Grants for Change

We are not accepting proposals for Grants for Change at this time. The 2018 application round will open in June 2018.

Maine Initiatives not accepting proposals for Grants for Change at this time. The 2018 application round will open in June 2018.

The Grants for Change Program seeks to fund and strengthen community-based nonprofit organizations whose work is advancing racial justice and racial equity in Maine.

Overview: The 2017 Grants for Change Program

Maine Initiatives’ 2017 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 2017 Grants for Change cohort will also be invited to participate in a 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 HERE.

The 2017 Grants for Change program is 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 HERE.

For quick access:


Why Racial Justice and Equity?

Racial justice and equity are aspirational values of our community. Racial equity is embodied when all people are equally seen, dignified, valued, respected, and supported. Racial justice is achieved when race is not predictive of life outcomes. Our work at Maine Initiatives is to bring our community’s reality into greater alignment with these aspirations through both our grants and our grantmaking process.

This commitment to racial justice and equity 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 2017 Grants for Change program, we will select our second racial justice and equity grantee cohort; ten organizations that reflect the diverse array of approaches to the issues and challenges of racial justice and equity. We will 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 2017 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.

How To Apply?

Applications are currently being accepted for the 2017 Grants for Change program.

  1. Check Your Eligibility: Please confirm that your organization meets the above criteria.
  2. Read the Application: Please read the full application instructions prior to starting your application.
  3. Attend an optional information session: We held information sessions across the state to answer  questions from prospective grantees about the RFP, our participatory grantmaking process, and the new racial justice and racial equity theme. You can watch a recording of this 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 14, 2017.

 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 2017, $10,000 in 2018, and $5,000 in 2019.

Grantmaking Timeline for the 2017 Program

For Grantseekers

May 31: 2017 Grants for Change Request for Proposals Issued

July 14: 2017 Grants for Change Application Deadline

November: Grant Awards Announced

January 2018: First Grantee Cohort Convening

May 2018: Changemakers Celebration

For Readers and the Grantmaking Committee

June 15: Proposal Readers/Grantmaking Committee Request for Applications Issued

July 19: Proposal Reader/Grantmaking Committee Applications Due

August 1 ad 8: Readers: Training Webinars (also available as recordings)

August 11: Readers: Proposal Evaluations Begin

September 12: Readers: Proposal Evaluations Due

October 19 – 21: Grantmaking Committee Retreat


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