Funding to Diversify Maine's Island and Coastal Economies


The Tom Glenn Fund Community Impact Fund is a community development catalyst fund that seeks to build a more diverse coastal economy through the investment of capital with planning grants as well as loans and equity support for small businesses. The Fund is made possible through a grant from The Wilbur and Hilda Glenn Family Foundation; daughters Rand and Louisa; and wife, Lou, to honor Tom Glenn II and his lifelong commitment to Maine’s island and coastal communities.


Since 2012, we have invested a total of $715,621 in Maine's island and coastal communities—with $523,985 in small business support deployed across 38 businesses and $191,636 in community infrastructure support deployed across 27 communities.

Available Funding: Small Business—APPLY HERE

Professional development grants and loans to support small business growth
  • Professional Development Grants: Up to $1,500
  • Catalyst Loans: $5,000 - $25,000

** UPDATE: Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, we are prioritizing applications focusing on innovative business models to build resilient systems in the changing world (i.e. building an online presence, utilizing new digital platforms, digital marketing efforts, etc.)**

Who is Eligible

The Tom Glenn Community Impact Fund offers grant and loan support for Small Businesses and Community Infrastructure Planning:

  • Small Business Support: Professional development grants and catalyst loans to support small business growth. Areas of focus: Island and Coastal Small Businesses, Artists and Makers, Aquaculture Businesses, and Lobstering Businesses.
  • Infrastructure Planning: Grants and revolving loans for community infrastructure planning. Areas of focus: Broadband, Energy, Working Waterfront, and Sea Level Rise.
Target Beneficiaries

Island Institute’s grant/loan programs seek to impact the following target beneficiaries in Maine's 120 island and coastal communities:

  • Small Business Owners
  • Municipal Officials
  • Local Leaders
  • Volunteer Groups
  • Local Nonprofit Organizations
  • Artists and Makers
  • Electric Cooperatives
  • Fishermen and Harvesters
  • Seafood Processors and Distributors

How We Work

The Tom Glenn Community Impact Fund supports the Island Institute’s strategic priority, Strengthening Community Economies, with preference given to projects aligned with our 2020 and 2025 impact targets for economically critical community infrastructure and diversification of livelihoods.

Learn more about the Island Institute’s Strategic Priority Areas and view our Impact Dashboard.

How We Measure Impact

Social impact objectives
  • Employment generation
  • Equality and empowerment
  • Income/productivity growth
  • Access to information
  • Capacity building
  • Community development
Enviromental impact objectives
  • Energy and fuel efficiency
  • Sustainable energy
  • Sustainable land use
  • Climate change resiliency
Financial impact objectives
  • Access to financial services
  • Strengthened revenue
  • Operational efficiency
  • Scalable economic model

Available Funding: Community Infrastructure Planning—APPLY HERE

Grants and loans for infrastructure planning

The Island Institute provides grant and loan support for broadband, energy, working waterfront, and sea level rise infrastructure planning projects:

  • Community Energy Spark! Fund for sustainable energy projects: Up to $2,000
  • Sea Level Rise and Broadband Planning Grants for community infrastructure planning: $5,000 - $15,000
  • Emergency/Discretionary Revolving Loans for responsive constituent services: Variable amounts, on occasion, at the discretion of the Fund

Support Services

Island Institute’s support programs provide a breadth of professional development services that grow with each client:

Small Business:
Community Infrastructure:

Not sure what type of funding is right for you?

Contact Craig Olson or Claire Donnelly with the Island Institute's Small Business team directly for further assistance. 

Application for funding

Complete the application to be considered for our small business or community infrastructure funding: Apply Here


For answers to frequently asked questions concerning the Tom Glenn Community Impact Fund, see our Fund FAQ:  Tom Glenn Community Impact Fund FAQ

If you have additional questions not answered here, please feel free to contact us directly.

Funding Partners

Funding partners for our small business and infrastructure support include: John T. Gorman Foundation, NorthLight Foundation, Jane's Trust Foundation, Manton Foundation, and Elmina B. Sewall Foundation.

If you are a community partner, mentor, or investor and would like to learn more, please contact us.