2019 Giving in Maine Report - Foundation Giving Highlights

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 our state. 

The Big Picture

In FY2017, there were more than 360 private and community foundations based in Maine. Those Maine foundations held more than $3 billion in assets and gave more than $180 million in charitable grants throughout the world.

The Role of Foundation Giving in Maine

Giving by foundations made up 24% of all charitable giving in Maine in 2017. In contrast, giving by individuals – through charitable donations and bequests accounted for 71% of all charitable giving.








The Top 25 Most Active Maine Funders

Top 25 Foundations, by Total Giving in Maine (in millions)

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. Our list of the top 25 Maine foundations is based on foundations' specific giving to Maine nonprofits and individuals. This sometimes can prevent a large, generous foundation that is registered in Maine but does most of its giving elsewhere from appearing on our Top 25 list.

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 conveyed through a foundation. 

Number and Size of Grants

6,461 grants were awarded by the top 25 most active foundations in Maine in 2017. The largest grant was for $10,000,000 and the smallest was for $15.

Nearly 81% of the grants awarded by the top 25 most active foundations were for $10,000 or less.


Foundation GivingTotal Amount Distributed at the County Level

62% of funding went to recipients in two counties: Cumberland and Kennebec. 

13% of funding was received in Penobscot and Hancock counties.

This data reflects the location of the recipient organization or individual and does not reveal the full picture of the areas ultimately impacted by grant dollars.

Download the 2019 report below. There are two versions of the document. The first is designed to be viewed electronically or printed on 8x11 paper. The second is designed to be printed double-sided on 11x17 paper.