Bowdoin College’s Joseph McKeen Center for the Common Good has opened its 2020-21 Common Good Grant application process. This year, community organizations may apply for a grant of up to $2,500 or for a $5,000 grant that may increase their impact on their constituents.

This year’s Common Good Grant student committee commits to funding at least one qualified grant in each of the five following areas: justice, equity, and anti-racism; arts, history and culture; health and basic needs; adult and youth education and development; environment, agriculture and sustainability.

The committee will likely fund more than one grant from some of these categories, but this commitment is based on the committee recognizing the importance of a diverse group of non-profits that do many different types of important work.

The justice, equity, and anti-racism emphasis is new this year and is dedicated to supporting organizations with initiatives that support and empower Black and Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) individuals, dismantle systemic racism, and promote anti-racism in their community.

All 501(c)3 organizations that are based in or serve communities in Bath, Bowdoin, Bowdoinham, Brunswick, Freeport, Georgetown, Harpswell, Lisbon, Lisbon Falls, Phippsburg, Topsham, Woolwich and Yarmouth are eligible to apply.

Started in 2001, the Common Good Grant supports local non-profit groups by offering funding to maintain existing programs and to start new initiatives while educating Bowdoin students on the importance of local non-profits and the foundations that support them.


Since its inception, the Common Good Grant Program has awarded more than $300,000 to fund 163 projects in the greater-Brunswick area; in the recent years, the total amount awarded has exceeded $20,000 annually.

Applicants should submit a brief letter of intent (LOI) in November, from which selected organizations will be asked to complete a full application in the new year.

More information about the Common Good Grant, including the LOI, can be found at the Common Good Grant website (

All one-page letters of intent must be emailed to Tom Ancona ( by noon Monday, Nov. 9. Organizations will be notified in December about their status and full grant applications would be due in January with site visits for finalists taking place in March. The program will conclude with an award ceremony in April. Contact Ancona with any questions about the program.

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