Proposal Readers

We invite our community to join us as active participants in our grantmaking process. Applications to be a Proposal Reader are now being accepted at

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 do racial justice and equity mean?
  • What do they look like?
  • What do they 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 and equity. 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 3 day in person commitment (October 18-20, 2018)

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?
  • 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.
  • 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 Committee members.

Apply Now! Applications are now being accepted. Deadline is July 25, 2018.

Participatory Grantmaking Timeline

June 13: Proposal Reader/Grantmaking Committee Request for Applications Open

July 25: Grantmaking Committee Applications Due

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

August 15: Readers: Proposal Evaluations Begin

September 15: Readers: Proposal Evaluations Due

October 18-20: Grantmaking Committee Retreat

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