Campus News

Joseph McKeen Center for the Common Good to award Grants to Area Non-Profits

Story posted November 30, 2008

The Common Good Grant program, offered through the programs of the Joseph McKeen Center for the Common Good, is now in its eighth consecutive year and accepting applications through January 30, 2009.

The mission of the Common Good Grant is to provide $10,000 in grants to local non-profits that serve the greater Brunswick area (Brunswick, Harpswell, Georgetown, Phippsburg, Freeport, Topsham, Bath, Bowdoinham, Woolwich, Lisbon, Lisbon Falls, Bowdoin and Yarmouth) so that they may maintain current programs and fund new initiatives that impact local communities.

New McKeen Center Web Site

Check out the McKeen Center for the Common Good Web site, offering continuously updated content regarding community service opportunities, a schedule of events and other happenings.

These grants will be awarded by the Common Good Grant Committee, a group of Bowdoin students interested in the non-profit sector and philanthropy. The funding for these grants is provided by an anonymous donor in the form of a $10,000 restricted gift, as well as through additional funds raised by the student committee.

The purpose of the program is to provide students the opportunity to learn about grants, foundations and philanthropy while becoming familiar with local non-profit organizations.

"Serving on the Common Good Grant Committee taught me a lot about the nonprofit world," says Bowdoin senior and past committee member Suzanne Heller. Bowdoin sophomore Rachel Turkel, who is serving on the committee for the second year in a row, noted that she "learned first-hand that even in midcoast Maine there are communities that are facing serious social and economic burdens."

In 2008, nine non-profits received Common Good Grants:

  • Bath Community Garden
  • Bath Youth Meetinghouse and Skatepark Center
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters
  • Brunswick Teen Center/People Plus
  • Family Crisis Services
  • Family Focus
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Sexual Assault Support Services of Midcoast Maine
  • Sweetser

A diverse array of projects was funded, including one to restore and repair homes of low-income families in the community.

Tara Hill, executive director of Habitat for Humanity 7 Rivers Maine, was grateful her organization was a recipient. "This grant allowed us to help reach more families in need by supporting those who owned homes in disrepair and were being adversely affected in their health and safety with the burden of high energy costs."

Another program funded at Sexual Assault Support Services of Midcoast Maine provided education about safe and healthy relationships through the expansion of the School-Based Education Program. "We are so appreciative of the grant award and recognize how much time, effort, commitment and energy goes into the Common Good initiative," said Susan Hall Dreher, MHSA executive director.

Click here for more information about a free grant-writing workshop and submission deadlines.

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