Proposal Readers

The application window for the 2019 Grants for Change program is closed. The 2020 program process is under review based on new restrictions from COVID-19 and implications on the participatory model of the program. We will share more news later this summer.

Maine Initiatives takes an expansive view of who is and who can be a community philanthropist. This view is rooted in our conviction that money is only one of the many resources and assets that our community possesses for advancing justice and equity. We use a broadly participatory grantmaking process in order to identify, mobilize, and leverage key non-financial resources by engaging and connecting the members of our community around our mission and in our work.

We also understand that racial justice and equity are not achieved through perfect grantmaking, but are relational: requiring people to come to a deeper understanding of themselves and themselves in relation to others in the community. We seek to foster this type of transformation through our participatory grantmaking process. We open our process up to the full community to create opportunities for individual reflection on and collective conversation about the following questions:

  • What does racial justice mean?
  • What does it look like?
  • What does it require?
  • Who is doing this work?
  • What is my role?

We  seek to create opportunities for people to learn about and be inspired by the work currently being done around our state to advance racial justice. In so doing, we seek to engage people as active agents of greater racial justice in Maine and to mobilize and leverage new resources – financial, social, and human – for advancing racial equity in our communities.

Get Involved: Participate in Our Grantmaking Process

We invite our community to join us as active participants in our grantmaking process in one of two ways:

  • Become a Reader: (read below)
    • 5 to 10 hours at home commitment (July-September 2018)
  • Join the Grantmaking Committee: (details HERE)
    • 5 to 10 hours at home commitment (July-September 2018)
    • And a 2-day in-person commitment (October 18-19, 2019) and a 1-day convening (November 2019, exact date TBD)

Applications are now available. Complete the application HERE.

Readers- Help Us Evaluate Proposals:

The initial phase of the grantmaking process is the proposal evaluation phase. We invite our stakeholders, grantees, donors, and members of the broader community to volunteer to serve as proposal readers. These evaluations may be done online (at home, at work, or on the beach!), permitting participation by a wide-range of people.

  • Who can be a proposal reader?
    • Anyone! No experience necessary.
    • All proposal readers will receive training and guidance about our racial justice theme, the proposal evaluation process, the evaluation criteria, and the online system.
    • Applications are accepted until July 26, 2018. 
  • What level of time commitment is required?
    • 5 to 10 hours at home commitment between July and September 2018
    • Readers will be asked to review approximately three proposals, which will require approximately one to two hours each to read, assess, and score.
    • Additionally, proposal readers will be asked to participate in two one-hour training webinars.
  • What if I am a board member, staff member, or otherwise affiliated with an applicant organization?
    • That’s okay! We are deeply committed to engaging the broadest range of voices in our decision-making process and this means we actively seek to includes individuals directly engaged in racial justice and equity work.
    • We have designed our process to identify and mitigate potential conflicts of interest in this process.
  • How will reader evaluations be used? 
    • Reader evaluations (both comments and ratings) will individually and collectively inform subsequent activity by staff and decision making by the Grantmaking Advisory Committee members.

Apply Now! Applications are now being accepted. Deadline is July 26, 2018.

Participatory Grantmaking Timeline

June 17: Proposal Reader Request for Applications Open

July 26: Proposal Reader Applications Due

August 2: Proposal Readers and Grantmaking Advisory Committee acceptance notifications

Early August: Readers: Training Webinars (will also be available as a recording)

August 19: Readers: Proposal Evaluations Begin

September 19: Readers: Proposal Evaluations Due

October 18-19 (and evening of October 17): Grantmaking Advisory Committee Retreat at the Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park, Winter Harbor, ME

November (date TBD): Grantmaking Advisory Committee Decision-Making gathering in Portland, ME (location TBD)

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