Recommending Donor-Advised Grants

Advisors to Maine Community Foundation donor-advised funds may make grant recommendations of $500 or more to any 501(c)(3) public charity in the United States.

Advisors can make grant recommendations at any time by submitting a grant recommendation form (PDF) via mail, fax or e-mail, or by communicating with their fund contact at the community foundation.

Grant recommendations are typically processed within five business days of receipt. Recommendations for grants that exceed $50,000 may take longer as these require prior approval by the Board of Directors.

During December, our most active period for donor-advised recommendations, awarding grants may take longer than five days.

Although we are happy to process grant recommendation forms at any time, in order to avoid backlog we encourage advisors not to wait until the end of the year to send in recommendation forms to be processed.

Advisors wishing to remain anonymous (advisor name, fund name, or both) should indicate this on the grant recommendation form.

In accordance with IRS regulations, advised grants will not be made to benefit individuals. These types of grants must be made through a competitive scholarship fund.

In accordance with IRS regulations, grant recommendations for pledges, memberships or tickets cannot be approved.

If a fund is set up as an "income only" (permanent) fund, proposed grants must not exceed the balance available in the grants budget.

After receiving a recommendation form, Maine Community Foundation staff will:

  • Verify that the organization is classified as a public charity under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code
  • Contact the charity, if necessary, for additional information
  • Send the check and grant award letter to the recipient within one business week of receiving the grant recommendation form, provided all pertinent information is received by the foundation, and provided the grant is not more than $50,000.
  • Provide the advisor(s) with verification that the grant was approved and paid.