Grants for Change

Maine Initiatives is not accepting proposals for the Grants for Change Program at this time. Applications for the 2017 cohort will be available in late Spring of 2017.

The 2016 Grants for Change Program

Maine Initiatives’ 2016 Grants for Change program will provide three years of general operating support to a cohort of ten (10) community-based nonprofit organizations advancing racial justice and racial equity in Maine.

Members of the 2016 Grants for Change cohort will also be invited to participate in an exclusive series of peer learning, training, capacity-building, and community outreach activities over the course of the grant period. Learn more about our Grantee Cohort Capacity Building Program.

The 2016 Grants for Change program will be designed around a broadly participatory grantmaking process. The process will offer our grantees, donors, stakeholders, and the broader community opportunities to participate in the proposal evaluation and decision-making process. Learn more about our participatory grantmaking process.


Why Racial Justice and Equity?

Racial justice and equity are aspirational values of our community. We affirm our collective commitment to creating a community in which all people are equally seen, valued, and respected, and race is not predictive of life outcomes. This includes acknowledging and embracing the existing diversity of our state, including our tribal communities, as well as creating opportunities for newly arriving Mainers to contribute meaningfully to our community, economy, workforce, and culture.

Here in Maine, we are inspired by the organizations whose work across many sectors—women and gender, economic justice, tribal rights, immigrant issues, criminal justice, youth leadership, environmental activism, community organizing and advocacy—is advancing racial justice and equity in Maine communities. We recognize that much of this work is unheralded and underfunded.

Through the 2016 Grants for Change program, we seek to build a grantee cohort that reflects the diverse array of approaches to the issues and challenges of racial justice and equity. We hope to identify, highlight, and celebrate their work, both for their benefit and for the benefit of the greater Maine community.


Eligibility and Priorities / Who Can Apply?

To be eligible for the 2016 Grants for Change program, the applicant organization must:

  • Be a Maine-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, or fiscally sponsored by a 501(c)(3) non-profit; or a tribal entity.
  • Be working exclusively or primarily in Maine communities.
  • Be implementing community-based programs that increase racial justice and racial equity in our local communities or statewide.
  • Have an organizational budget under $1,000,000.

Take the Eligibility Quiz NOW.


How To Apply?

Applications are currently being accepted for the 2016 Grants for Change program.

  1. Check Your Eligibility: Please click HERE to take a short survey to confirm that you are eligible to apply.
  2. Read the Application: Please read the full application instructions prior to starting your application.
  3. Watch the optional information session: We held information sessions across the state to answer your questions about the RFP, our participatory grantmaking process, and the new racial justice and racial equity theme. Watch a recording of the session HERE.
  4. Apply: Click HERE to access the full application. Proposal narratives and all attachments should be emailed to

The deadline for applications is 5:00pm on Friday, July 15, 2016.

 Grant Amount Information

All Grants for Change grant recipients will receive a $25,000 general operating grant spread out over three years. $10,000 in 2016, $10,000 in 2017, and $5,000 in 2018.


Grantmaking Timeline for the 2016 Program

For Grantseekers

May 15: 2016 Grants for Change Request for Proposals Issued

July 15: 2016 Grants for Change Application Deadline

September: Grant Awards Announced

October (dates TBD): Grantee Cohort Convening

November (date TBD): 2016 Grants for Change Gala Event

For Readers and the Grantmaking Committee

June 1: Grantmaking Committee Request for Application/Nominations

July 1: Grantmaking Committee Applications Due

August 1: Readers: Proposal Evaluations Begin

September 1: Readers: Proposal Evaluations Due

September 9 and 10: Grantmaking Committee Retreat


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