The Maine Humanities Council Major Grant program distributes funding to nonprofit organizations in Maine for larger humanities programs and projects—things like exhibits, films, conferences, initiatives—that have broad public outreach.

Funds, Priorities, and Criteria

$1,001 to $7,500 for humanities programs and projects undertaken by non-profit organizations and communities across Maine.

Organizations serving and/or led by members of communities traditionally under-resourced in the humanities are encouraged to apply. We evaluate proposals on their strength and clarity in the following areas: humanities content, project goals and impact, project design, outreach and engagement, and budget.

Common Questions

What are the humanities?

The main goal of the humanities is to develop awareness and understanding of people’s lived experience, and to put it into words. Any aspect of human culture — literature, art, music, history, laws, ethics, philosophy – becomes humanities content when participants in the program or project are invited to deepen their understanding of the work and its context through interpretation, analysis, or discussion.

Humanities programs and projects can take many forms: exhibitions, conferences, film/video productions, podcasts/radio shows, discussions, performances framed by interpretation. What they have in common is a commitment to involving people in thinking, reflecting, and talking about important aspects of what it can be like to be alive.

One of the hallmarks of the humanities is the ethic of nonjudgmental discussion. All projects must evidence a spirit of inquiry, a balance between critical and celebratory perspectives, and provide a range of viewpoints and informed opinions, consistent with MHC’s non-partisan mission. This is especially true when projects treat highly charged issues. Please note that MHC does not fund projects that promote a particular political, religious, or ideological point of view or discriminate against persons or groups.

Who is eligible to apply?

Organizations with 501c3 statusgovernment organizations (such as a federally recognized Indian tribal governments or organizations or state/local/city governments), churches, or education organizations (such as schools or school districts, or public or private institutions of higher education) are eligible to apply without fiscal sponsorship.

If your organization is NOT a 501c3, or equivalent (listed above) you will need a FISCAL SPONSOR for your project.  The National Council of Nonprofits  has a helpful resource sheet on fiscal sponsorship.

We’ve never filled out a grant application before. Can you give us some advice?

Yes! Email the Grants Team: Lizz, Kyle, Samaa– we can counsel you through the entire process. The Maine Community Foundation also offers some helpful tips for writing a strong grant proposal.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to connect with a member of the MHC grants team before applying.

Info Sessions

Meet our staff, ask questions, and see how our Major Grants can work for you!

Mon, January 9, 2023
3:00 PM

Apply for a Major Grant

Applications Dates:

November 8, 2023 – January 31, 2024

We encourage you to connect with us—if you have never applied to us before, if you have not applied for many grants from anyone yet, we especially want to work with you to help make this process as easy as possible.