About the Margaret E. Burnham Charitable Trust

Margaret E. Burnham, Falmouth, MaineA lifelong resident of Falmouth, Maine, Margaret E. Burnham (1903-1994) was a woman of understated character who lived a quiet, simple life and whose mannerisms were reminiscent of another era in time. Her father, George Burnham, was a well-known Portland architect and her uncles, founded the Burnham & Morrill Company. She, herself, was a polite, proper and intelligent woman with interests in history, proper English, poetry and politics. She served her community in a variety of ways, as an ambulance driver for the American Red Cross during World War II and through her charitable contributions which were made quietly and unpublicized. She was a generous person who saved to give away to others and not spend on herself. Her legacy and dedication to her community live on today through the Trust which was established at her death.

What We Support

The Margaret E. Burnham Charitable Trust was established to benefit nonprofit organizations located, operating and serving within the State of Maine. To respond to the needs of the Maine communities it serves, the Trust is dedicated to funding five areas of interest:

  • Community and Social Services: 40%

  • Medical: 10%

  • Education: 20%

  • Arts and Culture: 20%

  • Environment: 10%

Applicant Eligibility

The Trust annually awards, charitable grants only to organizations which are tax-exempt under Section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code, not to private foundations under Section 509 of the Code, nor to governmental entities. The Trust generally does not fund multi-year requests. We do not fund awards to individuals or to religious organizations. The Trustees meet once a year in December to review applications for grants and make awards. Applications must be submitted to the Trustees by October 1st. Read more about applying here.

Note: From time to time, the Trust may make awards to organizations and institutions who have made no formal request, who we have recognized for exemplary work, and/or show significant promise in one or more of these five areas, and whose continuing work and mission would be more fully enhanced and supported by the funding.