BANGOR, Maine — Bangor Savings Bank Foundation is asking Maine residents to weigh in on how best to allocate $100,000 among 68 Maine nonprofits. The annual grant-making initiative, Community Matters More, will begin on Jan. 28.
This year’s effort is expected to result in tens of thousands of Maine citizens participating and casting their votes over the next six weeks. Last year, Mainers cast more than 100,000 votes for hundreds of nonprofits resulting in 68 grants.
Since its inception in 2007, Community Matters More has provided $500,000 in total grants to hundreds of Maine nonprofits.
“Community Matters More gets broader in its reach and more successful every year, with new Maine nonprofits appearing on the ballot and receiving write-in votes and significant community attention. The number of Maine people taking the time to participate and vote for their favorite causes also grows each year. Their understanding of the importance of supporting communities is what makes this effort so successful,” said Yellow Light Breen, executive vice president at Bangor Savings Bank.
Each of 48 nonprofits listed on the ballot will receive at least a $1,000 grant for participating in the program, and the top 20 write-ins that get the most public support will receive grant from the Bangor Savings Bank Foundation. The organizations with the most votes in each of the eight regions (including write-ins) will receive $5,000 each. A total of 68 organizations will receive a portion of the $100,000 Bangor Savings Bank Foundation will distribute.
It is easy to vote online at http://www.bangor.com/cmm. Paper ballots also are available at Bangor Savings Bank branches statewide, and at each of the participating nonprofits. Any Maine resident is eligible to vote for up to three nonprofits. The voting period will be from Jan. 28 to March 11, with winners announced in early April.
Community Matters More not only provides financial support to 48 nonprofits, it also generates substantial exposure and community awareness for the work these organizations do to enhance the quality of life in Maine.
Last year, LifeFlight of Maine, an organization that provides emergency care and transport services for critical patients throughout Maine, was one of the top winners. “We have two helicopters, but we need an airplane to meet an ever-growing patient need. The funds we received from the Community Matters More campaign went directly to our fundraising efforts for a fixed-wing aircraft, ensuring we will be able to transport hundreds more critically ill and injured patients each year. We’re thankful for this donation from Bangor Savings Bank and the support of our community. When a bank makes a financial commitment to Maine’s nonprofits and communities, and asks the public to get involved in the charitable giving decisions, everyone benefits,” said Melissa Arndt, Marketing & Educational Outreach Manager of the LifeFlight Foundation.
Breen acknowledges the essential role that the media sponsors play in promoting Community Matters More. “For the past several years, the media has really stepped up and done their part. We’ve been fortunate to partner with WLBZ-TV/ Channel 2; WCSH-TV/Channel 6; WGAN 560 Newsradio and Blueberry Broadcasting. With their support, the public has been made aware of this program and the importance of giving back to the community,” said Breen.