The recent recession and slow economic recovery has had a big impact on nonprofit donations. When families are on a tight budget, they have less discretionary income to donate to their favorite charities. Thankfully, there are companies out there like Tom’s of Maine that offer funding opportunities to nonprofits. Tom’s of Maine has just launched its third annual 50 States for Good program, which will award a total of $150,000 to six nonprofit organizations.

The program is open to nonprofits registered as a 501(c) 3 organization with an operating budget of less than $2 million. Other requirements include:

  • The nonprofit’s project mobilizes community volunteers
  • The project must be completed within six months of funding
  • Participating organizations must not perform testing on animals
  • Projects must have a positive impact on the community in at least one category: environmental goodness, healthy human goodness or animal goodness
  • The 20 finalists must be prepared to provide photos of their work for display on the Tom’s of Maine website
Applications will be accepted through June 21, when the public will have the opportunity to vote on their favorite submission. Five nonprofits will receive $20,000 and the organization that receives the most public votes will receive $50,000.

In 2010, submissions from all 50 states were received. In the end, five projects received $20,000 each including the Bloomington Community Orchard, a publicly owned, volunteer-maintained orchard in Indiana; and IMPACT Alabama, a group that trained college students to administer vision screenings for low-income preschool children.

If you know of a nonprofit organization that would benefit from this funding, please point them to the 50 States for Good website for more information and an online application.

Update: The top 20 finalists have been named. Vote now.

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