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Eligible Organizations

Last updated November 2023, these guidelines support potential grantseekers in confirming organizational eligibility. We verify eligibility of all applicants returning or new.

*Apply within the application category that represents your organization's primary purpose. Consider first your organization and its mission. Only after confirming eligibility should you then begin to consider your approach for the proposal of your project.* 


Eligible Organizations must be:

A. Tax Exempt: 501(c)(3) with 509(a)(1) or (2) status. The Foundation cannot make grants to 509(a)(3) organizations.

B. Aligned with Davis Family Foundation's Giving Areas
The organization must have the primary purpose of Education, Health, or Cultural/Arts. Factors we consider are board-approved mission and the majority of programs and services being dedicated to the primary purpose

Educational: Colleges, universities, and other accredited educational institutions are encouraged to apply. Trustees will also consider requests from other educational organizations whose purpose is to improve academic outcomes for Maine students, provided that they meet some or all of these four criteria:

  • The organization works directly with schools.
  • The organization has certified teachers on staff or offers programming approved by certified teachers.
  • The organization has a formal curriculum with educational goals that connect to Maine standards.
  • The organization enhances learning by offering credit or certification.

Medical Organizations: Hospitals, clinics and medical research organizations are encouraged to apply. Trustees will also consider requests from other health organizations for programs designed to increase the effectiveness of medical care.

Cultural/Arts Organizations: Organizations whose customary and primary activity is to promote music, theater, drama, history, literature, the arts or other similar cultural activities.

C. Located in a Geographic Priority Area (listed in order of priority): Southern Maine, other parts of Maine, New England (project must impact Maine learners), Outside of New England (100% of project must impact Maine learners)

D. Fiscal Sponsorships: Additional information is required at the time of application. Please contact our team to begin this process early.

E. Returning organizations should confirm:

  • At least 24 months have passed since the last approved grant for a medical or educational applicant.
  • At least 36 months have passed since the last approved grant for a Cultural/Arts applicant
  • You have submitted a completion report for your last grant
  • You have read our updated project guidelines around returning/repetitive grant requests


Note for governmental entities

All governmental entities should contact staff to confirm eligibility before applying.

Ineligible governmental entities: Cities, Towns, Public schools/RSUs


Ineligible Organizations

The Foundation is Unable to Fund

  • Organizations with a project that aligns with the Foundation, but whose organizational primary mission does not fall within a primary funding category
  • Human services/social services organizations
  • Individuals
  • Religious programs
  • Public elementary and secondary schools
  • Charter schools, although requests for startup funds are eligible
  • Youth organizations with no academic or medical mission
  • Schools which receive financial support from a church or other religious organization
  • Health/Medical organizations with no licensed clinician
  • Organizations outside of New England, unless the project is 100% Maine based
  • 509(a)(3) organizations