Belfast Soup KitchenNews

United Midcoast Charities Awards $39,000 in Rapid Response Grants

Photo Credit: Marti Stone
Caption: The Belfast Soup Kitchen recently received a grant from UMC’s Rapid Response Fund

We are pleased to announce the latest round of grant awards from UMC’s new Rapid Response Fund (RRF), which provides stopgap support for local nonprofits during the COVID-19 pandemic.

UMC’s Rapid Response Grants totaled $39,000 in April and May. The awards included:

·         $3,000 to the Belfast Soup Kitchen to support increased costs associated with COVID-19

·         $5,000 to MidCoast Recovery Coalition to assist newly released inmates needing shelter

·         $3,750 to New Hope for Women for emergency shelter for domestic violence victims

·         $5,000 to the Rockland Salvation Army to support the increased need for food services

·         $5,000 to Finding Our Voices for a domestic violence awareness mailing to Waldo County residents

·         $5,000 to AIO Food and Energy Assistance to support a new warehouse manager in coordinating the efforts of local pantries to meet increased food needs

·         $5,000 to Waldo Community Action Partners to improve web-based communications about available services

In addition to individual donors, local organizations partnering with UMC on the Rapid Response Fund include Bangor Savings Bank, Bar Harbor Bank and Trust (BHBT), and West Bay Rotary Club. West Bay Rotary called on the community to match its contribution of $10,000, to achieve a total donation to the fund of more than $20,000.

“We are pleased to partner with UMC and so many community members who are stepping forward to make a difference,” said Jack Frost, BHBT’s director of community giving. “The Rapid Response Fund is having a positive impact on the tremendous work so many nonprofits are doing at this time to help with basic needs.”

UMC continues to receive far more requests for this type of urgent funding than the current fund balance can support. When donations come in, 100 percent are put to use for RRF grants. RRF funding decisions and awards have a one-week or less turnaround time. Additional contributions from the community will help with emergency needs, such as:

•                     Food for local pantries experiencing an unprecedented surge in need

•                     Soup kitchens seeing more families needing hot meals for the first time

•                     Housing solutions for homeless families

•                     Help and housing for domestic violence victims

•                     Meal delivery service for home-bound and elderly folks

•                     Support for those in substance abuse recovery

UMC’s initial goal is to raise at least $100,000 to help with local pandemic-related needs. For more information and to contribute, please visit

Islesboro Community CenterNews

United Midcoast Charities Awards First Round of Rapid Response Grants

Image Caption: Cooking in the Community Kitchen for the Islesboro Community Care and Comfort Program. The project recently received a grant from UMC’s Rapid Response Fund.

Funds for Food, Shelter, Basic Needs

UMC’s first round of grant recipients have received awards from the new Rapid Response Fund (RRF), which the organization created to provide stopgap support for local nonprofits during the covid-19 pandemic.

The first round of grants totaled $7,750: $5,000 to Knox County Homeless Coalition to fund temporary and safe housing solutions; $1,500 to Islesboro Community Center’s Care and Comfort Program for food and supplies for community kitchen meal delivery to shut-ins; and $750 to One Less Worry to supply toilet paper for local food pantry clients.

In addition to individual donors, several local organizations have stepped up to partner with UMC on the Rapid Response Fund. They include Bangor Savings Bank, Bar Harbor Bank and Trust, and West Bay Rotary. West Bay Rotary launched a challenge campaign on April 14, calling on the community to match the club’s pledge of $5,000. To donate through their campaign and double your donation, visit

Since the onset of the pandemic, UMC has received far more requests for this type of urgent funding than the current fund balance can support. When donations come in, 100 percent are put to use immediately. RRF funding decisions and awards have a quick one-week or less turnaround time. Nonprofit requests of at least $50,000 are awaiting funding to help with:

  • Food for local pantries (pantries are hitting record highs in food services, giving out more food boxes in two hours than they typically give out in a month, with 70 percent going to first-time clients)
  • Additional housing solutions for homeless families
  • Domestic violence hotlines currently experiencing increased call volume
  • Increased demand for meal delivery service for home-bound and elderly folks.
  • Crucial need for support among those in substance abuse recovery
  • Essential public transportation for single riders who have essential jobs or needs.

UMC’s Executive Director Megan Williams says this is the tip of the iceberg, and she fully expects needs for services to continue to grow for several months.

UMC’s initial goal is to raise a minimum of $100,000 to help with local pandemic-related needs. For more information and to contribute, please visit


Rapid Response Fund & Additional Support for Midcoast Nonprofits

In keeping with our mission to support Midcoast Maine nonprofits through finance and guidance, United Midcoast Charities announced a new fund and other steps they are taking in response to the coronavirus crisis here in our Midcoast community.

Rapid Response Fund
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, UMC has established a Rapid Response Fund. 100% of all donations received will go out as support for local nonprofits that are meeting the immediate needs of individuals seeking help in Knox and Waldo counties. The Fund is intended to provide stopgap support and anticipates the likelihood that local nonprofits will find themselves under-resourced to serve a growing demand for their services. Donations are now being accepted toward this fund at

Information for nonprofits in need of Rapid Response funding will be available soon on this website.



Staff and board leaders of United Midcoast Charities are monitoring developments in the worldwide spread of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus). We understand that this is an uncertain time and we wanted to reach out to you, our friends and supporters.

UMC is committed to being a steady partner – to our donors, our grantees, our nonprofits and our community at large. Even during uncertain times, we are determined to live out our values of IntegrityTransparency, Responsibility, Service and Collaboration in our actions:

  • We are looking to create virtual learning experiences for our upcoming workshops, instead of gathering in person.
  • UMC has also made the decision for the time being to move as many in-person meetings to virtual meetings as we are able, and this includes our upcoming board and committee meetings.
  • For essential in-person meetings or small gatherings, let’s all encourage common sense hygiene such as avoiding shaking hands, frequent hand washing, coughing and sneezing into sleeves, and staying home if you are not feeling well.
  • We encourage everyone to understand the facts about COVID-19 in order to make rational decisions. UMC is committed to sharing only information from trusted and validated sources. We recommend regularly checking the website of the Maine Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) or calling 2-1-1 for the latest information on COVID-19 in Maine. For other locations, please check your State’s CDC for guidance.
UMC believes our community is stronger when we work together

The possibility of emotional distress as a result of recommended isolation measures is very real (for all of us). The time to come together in trust as a community is now. Reach out to your friends, relatives and neighbors via phone and email and facilitate connections and conversation despite our need to physically distance ourselves. Let’s rally together and take care of each other.

UMC’s nonprofit grantees are continuing their crucial work of providing food, shelter, care and assistance to our friends and neighbors who need it. This is not an optional task, and our entire community is stronger because we have such supports in place. Those served by our grantees will be hit hardest by the repercussions of this pandemic and the needs will be even greater, so please consider how you might provide additional support during and after this crisis. Can you purchase extra food or supplies and share with a local shelter or pantry? Can you send a special donation to help offset additional needs? Even a small act like sending an encouraging note to your favorite nonprofit letting them know that you are thinking of them and that they are doing a good job can lift the spirits of those on the front lines.

And finally, this quote from Dora Mills, Chief Health Improvement Officer for MaineHealthmay resonate with many of us, “…it is also important – even if our lives and plans are disrupted – that we develop and maintain routines, that we talk about what’s going on and how it feels, and that we also plan to have some fun and enjoy each other’s company. During such times, we can feel more rooted and steady if we make sure to take time each day to enjoy something meaningful that warms our hearts.”

UMC is here to serve our community as best we can during this worrying time. Please email or call us with any suggestions, questions or concerns.

Thank you all for warming our hearts, always.


Megan Williams
Executive Director 


Betsy Saltonstall
Board President



Staff and board leaders of United Midcoast Charities are monitoring developments in the worldwide spread of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus).

Many large gatherings and events have been canceled or postponed. The presenters for our March 13 workshop have therefore decided to postpone the event out of an abundance of caution.

At this time, UMC currently plans to continue with our plans for other upcoming small gatherings. This may change with developing guidance. We encourage common sense hygiene for attendees such as avoiding shaking hands, frequent hand washing, coughing and sneezing into sleeves, and staying home if you are not feeling well. We plan to allow for social distancing at our gatherings. Additionally, if you have traveled outside the state to areas with community transmission, please consider limiting your attendance at meetings and events until the window for symptoms has passed.

If our plans change as conditions are monitored, we will inform all registered attendees via email and we will put notices up on our facebook page and our website. Please call us at 207-236-2299 with any questions or concerns.

We encourage everyone to understand the facts about COVID-19 in order to make rational decisions. To that end, we recommend regularly checking the website of the Maine Centers For Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) or calling 211 for the latest information on COVID-19 in Maine.

Megan Williams
Executive Director, UMC

$8,660,650 in 20 years for UMCNews

2020 Grant Application & Grant Reader Deadlines

UMC is currently soliciting applications for our competitive grant process. Eligible organizations include 501(c)(3) nonprofits and groups with fiscal sponsorship. Recipients should be focused on making maximum impact in Knox and Waldo counties in one or more of UMC’s focus areas of Food, Housing, Health and Safety, and Economic Security. Of special interest are proposals that take a coherent approach to making a lasting difference in a social problem, and those where the service population is part of program design and implementation.

UMC provides grants to nonprofits for general operational budgets and programming. Program grants are reviewed on an annual basis, but new for 2020 is a two-year grant cycle for general support grants. We do not fund capital projects, endowments, or private schools.

The 2020 application period opened March 3 with a deadline of 5 p.m. on March 31. All applications must be completed online at Please call program coordinator Kelly Carey at 207-236-2299 with any questions about your proposal.

To expand the diversity in UMC’s grantmaking and to incorporate community perspectives into the process, United Midcoast Charities is pleased to announce the new role of Community Grant Reader as part of the 2020 grant review process. All residents of Knox and Waldo county are welcome to participate as community grant readers, especially those with living/lived experience in our focus areas. The grant reader process will take place entirely online, so internet access is required to participate. Readers will each be assigned three applications, and should plan on taking about four to six hours to complete their reviews during the month of April. Email or sign up here by March 20 to express your interest in becoming a community grant reader.

Nazrin-Dixon-FNWMCapacity Building

Learn with UMC: Effective Relationships with Wealth Managers

Our March offering in the Learn with UMC series, Effective Relationships with Wealth Managers, will take place from 9-11 am on March 13, at 16 Bayview in Camden. This event is sponsored by First National Wealth Management.

Invested funds are a critical tool in nonprofit finance. They allow the organization to adapt to situations of rapid change, address emerging needs, and plan for the long term. Portfolio managers Gary E. Stone and Christopher J. Shelton will discuss how to know if an endowment is right for your organization and answer important questions about how to start. Who is the best investment manager to oversee the administrative and fiduciary requirements to properly maintain the endowment? How do you find services to manage your endowment? What other things should you consider?

KCareyWorkshopCapacity Building

United Midcoast Charities offers Grantseeking: Goals & Objectives

UMC’s next free Learn with UMC event, Grantseeking: Goals & Objectives will be offered at 3 p.m. on Friday, Feb 28 at the Picker Room of the Camden Public Library. UMC program coordinator Kelly Carey will offer hands-on coaching about writing a winning grant application with concrete goals and objectives.

All around the nation, funders are increasingly moving to data-informed, outcome-focused grantmaking strategies. That means that it’s critical for nonprofits to clearly and concretely explain what they expect to do, and why they expect their activities will make difference to a social problem.

This workshop is recommended for anyone with grant-writing responsibilities, but especially for those who plan to apply for a UMC grant in 2020.  Pre-learning resources and post-workshop support are included in registration.

The workshop is free but we request that attendees register here to assist in planning. Refreshments will be provided.


UMC Elects New Officers and Directors

Image: Top Row, L-R: UMC President Betsy Saltonstall, Vice President Lori Alexander, Treasurer Steve Kemple, Secretary John Viehman. Bottom Row, L-R: UMC Grants Committee Chair, Dr. Jim Hengerer, New Board Members Frank Hackett, who will serve on the finance and grants committees and Mary Sargent, who will serve on the communications committee.

UMC elected two new members to its board of directors at the organization’s Annual Meeting in December. They are Rockport resident Frank Hackett and Mary Sargent of Lincolnville.

Frank relocated in 2018 from the Hudson Valley. He has experience from past roles as partner at a CPA firm, COO of a leather design firm, CFO of a lamp manufacturer and a consultant to many for-profit and nonprofit organizations.

Mary is the executive director of Penobscot Shores Retirement Community in Belfast. From 2010 to 2018, she was the administrator at Quarry Hill in Camden. She has been a West Bay Rotarian since 2012 and is the club’s immediate past president.

Kelly CareyNews

UMC Promotes Kelly Carey to Program Coordinator

United Midcoast Charities, a community-supported nonprofit dedicated to grantmaking and capacity building for local nonprofits, has promoted Kelly Carey of Brooks into a new full-time program coordinator role.

Kelly joined UMC as administrative coordinator in February 2017. She earned a certificate in volunteer management from the Maine Commission for Community Service in 2018 and is a certified expert and trainer for Foundation Center Online.