Foundation / Corporation
07/20/18 5:00 PM
Grants to Maine community-based nonprofits and tribal organizations working to advance racial equity and racial justice within the state. This program provides three years of general support, as well as peer learning, capacity-building support, training, and community outreach activities during the course of the grant period.
The 2018 Grants for Change program is designed around a broadly participatory grantmaking process. The process will offer grantees, donors, stakeholders and the broader community opportunities to participate in the proposal evaluation and decision-making process.
Why Racial Justice and Equity?
Racial justice and equity are aspirational values of the 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. Maine Initiative’s work at Maine Initiatives is to bring the community’s reality into greater alignment with these aspirations through both grants and the grantmaking process.
This commitment to racial justice and equity includes acknowledging and embracing the existing diversity of the state, including tribal communities, as well as creating opportunities for newly arriving Mainers to contribute meaningfully to the community, economy, workforce and culture. Here in Maine, Maine Initiatives is inspired by the organizations whose work across many sectors—gender equity, economic justice, black liberation, tribal rights, immigrant issues, criminal justice, youth leadership, environmental activism, community organizing and advocacy—is advancing racial justice and equity in Maine communities. Maine Initiatives recognizes that much of this work is unheralded and underfunded.
Through the 2018 Grants for Change program, Maine Initiatives will select its third 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. Maine Initiatives will identify, highlight, and celebrate their work, both for their benefit and for the benefit of the greater Maine community.
Why a Participatory Grantmaking Process?
Through the participatory grantmaking process, Maine Initiatives seeks to have a broadly democratic process for selecting the grant recipients. Maine Initiatives also seek 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?
Maine Initiatives seeks to create opportunities for people to learn about and be inspired by the work currently being done around the state to advance racial justice and equity. And, ultimately, Maine Initiatives seeks to identify, mobilize, and leverage new resources – financial, social, and human – for advancing racial justice and equity in Maine.
Why a Grantee Cohort?
Racial justice and equity are complex and multidimensional aspirations with many possible and necessary expressions. Maine Initiatives adopt a cohort approach to its work, funding ten (10) different organizations in each cycle in order to honor and reflect the broad diversity of racial justice work.
Maine Initiatives believes each grantee organization contributes a unique and indispensable piece to a collective understanding of racial justice and what it means, looks like, and requires in the community. Maine Initiatives does not seek for the cohort to be a perfect – or a complete – picture of racial justice or the work required to achieve it. To the contrary, each cohort is necessarily imperfect and incomplete.
Innovations to Maine Initiatives’ 2018 Grants for Change Program: The Participatory Grantmaking Process:
Maine Initiatives takes an expansive view of who is and who can be a community philanthropist. This view is rooted in a conviction that money is only one of the many resources and assets that the community possesses for advancing justice and equity. Maine Initiatives uses a broadly participatory grantmaking process in order to identify, mobilize, and leverage key non-financial resources by engaging and connecting the members of the community around Maine Initiatives’ mission and work.
Maine Initiatives also understands 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. Maine Initiatives seeks to foster this type of transformation through the participatory grantmaking process. Maine Initiatives opens its 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?
Maine Initiatives also seeks to create opportunities for people to learn about and be inspired by the work currently being done around the state to advance racial justice and equity. In so doing, Maine Initiatives seeks 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 local communities.
Get Involved: Participate in the Grantmaking Process
Maine Initiatives invites community to join as active participants in the grantmaking process in one of two ways:
-Become a Reader: 5 to 10 hours at home commitment (July-September 2018)
-Join the Grantmaking Committee: 5 to 10 hours at home commitment (July-September 2018) and 3 day in person commitment (October 18-20, 2018)
Readers- Help Us Evaluate Proposals:
The initial phase of the grantmaking process is the proposal evaluation phase. Maine Initiatives invites its stakeholders, grantees, donors, and members of the broader community to volunteer to serve as proposal readers. Each volunteer will receive training in the grantmaking program, the thematic focus of racial justice and equity, and the proposal evaluation process; and will be asked to read and evaluate approximately three proposals. These evaluations may be done at home or online, 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 the proposal evaluation process, the evaluation criteria, and the online system.
-What level of time commitment is required? Each proposal will require approximately one to two hours to read, assess, and score. Proposal readers will be asked to review approximately three proposals.
-What if I am a board member, staff member, or otherwise affiliated with an applicant organization? That’s okay! Maine Initiatives is deeply committed to engaging the broadest range of voices in the decision-making process and this means Maine Initiatives actively seeks to include individuals directly engaged in racial justice and equity work. Maine Initiatives has designed the process to identify and mitigate potential conflicts of interest in this process and will make every effort to structure each individual’s participation in such a way that avoids any real or perceived conflicts of interest.
-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.
Committee Members- Help Choose our Grantee Cohort:
The second phase of the grantmaking process will be led by a community-based Grantmaking Committee that brings together perspectives representing the full range of stakeholders: grantees, board members and advisors, donors, and other voices from the broader community in Maine. Members of this Committee will be selected through an open nomination process from the pool of Readers, facilitated by the Maine Initiatives staff and Board.
Participation in the Grantmaking Committee is a unique opportunity to engage in intensive exploration of the themes of racial justice and racial equity and to shape the Grants for Change 2018 grantee cohort. Members of the grantmaking committee will commit to an intensive participatory process of learning and engagement related to the theme, and decision-making about the 2018 Grants for Change. In addition to making funding recommendations to Maine Initiatives’ Board, committee members will be invited to participate in a process of networking, training, capacity-building and collective learning around issues of racial justice and racial equity in Maine.
How will the Grantmaking Committee operate? All grantmaking committee members must first participate in this process as proposal readers. After the reading period the full grantmaking committee will convene over the course of three-days for a workshop-retreat in October 2018 that combines opportunities for shared learning about issues of racial justice and racial equity as well as a participatory deliberative and decision-making process about grants.
The workshop will be structured around four distinct objectives:
-Community building and networking: Maine Initiatives puts a priority on the power that a networked community can have in addressing the challenging issues of racial justice and racial equity. In response, Maine Initiatives will emphasize community building throughout the Grantmaking retreat. Maine Initiatives hopes that Committee Members leave the three-day program having formed strong bonds with fellow participants, strengthening the state’s progressive community and Maine Initiatives’ ability to respond in coordinated, collaborative, and creative ways to justice and equity challenges.
-Training and capacity-building around issues of racial justice and racial equity: Maine Initiatives recognizes that racial justice and racial equity are complex social, economic, and historical concepts. For this reason, Maine Initiatives is building into the grantmaking process an explicit commitment to training and capacity-building related to these themes.
-Co-creation of knowledge and collective learning about racial justice and racial equity in Maine: Maine Initiatives also recognizes that there exists in the local community incredible knowledge, experience, relationships, and expertise about racial justice and racial equity that can be brought to bear for the collective benefit. For this reason, Maine Initiatives will also incorporate explicit opportunities for the grantmaking committee to identify and connect around their native wisdom.
-Discussion, deliberation, and decision-making about Racial Justice and Racial Equity grants: Fundamental to the grantmaking process is a broadly democratic practice that engages a range of voices and perspectives in grant decision-making. To this end, Maine Initiatives will engage the committee in a collective and collaborative process of reviewing, evaluating and deciding which organization should receive the 2018 Grants for Change funds.
At the conclusion of the three-day grantmaking committee retreat, the committee will make formal funding recommendations to Maine Initiatives’ Board of Directors regarding the proposals. The Board of Directors, as the fiduciary authority, will make the final funding decisions based on the committee recommendations.
Additional Questions about the Grantmaking Committee:
-Who is eligible to serve on the grantmaking committee? All committee members will be drawn from the pool of individuals who participate as proposal readers in the first round. The members will be selected by Maine Initiatives staff and Board. It is mandatory for Grantmaking Committee members to attend the Grantmaking Retreat October 18-20 at the Schoodic Institute in Winter Harbor. Unfortunately, those with date conflicts will be unable to join the committee.
-How many people will serve on the committee? The committee will comprise between 40-50 individuals, with approximately equal representation from the following groups: past grantees, board members, donors and advisors, and community members.
-What sort of diversity will the committee reflect? Maine Initiatives will make every effort to ensure that the committee reflects both the geographic and demographic diversity of the state as well as other forms of diversity, including cross-class and cross-cultural diversity.
-How will the grantmaking committee be selected? Maine Initiatives will request volunteers and nominations to serve on this committee. Board and staff will collaborate to make the final determination about committee membership.
-What costs are associated with serving on the grantmaking committee? Participation in this program is free. The costs associated with individual participation in the grantmaking committee workshop, including mileage/travel costs, overnight accommodation, event space, food, and materials, will be covered by Maine Initiatives. Any participant or community member interested in offsetting budgetary costs are encouraged to contact Phil Walsh ( firstname.lastname@example.org or 207-607-4070) to make a much appreciated donation.
Innovations to Maine Initiatives’ 2018 Grants for Change Program: The Grantee Cohort Approach
In 2018, Maine Initiatives will identify, fund, and strengthen the third racial justice cohort: ten (10) organizations whose work reflects the diversity of racial justice and racial equity work being undertaken in Maine. Maine Initiatives will make three-year funding commitments to the full cohort and also offer each organization a variety of additional in-kind and capacity building support. Maine Initiatives’ commitment to a cohort approach in its funding is an integral part of the impact sought through both the participatory grantmaking process and efforts to fund and strengthen the grantee partners.
In its participatory grantmaking process, Maine Initiatives start from the premise that racial injustice and inequity are complex and multidimensional realities. Racial justice and equity, in turn, are aspirations that have many possible and necessary expressions. Maine Initiatives’ commitment to funding a cohort of ten different grantee organizations seeks to acknowledge, honor, and reflect the broad diversity of racial justice work that is necessary and is happening in the state’s communities.
In order to select a racial justice cohort, the community must engage in a collective conversation about racial justice and equity: what it means, looks like, and requires in the community. The diversity embodied by the grantee cohort represents Maine Initiatives’ collective answer to those questions. Maine Initiatives recognizes that each cohort will be imperfect and incomplete. But through both the process of coming to a decision about the make-up of cohort and the reflection on what is missing from each cohort after the process is completed, Maine Initiatives is able to continually refine and deepen a collective understanding of racial justice in the community. In this way, Maine Initiatives views each cohort as an iterative step in the process of seeking to understand and advance racial justice in the community.
In funding a grantee cohort, Maine Initiatives is explicitly seeking to support and strengthen a racial justice sector in Maine. This means, as Maine Initiatives funds and strengthens each individual organization in the cohort, it is are also seeking to strengthen the relationships between and among the members of the cohort. Maine Initiatives pursues these dual objectives through a variety of activities, including:
-Peer Learning Through Networking and Convenings: Maine Initiatives 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 are voluntary.
-Community Engagement and Awareness: Members of the Maine Initiatives community support social, economic, and environmental justice through informed, intentional, and collective philanthropy. Maine Initiatives seeks to engage and inspire the community by presenting grantees and their work on center stage. Maine Initiatives will use its convening power to offer a platform for members of the grantee cohort to speak directly to the stakeholders and look for innovative ways to encourage donors and the broader community to make direct donations to grantee organizations. Examples of these opportunities may include: speaking at the annual Changemakers Celebration, grantee happy hour events, house parties, and more.
While all of these activities are voluntary, Maine Initiatives seeks 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.
GrantWatch ID#: 172724
This program will support a cohort of ten (10) community-based nonprofit organizations.
The grant will pay $10,000 in 2018, $10,000 in 2019, and $5,000 in 2020.
All Grants for Change grant recipients will receive a $25,000 general operating grant spread out over three years.
To be eligible for the 2018 Grants for Change Program, the applicant organization must:
-Be a Maine-based 501(c)3 non-profit organization, or fiscally sponsored by a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, 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 local communities or statewide.
-Have an organizational budget under $1,000,000. (not required for tribal entities)
How To Apply:
Applications are currently being accepted for the 2018 Grants for Change program. Please follow the process below:
1. Check Your Eligibility: Please confirm that your organization meets the following criteria:
-Be a Maine-based 501(c)3 non-profit 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. (not required for tribal entities)
Applicants are invited to attend an optional information session. Maine Initiatives will be holding information sessions across the state to answer any questions you may have about the RFP, the participatory grantmaking process, and the new racial justice and racial equity theme.
RSVP for an information session here:
-Portland, 6/18 at 1:00 pm at the Maine Initiatives office at 56 North Street, Portland
-Portland 6/19 at 9:30 am at the Maine Initiatives office at 56 North Street, Portland
-Lewiston, 6/19 at 3:30 pm, location TBD
-Orono, 6/20 at 11:00 am at Four Directions Development Corporation, 20 Godfrey Dr, Orono
-Augusta, 6/20 at 3:30 am at the Maine Health Access Foundation, 150 Capitol Street, #4, Augusta
-Online via Webinar, 6/25 at 1:00 pm (access details to be sent prior to the session)
-Presque Isle, 6/27, time and location TBD
Applications are due July 20, 2018 at 5:00 PM.
2018 Grants for Change Grantmaking Timeline
-June 1: 2018 Grants for Change Request for Proposals Issued
-Early August: Grantmaking Committee Request for Applications/Nominations
-June 13: 2018 Grants for Change Grant Applications Deadline
-July 20: Grantmaking Committee Applications Due
-July 25: Reader Training Sessions
-August 15: Readers: Proposal Evaluations Begin
-September 15: Readers: Proposal Evaluations Due
-October 18-20: Grantmaking Committee Retreat at Schoodic Institute, Winter Harbor, ME
-November: Grant Award Announcement
More information about the Grant Cohort Capacity Building Program may be found here:
More information about the participatory grantmaking process may be found here:
Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.