Scarborough-based nonprofit SeedMoney offers challenge grants to allow green projects, such at this South Portland High School courtyard to crowdsource funding. Currently, 255 grants totaling $40,000 are available. (Courtesy photo)

SCARBOROUGH — SeedMoney, a Scarborough-based nonprofit, is offering 255 challenge grants totaling $40,000 to schools, community gardens, food banks and other nonprofit causes interested in starting or sustaining food garden projects.

SeedMoney employs a model it calls crowdgranting in which its grant is used to leverage donations from individual donors.

It provides applicant projects a crowdfunding website and trains organizations to collect donations.

Projects qualify for challenge grants between $50 and $700, and their organizers work to collect the rest of the funds from the community.

“We’re looking forward to growing our impacts this year,” says Roger Doiron, SeedMoney’s founding director. “This next round of grants is SeedMoney’s largest to date.”

According to Doiron, food gardens are part of the solution to many of society’s pressing problems, from social injustice to climate change.


“Often all that’s needed to start up a new school garden or community garden is a few hundred dollars,” Doiron said. “In return, such projects can produce hundreds of pounds of healthy foods for people in need, not to mention countless opportunities for exercise, social interaction and hands-on learning.”

These societal benefits, Doiron said, are low-hanging fruit for the community groups that are willing to put the work in to harvest them.

In 2018, South Portland High School raised just over $1000 from individual donors via their SeedMoney site, and then received a $400 grant from SeedMoney. This allowed them to install a rain garden, outdoor classroom space, raised vegetable beds, and an outdoor art classroom in their courtyard.

“Green spaces allow students to be and learn in nature, to create and see the importance of biodiversity, and to power down electronics,” Tania Ferrante, South Portland High English, ecology, and math teacher, as well as courtyard crowdfunding organizer, said. “Creating the green space allowed students to tap into skills and talents that are not always realized inside the classroom, like design, collaboration, and stewardship.”

Over the past four years, SeedMoney has provided donations to more than 1,100 garden projects in the state, the nation, and the world.

Its local recipients include Scarborough High School and the Scarbrough nonprofit Project G.R.A.C.E.

The deadline to apply for a grant is Nov. 12. Interested parties can apply on SeedMoney’s website,

 — Evelyn Waugh can be reached at or 780- 9026.

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