Bangor Savings Bank Foundation begins its annual grant-making initiative, Community Matters More, on February 1. Through this charitable program, Maine’s largest independent bank offers all Maine residents the opportunity to weigh in on how best to allocate $100,000 the bank has pledged to give to 68 Maine nonprofit organizations.

The voting period takes place through February 28, with winners announced in April.

Since its inception, Community Matters More has provided more than $600,000 in total grants to hundreds of Maine nonprofits. “We launchedCommunity Matters More in 2007 as a way to support nonprofit organizations in Maine based on input from the general public. The enthusiastic participation of Maine residents who are passionate about their favorite nonprofits and who understand 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 the 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 also receive a grant from the Bangor Savings Bank Foundation. The top vote-getting organization in each of the eight regions (including write-ins) will receive $5,000.

It is easy to vote online at Paper ballots are also available at any of the 57 Bangor Savings Bank branches statewide, and at each of the participating nonprofits.

Community Matters More not only provides financial support to the 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, The Children’s Discovery Museum in Augusta used their $5,000Community Matters More grant to address a crucial exhibit need. “The Ocean Touch Tank is one of the most popular displays at the museum. Some of the children who come to the museum have never visited the ocean and the tank provides them the opportunity to touch and hold several types of Maine ocean animals. The tank’s motor broke last year and we had to close the exhibit. Thanks to the Community Matters More grant, we were able to repair the motor, replace the animals and re-open the exhibit,” said Executive Director Carrie Arsenault.  “A portion of the grant was also used to help purchase 140 complimentary family memberships given to needy families through local schools. We’re thankful to Bangor Savings and Community Matters More for supporting the museum and the greater community.”


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