ELLSWORTH & PORTLAND — The Maine Community Foundation’s Community Building Grant Program is open and accepting applications from nonprofit and public organizations seeking funding for projects that strengthen communities.

The 2021 Community Building Grant Program will focus on funding to build community resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic, with changes to program criteria, priorities, and types of funding. Priority will be given to projects or organizations that support people at higher risk to be negatively impacted by COVID-19.

Two informational Zoom sessions for grantseekers will review program changes for community-building grants: Tuesday, Dec. 8, 12-1 p.m., and Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021, 12-1 p.m. Email events@mainecf.org to sign up.

The deadline for applying is February 15, 2021. A volunteer committee of Cumberland County residents and community leaders reviews grant applications and makes recommendations for funding. Application, guidelines and a list of 2020 grants are available at http://www.mainecf.org.

In 2020, the Cumberland County Committee awarded $101,282 in grants to 16 nonprofits, including:

• Portland Parks Conservancy, for a pilot program for the Portland Youth Corps that gives at-risk teens education, income, and job experience doing meaningful work in Portland’s public parks
• Spurwink Services, to expand and improve Project NOW, which provides a coordinated response to child sexual exploitation and educates stakeholders about best practices
• Town of Windham, to create greater access to Windham Public Library items by removing mobility barriers through the Windham Public Library To Go initiative.

The Cumberland County Fund is built through donations from the community. If you would like more information about the fund, please contact Program Officer John Ochira at 1-877-700-6800 or jochira@mainecf.org.

Headquartered in Ellsworth, with additional personnel in Portland, Dover-Foxcroft, Rockport and Mars Hill, the Maine Community Foundation works with donors and other partners to provide strong investments, personalized service, local expertise, and strategic giving to improve the quality of life for all Maine people. To learn more about the foundation, visit http://www.mainecf.org.