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The TSCA John Gardner Fund
at the
Maine Community Foundation


To preserve, continue, and expand the achievements, vision and goals of John Gardner by enriching and disseminating our traditional small craft heritage.


The John Gardner Grants are designed to support projects that broaden our traditional small craft heritage, and for which sufficient funding would otherwise be unavailable.

Eligible projects are those which research, document, preserve, and replicate traditional small craft, associated skills (including their construction and uses) and the skills of those who built and used them. Youth involvement is encouraged.

The John Gardner Grants are competitive and reviewed semi-annually by the John Gardner Grant Committee of the Traditional Small Craft Association (TSCA). The source of funding is the TSCA John Gardner Fund, which was established in 1997 at the Maine Community Foundation (MCF). MCF promotes active philanthropy by stewarding charitable funds and making effective grants. Funding available for projects will be determined annually. The funding for any individual project is estimated to be $200 to $2000.

Multiple grants will not be awarded to an individual or organization in a single year.

Donate to the Fund

Your donation in any amount to the TSCA John Gardner Fund will increase its endowment, and thus our ability to support these Gardner Grants. Tax-deductible donations to the TSCA John Gardner Fund may be sent directly to the Maine Community Foundation:

Maine Community Foundation
Attn: TSCA John Gardner Fund
245 Main Street
Ellsworth, ME 04605

Apply for a John Gardner Grant


Eligible applicants include historians, authors, boatbuilders, naval architects, designers, small craft specialists, archeologists, maritime heritage specialists, students, museums, educational programs, non-profit organizations, community based groups and anyone else with demonstrated interest in and knowledge of traditional small craft. No affiliation with a museum or other academic organization is required.

Awarded funds may only be spent on direct costs, including materials, supplies, heritage specialists, services, publication fees, and travel. Funds may not be used to supplant staff salaries. Overhead costs are not eligible for reimbursement.


Projects must be centered around or very strongly related to traditional small craft.

Projects must have tangible, enduring results which are published, exhibited, or otherwise made available to the interested public. These results may include (but are not limited to) boats, written and graphical documentation (including boat plans), monographs, preservation of artifacts, exhibits, etc.

Recipients must furnish a report on the results of the project at the conclusion of the grant period, including published materials. A summary report must also be furnished which is suitable for publication in The Ash Breeze, the quarterly journal of TSCA. Periodic progress reports are strongly encouraged.

Recipients must acknowledge the support of the TSCA John Gardner Fund in all publications, printed programs and signage.

Recipients may be required to demonstrate satisfactory insurance coverage as determined by the John Gardner Grant Committee. Insurance requirements will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Recipients must comply with all appropriate federal, state and local regulations, ordinances, statutes and laws governing the sponsored project.

Documentation of the use of John Gardner Grant funds must be maintained and furnished upon request. A summary of the use of the grant funds must be reported at the conclusion of the grant period.


Grant applications may be submitted at any time, and will be considered in April.
Application forms and additional information can be found below. This specific form does not have to be used as long as the same information is submitted. Electronic applications are preferred, and can be submitted to David Cockey at davidcockey@gmail.com. Paper copies of an application should be sent directly to David Cockey, and are not required if an electronic version is submitted.

Applications are available in MS Word, PDF, and HTML format.

Review Criteria

  • Expected results, both tangible and intangible
  • Planned dissemination of results and educational impact
  • Does the project cover new ground relative to traditional small craft?
  • Urgency: Will an opportunity be lost?
  • Impact: Will the project have a lasting impact?
  • Project quality: How effectively will the project preserve and expand the achievements, vision and goals of John Gardner? Does the project broaden our traditional small craft heritage?
  • Feasibility: Is the project well conceived and articulate? Is the applicant's experience relevant and sufficient?
  • Relevant experience of major participant(s): Those who will be executing the project, as well as those overseeing the project.
  • Youth involvement
  • Partnership: Will other sources of support be utilized? Will there be additional participants? Will a museum, school, community organization or other not-for-profit organization be involved?
  • Other funding: Will other sources provide a significant portion
  • of the funds required? (Matching is not required but highly desirable.)
  • Schedule: Is the proposed schedule realistic?
  • Budget: Income, both cash and in-kind.
  • Expenses, both direct and overhead.


For all purposes hereof, "traditional small craft" shall mean boats built from design developed prior to the gasoline marine engine, for sail or manual propulsion. Modern or historical variants or adaptation of traditional designs fall within this definition. [Taken from TSCA Bylaws, Article II]

For Further Information

David Cockey
235 West Street Extension
Rockport, ME 04856
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