Libra Foundation

OVERVIEW: The Libra Foundation is a private funder that solely focuses on Maine. It supports the arts, culture and humanities, education, environment, health, human services, justice, public/society benefit, and religion.

FUNDING AREAS: Arts, culture and humanities, education, environment, health, human services, justice, public/society benefit, religion

IP TAKE: This Maine-focused funder likes to give lots of small grants to many groups rather than large grants to just a few. Aim small and apply often.

PROFILE: Established in 1989, the Libra Foundation is based in Portland, Maine. This is one of the largest foundations in Maine and is the legacy of Elizabeth B. Noyce. The name, Libra, was chosen because of its connection to fairness, balance, and diversity for all populations. Topics of interest include the arts, culture and humanities, education, environment, health, human services, justice, public/society benefit, and religion.

This foundation supports a range of local causes, but it does not typically support: annual campaigns for regular operations, multiyear gifts, individuals, fellowships, travel expenses, or loans. Recently, the majority of grant money has benefited the public/society, followed by environment and arts, culture, and humanities. Major Libra projects include the Maine Winter Sports Center and Pineland Farms.

Most grants do not exceed $25,000. See grants awarded by topic on the Grants List page on the funder’s website. View current financial data here. Libra Foundation limits its grantmaking to organizations and activities within Maine.

There is a formal application process which generates the bulk of the annual requests for funding. However, the foundation does proactively solicit some Maine nonprofits to apply for grants and also undertakes special programs of its own. To apply for a Libra grant, complete a two-page application, which is accessible from their website. The foundation is governed by a board of four trustees who meet four times per year, in March, June, September, and December. Requests must be received by the 15th of the prior month to be considered at each board meeting. Direct general questions to the staff at (207) 879-6280. Email correspondence is not encouraged.

PEOPLE:

Search for staff contact info and bios in PeopleFinder (paid subscribers only).

LINKS: