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.


The Tom Glenn Community Impact Fund offers grant and loan support for Small Businesses and Community Infrastructure Planning. Business resilience grants and catalyst loans to support small business growth are available for all island and coastal small businesses, including artists and makers and marine small businesses. Grants and revolving loans for community infrastructure planning are available for broadband, energy, and sea level rise.

Small Business Funding


Communities, businesses, and families are facing a host of uncertainties in the months ahead. In our work with small businesses, we see a particular need for helping businesses pivot product lines or sales models to help them adapt and place them on surer footing—now in the wake of COVID-19 and after. Through the Tom Glenn Community Impact Fund, we are offering grants of up to $1,500 to support island and coastal small businesses, artists and makers, and working waterfront businesses during this time.

Funding for this program is currently closed. Thank you to everyone who applied, and to all of the amazing island and coastal small businesses who met our recent challenges head on, reinvented themselves, and thrived despite the obstacles they faced. We applaud you!


Other funding options include catalyst loans of $5,000-$25,000 to support small business growth. Contact our Small Business team for details.

Community Infrastructure Planning Funding


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

  • Community Energy Spark! Fund for sustainable energy projects: Up to $4,000 | Learn more here
  • Sea Level Rise and Broadband Planning Grants for community infrastructure planning: $10,000
  • 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 including:



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

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


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.