is possible that organizations in those counties are providing services across the state. 


Maine giving data is collected from IRS Form 990s and grant lists provided by foundations. National averages come from the Foundation Center Stats. Individual giving data from the IRS Statistics of Income

Learn More:

Watch a recording of MPC's webinar on the 2017 Giving Report: