Worker training, bereavement counseling for youths and a seafood donation program are among dozens of Island causes receiving grants from the Martha’s Vineyard Community Foundation, which this week announced it is awarding $421,000 to 38 local nonprofits.

A total of 59 organizations applied for the annual grants, seeking $800,000 in all — a new high for the foundation, executive director Paul Schulz told the Gazette Wednesday.

“This is by far the largest grant request cycle we’ve ever seen,” Mr. Schulz said. “It shows the need nonprofits are facing right now. We feel incredibly fortunate to be able to give away $421,000, but that still leaves a funding gap.”

Meeting Islanders’ critical needs for housing, food and health care has always been a priority for the foundation, Mr. Schulz said during an interview at the foundation’s West Tisbury offices.

Hilary Dreyer, the foundation’s community engagement and program manager, said this year’s grants also support education, the arts, environmental protection and a range of programs aimed at making the Island more accessible and inclusive for all its residents.

Averaging $11,000, the 38 individual awards range from the low thousands to $25,000 grants for the Martha’s Vineyard Fishermen’s Preservation Trust seafood donation program, the homelessness prevention group Harbor Homes and Healthy Aging MV.

Foundation grants also are supporting several collaborations between nonprofits, Ms. Dreyer told the Gazette.

For example, she said, Misty Meadows Equine Learning Center in West Tisbury is receiving $12,400 to create programs with multiple Island groups including Island Autism, Island Elderly Housing and the Wampanoag community’s Kinship Heals violence prevention nonprofit.

Among grants for education, the Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Society will receive $8,000 for a farm worker training and mentorship initiative and ACE MV is getting $20,000 to create a medical translation and interpreter training program, Ms. Dreyer said.

Young Islanders who lose loved ones will have resources just for them at Hospice and Palliative Care of Martha’s Vineyard, which is receiving more than $9,000 to train two of its counseling clinicians in specialized training for bereavement in youth, Ms. Dreyer said.

Arts groups receiving awards include the Island Community Chorus, the Martha’s Vineyard Chamber Music Society and WMVY, while environmental grants are going to several pond protection nonprofits and the Martha’s Vineyard Shellfish Group.

Grant applications submitted each September are reviewed by the foundation’s 11-member board, which then holds interviews with finalists before making the final selections, Ms. Dreyer and Mr. Schulz said.

The 38 winners will receive their grants at the foundation’s annual awards ceremony on Nov. 15 at 5 p.m. at the Grange in West Tisbury.

For more information about the Martha’s Vineyard Community Foundation grant program, visit