Foundation Awards $111K In Grants

SALISBURY – The Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore this week announced more than $111,000 in grants have been awarded to various local nonprofits.

Twice a year, the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore (CFES) awards grants to local nonprofits through its Community Needs Grant Program. Applicants are awarded a maximum of $5,000 to provide programs that serve citizens in the tri-county region.

Erica Joseph, CFES president, said 27 of the 30 applicants this year have been awarded a total of $111,994 to develop programs that focus on environmental protection, youth programs, senior programs, healthcare, pro-bono legal counseling, and more.

She noted the semi-annual Community Needs Grant Program also allows CFES to learn about new initiatives.

“Because this is a responsive program, we need organizations to tell us what work they are doing in the community,” she said. “We may know an organization well, but not realize they have developed a new initiative or new focus. So this program always gives us a great opportunity to see things that are across the spectrum.”

Joseph said this year’s recipients will be among the many nonprofits to benefit from the grant program since its inception.

“Every grant cycle we are looking for new ideas, new projects, new populations that are being served and that’s really the benefit of having community needs funds because they are very flexible and allow the foundation to respond in different ways as the needs in the community change,” she said.

In Worcester County, for example, Assateague Coastal Trust will receive money to fund scholarships, a Coast Kids summer camp and a year-round environmental education program, Habitat for Humanity of Worcester County will receive a grant to assist at-risk families with emergency home repairs, the Town of Ocean City will receive money to support its “Lights for Bikes” safety campaign, and Worcester Youth and Family Counseling Services will receive a grant to fund a summer youth program that teaches young adolescents career and life enhancing skills.

In Wicomico County, Wicomico Public Libraries, Salisbury Urban Ministries, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Eastern Shore, United Way of the Lower Eastern Shore, MAC Inc. and more will receive needs grants from CFES to support various initiatives and programs.

Other nonprofits to benefit from the Community Needs Grant Program include Lower Shore Land Trust, Bay Area Center for Independent Living, the Brown Box Theatre Project, Delmarva Public Radio, Maryland Coastal Bays Program and more.

Joseph said CFES has distributed nearly $67 million to the community since 1984. She added since 1994, the organization has given out $4.6 million through 1,813 community needs grants.

“Anything you could imagine that the nonprofit community is doing we have likely funded in some way, shape or form through community needs funds,” she said.

Joseph said both new and existing nonprofit organizations benefit each year.

“They are relatively small dollars, but it really is a place where new organizations can get started, where existing organizations can try and develop a new program, and it gives us a chance to give them the push they need to make that successful,” she said.

Applicants must be 501c3 nonprofit organizations, faith-based organizations providing non-sectarian programs or eligible programs within government agencies serving citizens on the Lower Eastern Shore of Maryland. The next deadline for Community Needs Grant applications is Aug. 1. For additional information, or for a full list of this year’s grant recipients, visit

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.