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


The critical needs of our coast are priorities that require coordinated resources and leadership over the coming decade and beyond.  It is our mission to sustain Maine’s island and coastal communities, and exchanges ideas and experiences to further the sustainability of communities here and elsewhere.  For many years, Island Institute has provided grant opportunities for small businesses to promote resilience and more recently to address ongoing disruptions of the pandemic and economic changes. This year, we continue our small business grant programming and prioritization of island and coastal communities.

Does your business need financial help to address an immediate or long-term issue or goal? The Business Resilience Grant offers awards of up to $2,500 through the Tom Glenn Community Impact Fund.

Funds can be used to:

  • Investing in supplies or infrastructure that allows you to operate your business more effectively. 
  • Developing new marketing strategies or projects.
  • Training or professional development.
  • Hiring a consultant to help you improve your business. 
  • Other: Contact us if you’re unsure.

Please note: funding is not available for regular operating expenses e.g. payroll, rent, utilities, etc.

For more information on eligibility, the application process, and to submit your application, please click the button below. Questions? Please get in touch at




Community Infrastructure Planning Funding

Spark! Grants

Spark! Grants fund working waterfront energy projects that improve energy efficiency, switch to renewable energy, and/or reduce consumption of fossil fuels. We are currently prioritizing applications for shoreside charging infrastructure, shoreside renewable energy generation, marine electrification, energy efficiency, and weatherization. Other projects may be considered on a case-by-case basis. Projects with environmental and financial benefits, that are highly visible within the community and/or marine sector are more likely to receive funding.

Applicants can receive up to $4,000 per fiscal year (July – June). For-profit businesses, non-profit organizations, municipalities, and tribal governments are welcome to apply. For-profit businesses require a 50% match of funding, i.e., if a business has a $4,000 project, they may be funded for up to but not exceed $2,000. The match requirement may be waived for financial need or new technology applications.

Past projects have supported the purchase of:

  • Heat pumps
  • Solar panels
  • EV and shoreside charging stations
  • Electric propulsion outboard motors
  • Weatherization materials or services: insulation, air sealing, window inserts, etc.

For more information on eligibility, the application process, and to submit your application, please click the button below. If you would like additional information about Spark! Grants, please see here or reach out to



SHOREUP grants

ShoreUp Grants offers flexible funding and support, so that communities can plan for the sea level rise assistance they need to start taking the steps that are right for them. ShoreUp grants offer funding support (up to $10,000) for Maine island and coastal communities as they assess, implement, and/or plan for sea level rise.

Sea level rise preparedness projects might include (but are not limited to):

  • Risk assessments
  • Infrastructure and natural resource planning
  • Community engagement programs related to sea level rise

Applications for the next round of ShoreUp grants are scheduled to open by mid-September 2023. Questions? Please get in touch at



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

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.