Eligibility Requirements
  • must be a 501(c)(3) nonprofit; using a fiscal agent that is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit; a church, synagogue, temple or mosque; or a political subdivision of the State of Maine that is exempt from federal tax
  • must be located in and/or provide programs or services with direct impact on people in Cumberland and/or York counties, Maine
  • must have submitted the final grant report if you received a grant previously from the Foundation
  • must NOT have received a grant from the Foundation in the previous calendar year 
Priority will be given to organizations and projects that:
  • support the under served, disadvantaged, or those who do not have the resources to provide opportunities for themselves
  • make a significant difference in people's lives, assuring them a fulfilling and productive future
  • promote human rights and understanding among peoples, address racial and religious discrimination and hatred, and foster peace through education
  • demonstrate a broad base of community support, and/or
  • use collaboration as a means to leverage resources.

Types of programs the Foundation WILL support: 
The Foundation will support new programs, on-going programs, and capital improvements. The Foundation will support general operations to organizations whose overall mission aligns with the Foundation's giving priorities.

The Sam L. Cohen Foundation will consider responsive grant requests for amounts up to $50,000; however, the average grant size awarded is less than $15,000.

Types of programs the Foundation will NOT support:
In general, the Foundation will not support annual fund appeals, endowments, and projects requiring a multi-year commitment.

Typically grants will not be awarded to the same organization in two consecutive years.

Organizations that have received a prior grant from the Foundation are not eligible to submit another application until the Foundation directors have received a written report of the results of previously funded projects.

Unique situations:
The directors retain the right to consider compelling ideas that do not fall within the stated guidelines.

In addition to responding to requests that meet Foundation priorities, the directors and staff will be proactive in identifying areas in which the Foundation can make a significant positive difference. In this situation, and at the invitation of the directors, applications for larger than average amounts will be considered.