Partnership Grant
Partnership Grant header image


Deadline: April 022020
Maximum Award: $7,500 (Tier 1), for budgets of $50k to $499k
                                 $10,000 (Tier 2), for budgets of $500k to $999k
                                 $15,000 (Tier 3), for budgets of $1M and over
Required Match: 1 to 1 (In-kind or cash match).
Award Cycle: July 1 to June 30.

Artists and organizations seeking relief funding for the COVID-19 emergency should visit the agency COVID-19 Resource Page. It has information about Maine Arts Commission support as well as support options from other organizations. 


The Partnership Grant provides unrestricted operating funds to arts organizations. It is not a project based grant. The award establishes a process for partnering with the Maine Arts Commission and awardees will recognize the Maine Arts Commission as a seasonal or organizational partner. Please note that all Partnership applicants will need to complete a Cultural Data Profile as part of the application. If an organization has been awarded a Partnership Grant for four or more consecutive years, they may be eligible to apply through the Partnership (Off-Year) application which simplifies the process.

Allocation for this award is made in two payments of 85% and 15 %, please budget accordingly

Eligibility Requirements

All applicants must have an active Maine Arts Commission account and current Vendor Code to receive funds. An organization is eligible to apply if it meets the following criteria:

  • Is a nonprofit organization with 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service or is a unit of municipal, county or tribal government, legally established in the state of Maine.
  • Has a current Strategic Plan.
  • Is in compliance with Final Reports required by the Maine Arts Commission for previous awards.

All Partnership applicants must have received an Award from the Maine Arts Commission within the past five years, have a current Strategic Plan, filled out the Accessibility Checklist, and have produced a minimum of Three Years of Programming.

Additional eligibility requirement for each tier include:  

  • Tier 1 = Budget of $50k to $499k: At least one full-time employee and 990-form
  • Tier 2 = Budget of $500k to $99k: At least two full-time employees and financial audit
  • Tier 3 = Budget of $1M or over: At least three fulltime employees and financial audit

Multidisciplinary or multipurpose organizations, including arts entities embedded in universities and colleges, are eligible if they demonstrate that the arts comprise at least 50% of the organization’s programming and have an independent advisory board. Universities or Colleges in their entirety, or individual departments, may not apply. A fiscal agent may not serve as an applicant for this program. The applicant becomes legally accountable for complying with the above eligibility requirements upon submission of the application.

Award Restrictions

Applicants are welcome to apply to all grant programs within a cycle, but will need to select only one award if multiple grants across the organizational programs are offered. Grant awardees may NOT accept more than one grant from the following programs within the same year:

  • Partnership
  • Project Grant for Organizations
  • Organizational Development

However, an awardee in any of these three programs is eligible to also receive: Arts Learning, Arts & Humanities, Creative Aging, and Creative Communities = Economic Development grants during the same funding cycle.

Ineligible Expenses: The Partnership Grant provides unrestricted operating funds to arts organizations.

Application Materials

Incomplete applications will not be eligible for review. A completed application in the Grants Management System (GMS) must contain:

Online - Fields within the Grants Portal that will need to be completed

  • Complete answers to all narrative prompts (Required)

Uploads - Up to a total of 10 pieces of support materials uploaded through the Grants Portal

  • Current Strategic Plan (Required)
  • Staff list including titles (Required)
  • List of board members, including professional affiliations (Required)
  • Completed DataArts Funders' Report (Required): For more information on what a DataArts profile is, how it will benefit your organization in addition to our Partnership Grant application process, and how to get started, go to
  • Copy of IRS 501(c)(3) determination letter (Required for nonprofit organizations)
  • Most currently completed Form 990/ audit (Required for nonprofit organizations): 990 Form for organization with an annual income of $50,000 to $499,999 OR most recently completed organizational financial audit (For an organization with an annual income of $500,000 and over
  • Completed National Endowment for the Arts Brief Accessibility Checklist (Required): Please visit Arts Accessibility for more information about accessibility resources and the grantee’s compliance obligations.
  • Collateral (Highly Recommended): Materials such as press reviews, articles, marketing materials, etc.

 Vendor Code – An applicant must have a current Vendor Code to receive award funds

  • Your Vendor Code is a state assigned number that allows for payment processing. Please check your Maine Arts Commission User/Organization account to see if there is a number in the Vendor Code field. If the field is blank you will need to complete a Vendor Form with exactly the same name and contact information as used in the application. This must be provided to the agency prior to award notification and can be submitted through email, surface mail, or FAX. The form can be downloaded from the Grants Help page. - -

Application Questions (to be completed in the GMS)

(All character counts include spaces. 2,550 characters/page)

  1. Provide the mission and a brief history of your organization. (Max: 1,275 characters - about 175 words)
  2. Identify the people that you serve (region and demographics) and how you serve your audience, underserved populations, and those with special needs. (Max: 3,450 characters - about 600 words)
  3. Provide an overview of your artistic and educational programming. Please include at least three specific program examples. (Max: 4,600 characters - about 750 words)
  4. Explain how your management, board governance, and committee structures provide organizational oversight. Include an overview of marketing and development strategies. (Max: 4,600 characters - about 750 words)
  5. Describe your process for strategic planning, where you are in the cycle of your current plan, and the progress you have made toward your current plan goals. (Max: 3,450 characters - about 600 words)
  6. Please highlight major financial challenges, accomplishments, and changes that you have faced within the past year and financial projections that could be impactful this coming year. (Please identify specific sources of revenue that account for 25% or more of your total revenue. share information about the sources of any deficit and your plans for resolving that deficit, and include any additional information that you think will help clarify your financial situation.) (Max: 4,600 characters - about 750 words)

Review Criteria

Grant applications are reviewed on a competitive basis using the following criteria:

  1. Community impact and relevance of the organization (20%)
  2. Strength of the organization’s programming, (20%)
  3. Strength of organization management structures (15%)
  4. Quality of the applicant’s strategic plan (25%)
  5. State of the organization’s fiscal stability as evidenced by its financial statements and budget (20%) 

Review Process

Applications are reviewed by panels of public members, selected for their expertise. All grant recommendations are presented to Maine Arts Commission members who approve the review process, making the grant official. The review process and delivery of funds may take up to six months. This means that grant funds may be used to reimburse costs which have been incurred for the project after the grant has been approved but prior to funds being disbursed.



Agency staff are always here as a resource for you. We recommend contacting the correct staff person a minimum of two-weeks prior to submitting your application. 

For specific questions about the Partnership Grant 
Please contact Julie Richard, Executive Director, at vog.eniam@drahcir.eiluj or 207/ 287-2710
For general questions about the application or review process
Please contact Kerstin Gilg, Director of Grants and Accessibility, at or 207/ 287-6719.

Grant information is available in large print format by request. All Maine Arts Commission programs are accessible to people with disabilities. All programs funded by the Maine Arts Commission must also be accessible.        

Get Started in our Grants Management System (GMS)

Apply for a Grant

Need More Help?

For General Questions:
Director of Grants & Accessibility
Kerstin Gilg: 287-6719
Help by Discipline:

Interim Media & Performing Arts Director
Meg Fournier: 287-2713

Visual Arts Director
Julie Horn: 287-2790

Arts Education Director 
Martha Piscuskas: 287-2750

Traditional Arts Specialist
Kathleen Mundell: 236-6741