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 over $1 million in Maine’s island and coastal communities—with close to $600,000 in small business support and over $400,000 in community infrastructure support for projects focusing on broadband, clean energy, and sea level rise.



The 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


For many years, the Island Institute has provided grant opportunities for island and coastal small businesses to help promote resilience, and more recently, address ongoing disruptions of the pandemic.

We are pleased to launch a new component of the grant program that prioritizes the outer islands – Business Resilience Grants 2.0.

Does your island business need financial help to address an immediate or long-term issue or goal? The Island Institute’s Business Resilience Grant offers awards of up to $1,500 through our Community Impact Fund.

Funds can be used to:

  • Hire a consultant to help you improve your business.
  • Invest in supplies or infrastructure that allows you to operate your business more effectively.
  • Make improvements that allow your business to become more resilient to social, economic, and climate-related disruptions.
  • Develop new marketing strategy or projects.
  • Obtain training or professional development.
  • And more!

Applications are currently closed. Please check back in late August 2022 for more information on grant amounts, timeline, eligibility, and how to apply.


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
  • Broadband Planning Grants for community infrastructure planning: $10,000 | Learn more here
  • Sea Level Rise Grants for community sea level rise preparedness: $10,000 | Learn more here


Support Services

Island Institute’s support programs provide a breadth of professional development services including:




For answers to frequently asked questions concerning the 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.