Application Process

The first step in seeking funding support from the Elmina B. Sewall Foundation is familiarizing yourself with the Foundation's MissionValuesGrant Programs, and the eligibility requirements found on this page.  If, after doing so, you believe your organization's work aligns with the goals of the Foundation you may submit an application.

We will only accept applications submitted through our online grant system.  Please refer to our Application Instructions and Online Application Guide, for helpful hints before getting started.  Links to the online application for each grant program can be found on their corresponding Grant Program pages. Please note that the 2019 Healthy People Healthy Places grant round will be by invitation only, and the link will not be available on our website.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicants must be eligible to accept tax-deductible donations as outlined in Section 170(c) of the Internal Revenue Code. This includes 501(c)(3) federal tax-exempt organizations, public schools, public agencies working for the State of Maine, or Indian tribal governments (and their political subdivisions) recognized by the Department of the Interior.

The Foundation limits grant support to charitable work in Maine that aligns with its stated priorities.  This requirement may be waived for a defined group of Legacy organizations for which Mrs. Sewall had particular affinity during her lifetime.

Organizations may submit an application one time per calendar year.  Some exceptions may be made in the case of fiscal sponsorships and multi-organization collaborations. Organizations with active multi-year grants must wait to apply for additional funding until the year in which the current grant-term ends.   Please see FAQs for more information.

For nonprofits based in Maine, the Foundation will check with the Maine Secretary of State’s website, as part of our due diligence, to determine that your annual report filing is up-to-date.  Please review this prior to submitting an application.

Submission Deadlines


Healthy People Healthy Places
Animal Welfare

Application Period

November 1-January 15
March 15-June 15
March 15-June 15

Due date/time

January 15, 5PM EST
June 15, 5PM EST
June 15, 5PM EST


Early October
Early October

In the event the due date is a weekend or holiday, applications will be due by 5 PM EST on the next normal business day.

Review Process


The Foundation receives more compelling requests than can be approved each year by the Board of Directors.  Thus, in reviewing applications, consideration is given to the degree to which the proposal advances the Foundation's goals in the context of other proposals under consideration.

Foundation staff may contact the applicant in order to gain a better understanding of the proposal. We may also contact others who are familiar with the applicant and/or project.

Proposals are reviewed initially by staff and are then considered by the Board of Directors for decision making. The Board of Directors retains full discretion in all grant making decisions.

Grants We Will Consider


Operating Grants
Grants that fuel the existence of organizations, providing them with funds to support the operating budget needed to do their work.  Grants that increase the capacity of organizations to rise to a higher level of effectiveness and impact.

Project Grants
Grants dedicated to a specific program or initiative undertaken by an individual organization or a group of organizations working cooperatively.

Capital Grants
Grants supporting acquisition and stewardship of specific capital assets such as buildings, land or other tangible resources required by organizations in the performance of their charitable work.

Types of Grants We Will Not Consider
Grants for operating endowments.