Grantee Cohort Approach

We are committed to providing a diverse range of support and assistance to each member of our 2016 Grants for Change grantee cohort.

Maine Initiatives is introducing several major innovations in the 2016 Grants for Change program.

Within the 2016 grantmaking theme, Maine Initiatives will identify, fund, and strengthen a cohort of organizations—approximately ten (10)—whose work reflects the geographic, programmatic, and sectoral diversity of racial justice and racial equity work being undertaken in Maine. We will make three-year funding commitments to the full cohort and also offer each organization a variety of additional in-kind support.


Going Beyond Grant Money

As a grantmaking foundation, we recognize the importance of general operating support for our grantees and commit to fund organizations in this manner. However, we also acknowledge that effectively pursuing and achieving our mission requires more than just well-placed grants. For this reason, we are committed to providing a diverse range of (optional) support and assistance to each member of our grantee cohort:

Peer Learning Through Networking and Convenings: We will convene representatives (board and staff) from members of the grantee cohort on a periodic basis throughout the three-year grant period to offer training and capacity-building support, as well as to permit the organizational representatives to share with and learn from each other about their racial justice and racial equity work.

Capacity Building: Maine Initiatives will design and implement capacity building opportunities specifically for the members of the grantee cohort based on member needs and requests. These activities will occur throughout the three-year grant period and will be strictly voluntary.

Project #1: Storytelling (October and November 2016)

Our inaugural capacity building project will center around storytelling. Grantees will be invited to participate in a multi-part training on storytelling and pitch development. Additionally, they will receive one-on-one coaching on the topic (time commitment TBD). As the culmination of the storytelling project, Maine Initiatives will support each grantee in the production of a 90-second promotional video about their organization , to be produced by Knack Factory (grantee time commitment of approximately 5 hours in total for video production, including filming and editing/comments).

Community Engagement and Awareness: Members of the Maine Initiatives community support social, economic, and environmental justice through informed, intentional, and collective philanthropy. We seek to engage and inspire our community by presenting our grantees and their work on center stage. We will use our convening power to offer a platform for members of the grantee cohort to speak directly to our stakeholders and look for innovative ways to encourage our donors and the broader community to make direct donations to grantee organizations. Examples of these opportunities include: speaking at the annual Grants for Change Gala Event, monthly grantee happy hour events, house parties, and more.

While all of these activities are voluntary, we seek applicants that view these non-financial opportunities as valuable opportunities for their organizations.

Grantee travel expenses will be covered by Maine Initiatives for participation in any capacity building program.

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