Nonprofit organizations that benefit individuals living in southern Maine may request support by applying for a responsive grant.  The Sam L. Cohen Foundation uses a two-step online application.  Before you begin the process please review the Grant-making Guidelines and the Online Application Instructions to determine if you are eligible to apply. As you develop your letter of inquiry, we encourage you contact Foundation staff to discuss your program or organization and the Foundation’s giving priorities.


CycleInitial InquiryFull ApplicationDecision
SpringDecember 1 - January 15March 1June
FallJune 1 - July 15September 1November

Deadlines that fall on a weekend or holiday are extended to the next work day.


Step 1:  Initial Inquiry

The Foundation will accept Initial Inquiries online (see Online Application Instructions).  The Initial Inquiry allows the Foundation to determine whether or not your time would be well spent pursuing a grant from us.  All applicants need to submit an Initial Inquiry, even those who have received a grant previously. We will send a response to your inquiry by email within two weeks after the January 15 or July 15 deadline.  If you do not receive a response, it is the applicant's responsibility to follow up with the Foundation. 

Step 2:  Full Application 

If your proposed request aligns with the Foundation's grant-making interests, you will be invited to submit a Full Application through the online system.  Please note that the invitation to submit a Full Application does not guarantee that a grant request will be funded (see Application Review Process).  

After submitting the application it is the applicant's responsibility to notify the Foundation immediately, but no later than the grant meeting of the directors, if there is a substantive change related to the information in the application, including a major change in the project, or a change in leadership, structure, or finances of the organization.

Before you begin.

Documents you will need:

  •  List of board of directors - Please include employment and/or community affiliations

  •  Most recent financial statement – Either Financial Audit, Balance Sheet, or Statement of Financial Position

    • current fiscal year revenue and expenses budgeted,
    • previous fiscal year budgeted
    • previous fiscal year actual.  Please visit News & Resources for examples and templates.
  • Detailed project budget - Required for non­operating support requests. The budget should include projected expenses and sources of committed and anticipated revenue.  Note specific sources and amounts of any pending funding requests. A budget narrative may be included as needed.

  • 501(c)(3) IRS determination letter - Required for all 501(c)(3) organizations or if using a fiscal agent. 

  • Letters of agreement and/or support - If applicable include a letter of support from the collaborating organization. Requests to work with schools should include a letter from the school.  If you have multiple letters they can be combined and submitted as one document.