Vincent Astor Incentive Awards

Grant Size: Typically between $500 and $3,000
Application Deadline: February 1
Vincent Astor Incentive Awards Application: Download application


The Vincent Astor Incentive Awards program was established in 1984 to improve the quality, productivity, and effectiveness of education in the Town of Mount Desert through the staff of Mount Desert Elementary School, the Northeast Harbor Library, and Mount Desert Island High School. The program was made possible by an endowment grant from the Vincent Astor Foundation.

The program includes two components:

  • Incentive awards encourage and reward school or library staff for their initiative by enabling them to pursue projects which will broaden their experience or education or otherwise contribute to their skills or to the curriculum of the school. Grants are typically between $500 and $3,000.
  • Mini-grants of up to $500 were created to fill a need not discovered by a teacher until after the school year begins and for which funding is not otherwise available. These awards are not intended as a substitute for normal, yearly operational funding but rather to supplement and enrich the educational process. Mini-grants are only available to staff from the elementary school and the library.

Evaluation Criteria

The awards committee will review applications using the following criteria:

  • Are the description and objectives of the proposed project clear?
  • Are the procedures to be followed, the methods to be attempted, the materials and resource personnel needed, the tentative schedule, and the completion dates clear and specific?
  • Is the budget request reasonable and sufficiently detailed?
  • Does the project have promise of benefiting students from Mount Desert?
  • Are the schedule and completion dates realistic?
  • Are public funds available to support the proposal?

Preference is given to proposals from Mount Desert Elementary School and Northeast Harbor Public Library.

If requesting funds to purchase equipment, please include descriptions and sources for purchase (such as a catalog page).

Eligibility Requirements

Applicants must be directly employed by or on the staff of Mount Desert Elementary School, the Northeast Harbor Library or Mount Desert Island High School and may not be a member of the awards committee or a member of the immediate family of a committee member. Preference will be given to applicants who have not received an award in the past 12 months.

How to Apply

  • Incentive Awards: The application deadline for incentive awards is February 1. Applicants who have questions about the appropriateness of a proposal are encouraged to discuss their idea with a committee member before applying. Award applications are available through the schools, the library, and the Maine Community Foundation. Recipients are expected to remain teaching in Mount Desert schools and/or employed by the library after an award is granted, to extend the benefits of their travel experiences with upcoming classes of students and their colleagues. Applicants will be notified of the final decisions by late March.
  • Mini-Grants: Mini-grant requests will be considered monthly, and a formal application is not necessary. Applicants should submit a one-page letter to the committee by the 15th of the month explaining the project. Awards will generally be made within 30 days of receipt of the proposal.

Proposals should be sent to:

Vincent Astor Incentive Awards
Maine Community Foundation
245 Main Street
Ellsworth, ME 04605


If you have any further questions regarding the Vincent Astor Incentive Awards, please contact Liz Fickett via e-mail or by phone at (207) 412-2015.