Grant Program Information

UMC works to empower Midcoast Maine nonprofits through finance and guidance, supporting a network of resources stronger than any single organization. UMC’s primary focus areas are food, housing, health & safety and economic security.

UMC provides grants to local nonprofits for program and operational needs. UMC’s competitive grant process is open to 501(c)(3) nonprofits and groups in Knox and Waldo counties whose mission fulfills the needs of individuals or families falling within our four focus areas. Note that UMC does not fund capital projects, endowments, debt, private schools, sponsorship of events, candidates for public office, lobbying, funding to support annual appeals, and conferences/seminars.

The grant application period this year opens March 1 and closes March 31.

Grant applications are thoroughly reviewed by UMC’s Grants Committee, with final decisions on funding recommendations made by the UMC Board of Directors.

As grant writers know, not all grant applications are successful and there are many reasons why a grant may not be funded. We will provide constructive feedback when we can.

While we aim to fully fund proposals making an impact in our focus areas, please recognize that the total requests for funding still exceed our available grant fund.

Useful Application Resources


  • When is the application deadline?
    The 2024 application period is from Mar. 1 – 31. Applications must be completed through our online portal, and submitted with all required attachments. We do not accept paper applications or proposals. Your completed online application must be received by 5 p.m. EST on March 31, 2024.
  • What is the application review process? 
    Applications are reviewed by UMC’s Grants Committee. The Grants Committee then performs an initial review, looking into any questions or concerns that arise. After a final review of all materials, the committee makes final funding recommendations to the UMC Board. UMC’s Board then discusses and votes on the Grants Committee’s final recommendations.
  • How do I know if I should apply for a General Support Grant or a Program Grant?
    General support is funding that can be used in any way the organization needs. It allows grantees to nimbly meet challenges throughout the year and apply funding as needed to accomplish their mission. This is for applicants whose mission falls securely within one or more of UMC’s areas of focus, Food, Housing, Health & Safety, and Economic Security. Program grants are considered for an agency whose mission is broader than our areas of focus, but one program falls securely within them. Agencies are encouraged to consult with UMC about which type of grant to seek if they have questions.
  • What grant amount can I expect? 
    Grants vary in scale in relationship to the proposal and focus area addressed and the philanthropic budget available for the year. The minimum grant awarded is generally $1,000 and the maximum is $25,000. There are two different application forms depending on the amount being requested: a streamlined version for requests of $5,000 or less; and a more extensive version for requests of $5,001 and greater.
  • When will I be notified? 
    We communicate our funding decision after the Board votes on the Grants Committee recommendations. Please see schedule on this page.
  • My application was rejected. Why can’t you fund my project/organization? 
    The UMC grant process is competitive in nature, with a priority on making a meaningful impact in our areas of focus within Knox and Waldo Counties. We regret we cannot yet fund all applications we receive.
  • I’m having trouble/need help. Who can I contact?
    You may call our office at 207-236-2299 or email Rebecca via and we will either answer your question or direct you to someone who can help you.
Belfast Soup Kitchen

2024 Grant Schedule 

March 1: Grant Application period opens.

March 31: Application period closes.

April 11 thru July 31: Board reviews, site visits, and selected agency presentations occur.

August 20: UMC Board votes on Grants Committee final award recommendations.

August 22: Results letters sent.

Sample programs* we fund:


  • Soup kitchens
  • Home food services
  • After school and summer nutrition programs


  • Affordable housing
  • Homeless shelters
  • Homeless youth services

Health and Safety

  • Healthcare
  • Dental care
  • Mental health services
  • Domestic violence services
  • Sexual assault services
  • Addiction recovery, support & education
  • Family planning

Economic Security

  • Personal finance education
  • Reentry and restorative services
  • Affordable childcare
  • High school completion
  • Literacy training
  • College completion
  • Transportation

*This list is meant to be illustrative and is in no way comprehensive, nor does it in any way guarantee funding.

We are unlikely to fund:

  • Local, State, and National Government Agencies
  • Religious and/or faith-based institutions or programs that include religious activities. Note: Non-Religious programs (e.g., food banks) sponsored by churches and non-proselytizing community programs will be considered for funding