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Congressional Community Project Funding (aka "Earmarks") and Nonprofits

by Sarah Skillin Woodard

Maine House Congressional staff reached out to MANP to share their plans for rolling out the Community Project Funding process for their districts. Congressional Project Funding, also known as “earmarks” allows the House Appropriations Committee to direct congressional spending to eligible projects conducted by state and local governments or 501(c)3 non-profits. Representatives Pingree and Golden’s office will have their own distinct processes for their Congressional Districts.

Staff members agreed to join MANP for an information session “A New Era in Federal Earmarks: What Nonprofits Need to Know” (Friday, March 26th at 10am), so that we may learn more about this new era of earmarks. Click here to view the recording.

Earmark Process for CD 1 (Pingree)

On March 22nd, Pingree’s office announced by press release their Community Project Funding opportunity for Maine’s 1st Congressional District.

Updated Process Provides Constituents with Transparent Information & Guidance to Seek Targeted Federal Funding Before April 19th Deadline

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) today announced that her office is accepting requests for Community Project Funding in the Fiscal Year 2022 appropriations process. These funds will direct congressional spending to eligible projects conducted by state and local governments or 501(c)3 non-profits. Additional information on eligibility and application requirements are available here.

“Congress has the power of the purse under the Constitution, but a ban on member-directed spending has eroded our ability to directly fund the needs of our constituents. Members understand the needs of their districts best, and the new Community Project Funding process allows each member to advocate for the highest-need projects in their district—this time with much-needed transparency and ethics guidelines to protect against fraud and abuse,” said Pingree. “As a longtime member of the House Appropriations Committee, I’m looking forward to prioritizing the projects that will make the biggest difference in the lives of my constituents. This new funding stream comes at an important moment where so many of our communities are looking to heal from the crises of the last year.”

The House Appropriations this year revitalized Community Project Funding after the House Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress found that congressionally-directed spending boosted bipartisanship, facilitated member-to-member cooperation, and gave members an equal stake in the success of appropriations bills. The House Appropriations Committee has outlined requirements for the new Community Project Funding request process to facilitate transparency, accountability, and ensure strong community support. Each member will be permitted to submit ten projects for consideration which all must be thoroughly vetted and will be publicly disclosed on Rep. Pingree’s website.

Pingree’s office has set a deadline for Community Project Funding requests of 6:00 PM ET on Monday, April 19, 2021. For a Community Project Funding request to be considered by Pingree’s office, eligible entities must submit a request here. More information about the application and review process are available here.

Earmark Process for Congressional District 2 (Golden):

Community Project Funding: Step-By-Step Guide: Please visit this webpage for comprehensive information about the steps for applying, the types of applications available, and who to reach out to with questions.

Please email Sarah Woodard, MANP Advocacy & Public Affairs Director, swoodard@nonprofitmaine.org if you need assistance finding more information about this funding opportunity.

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