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Rapid Response Fund (RRF)

Grants to Maine Nonprofits, Schools, Tribes,
and Agencies to Address Critical Needs

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Elmina B. Sewall Foundation

Deadline Date:

09/15/21 5:00 PM EST


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Grants to Maine nonprofit organizations, public schools, public agencies, and Indian tribal governments to address emergency and time-sensitive organizational and community needs. Funding is intended to support projects that improve the well-being of people, animals, and the environment while fostering relationships that strive for social equity and community resilience. The Foundation will consider both COVID-19-related and general rapid response requests.

Emergency refers to an unexpected and unplanned event or situation that requires an immediate and time-limited response.  Time-sensitive refers to opportunities that are short-term in duration (usually within the next few months) and purpose.  

Some examples of COVID-19-related Rapid Response Grant uses:

  • Collaboratives, networks, or other affiliations coordinating policy or emergency response actions
  • Community organizing and advocacy to ensure most vulnerable have access to resources and care
  • Coordination and implementation of state and federal relief funds and services
  • Technology or communications needs (including technical assistance & training) for remote work
  • Translation of materials to reach all populations

Some examples of general Rapid Response Grant uses:

  • Provision of basic needs and/or supplies for organizations and the communities they serve
  • Work that seeks to eliminate barriers for community members, such as cost of transportation, childcare, interpretation, translation, food for a community event, etc.
  • Repair damage due to fire, theft, or natural disaster 
  • Training, technical assistance, or capacity-building (considered on a case-by-case basis)
  • Urgent, time-sensitive advocacy opportunities
  • Response to an unexpected opportunity (funding, policy, among others)
  • Time-sensitive research or data collection
  • Translation of printed materials needed in a time-sensitive manner

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 193856

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

While there are no firm limits on request amounts, most RRF grants will be no greater than $10,000.

Term of Contract:

All RRF grants are limited to a 12-month term.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Applicants must be eligible to receive tax-deductible donations as outlined in Section 170(c) of the Internal Revenue Code. This includes 501(c)(3) federal tax-exempt organizations; public schools; public agencies working for the State of Maine; Indian tribal governments (and their political subdivisions) recognized by the Department of the Interior. Applicants may also apply through a fiscal sponsor.

Priority will be given to:
- Community-based organizations with operating budgets under $250,000; however, this does not exclude organizations with larger budgets from applying
- Organizations led by and serving people in under-resourced populations and geographies, including African Americans, Indigenous, and people of color; immigrants and refugees; LGBTQ; people with low incomes; differently-abled populations; incarcerated populations; people in recovery; and populations who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
- Organizations, networks, or grassroots efforts working to coordinate or mobilize response/action for their field or sector, a geographic region, or a specific community or population
- Collaborative and cross-sector efforts

Rapid Response Fund grants do not support:
- Ongoing operations, programs, or activities
- Requests to replace existing sources of funding
- Sponsorship of events for organizational promotion

EBSF does not fund: direct or grassroots lobbying; 501 (c)(4) organizations; and political campaign activities.

Pre-Application Information:

The application due date is September 15, 2021, by 5:00 PM EST.

Staff will review applications following the application due date and may reach out to applicants during the review process if further information is needed. Decisions will be announced by mid-October.

Application instructions:

Foundation values:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply online:

Elmina B. Sewall Foundation
15 Main St. Suite 230
Freeport, ME 04032
(207) 865-3810

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Maine

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