Grants Program Overview

Maine Cancer Foundation was started in 1976 by a group of concerned citizens eager to do more for Maine in the fight against cancer. We lead a state-wide effort to promote and support the most promising and effective cancer-fighting programs available to the people of Maine through a combination of grant-based financial support and coalition building.

We are proud of our record of accomplishment, and we invite you to join us in this grand vision: a future where cancer is no longer a threat to our loved ones.

Our Mission

Maine Cancer Foundation is dedicated to reducing cancer incidence and mortality rates in Maine. 100% of funds raised by the Foundation are used to benefit the people of Maine.

Our Goals

Foster Prevention Practices:

The best cancer is the one that never occurs. Prevention strategies have a proven impact on cancer incidence rates. The Foundation supports statewide prevention efforts, focusing on smoking, healthy lifestyles and preventative care.

Increase Cancer Screening:

Early detection saves lives. Several cancers have well-developed treatments but all cancers have better patient outcomes when detected early. The Foundation supports programs that improve and increase early detection and screening efforts.

Improve Patient Outcomes:

Maine lives matter. The Foundation supports efforts to improve patient outcomes by increasing access to care, and improving the availability of the best treatments for all Mainers.


Funding Criteria

Maine Cancer Foundation will put out Requests for Proposals (RFPs) that fulfill our mission, and are directed towards our three main goals as listed above.

RFPs will typically be announced in January, June, July, and October.

Discretionary Funding

In addition to publishing RFPs, Maine Cancer Foundation will offer discretionary grants for projects that fall under our three main goals: Prevention, Early Detection, and Patient Outcomes.  Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and we encourage you to contact Aysha Sheikh, our Program Officer, at to discuss projects or pitch ideas.

What We Will Not Fund

  • Organizations that are not a 501(c)3
  • Direct support to individuals for cancer prevention, detection or treatment services, equipment or supplies
  • More than 15% institutional overhead
  • Business investments or loans
  • Programs that do not benefit the people of Maine


Application Process

Applications are accepted online at Completed applications will be reviewed by our grant committee and applicants may be contacted for additional information.

All interested applicants are encouraged to contact Maine Cancer Foundation with all eligibility questions and to discuss your proposal prior to submission.

Review Process

Grants are peer-reviewed by a committee of Maine-based experts in the field.  Reviewers read and score each application based on criteria from the Request for Proposal guidelines. The Committee then meets in person to discuss each application and prepare its recommendations for funding. Those recommendations are submitted to Maine Cancer Foundation’s Executive Committee for final approval.

Before application review, reviewers must disclose any conflicts of interest including financial or professional relationships with an applicant, a financial benefit resulting from a funding decision, or a perception of conflict.

Additional Information

  • Programs currently receiving federal or state funding are not universally eligible but certain new components could qualify for grant funding.
  • Geographic distribution of grants will be considered and multiple grants to the same institution may be limited, if necessary.
  • Maine Cancer Foundation will not knowingly support projects that discriminate on the basis of race, creed, religion, sex, national origin, disability, marital status or sexual orientation.
  • The Foundation reserves the right to make additional grant awards at the discretion of its board members. Organizations that receive such funding are selected by the board and may be reviewed outside of the normal application process.
  • A grant recipient’s work must further the charitable purposes outlined by MCF. Funds may not be diverted to benefit any individual. The results or benefits of any Foundation supported investigation or program are required to remain in the public domain for the benefit of Maine people.