Guidelines

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?

For us, the heart of the humanities is the effort to develop awareness and understanding of people’s lived experience, and to find ways to express it. ​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 careful thinking and discussion.

A hallmark practice of the humanities is nonjudgmental discussion. All projects must be undertaken with a spirit of inquiry: including a balance between critical and celebratory perspectives, and providing 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?

Non-profit organizations in Maine. This includes:

  • 501(c)(3) organizations registered in Maine. You can learn more about 501(c) (3) organizations at the Maine Association for Nonprofits.
  • Maine tribal organizations.
  • Maine public libraries.
  • Government agencies; universities, colleges, academic departments; public, private, or parochial schools; churches.

If your organization is not a 501(c)(3) non-profit, you will need a fiscal sponsor. The National Council of Nonprofits has a helpful resource sheet on fiscal sponsorship. Individuals, for-profit organizations, and political or advocacy organizations are not eligible.

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

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

Apply for a Major Grant

Applications Dates:

November 8, 2022 – January 31, 2023

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.

Information Sessions

Stay tuned for upcoming dates

Learn about our work, meet our staff—and see how our programs and grants can work for you!

Tues, March 22, 2022
3:00 PM

Wed, March 23, 2022
10:00 AM