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 Feb. 15, 2021. A volunteer committee of Penobscot 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 Penobscot County Committee awarded $159,633 in grants to 18 nonprofit organizations, including:

• MSAD #30, to develop a STEM lab that will prepare current and future students to enter STEM careers in Penobscot County
• Shaw House, to support homeless youth between the ages of 16-20, who often suffer from ACES, PTSD, and other traumas; providing training to secure/maintain employment to aid in exiting homelessness
• Penobscot Nation, to use the philosophy and practice of traditional values to create a healthy lifestyle and a vision for the youth and the community.

The Penobscot County Fund is built through donations from the community. If you would like more information about the fund, please contact Senior Foundation Officer Laura Reed at 207-564-3236 or by email at lreed@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.