Partnership Grant
Partnership Grant header image


Deadline: February 182021
Maximum Award: $6,000 (Small), for budgets of $50k to $999k
                                   $10,000 (Large), for budgets of $1M and over
Required Match: 1 to 1 (In-kind or cash match).  (Match waived for FY22)
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 Organization 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. Applications are due by 5:00 p.m. on the day of the deadline.

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. 

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.

The Maine Arts Commission applications are built around a project funding model, with questions that are designed to collect information about project impact. We understand this discrepancy between this and the Partnership grant and anticipate that not all answers will align directly with the question fields. Please do the best you can in providing the most accurate information. It may help to think of how the funds could support one or two key strategies your organization has planned for the year. 

Eligibility Requirements

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

  • 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 received an award from the Maine Arts Commission within the past five years and has produced a minimum of three years of programming. 
  • Has a current Strategic Plan.
  • The applicant has a valid DUNS number at time of application ( )
  • Is in compliance with Final Reports required by the Maine Arts Commission for previous awards.

Additional eligibility requirement for each grant include:  

  • Small = Budget of $50k to $999k: At least one (equivalent) full-time employee, and 990-form
  • Large = Budget of $1M or over: At least three (equivalent) full time employees, and financial audit

Award Restrictions

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

  • Organization Development
  • Organization Partnership
  • Organization Project

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

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

Application Materials

Once an application is started, the applicant may revisit it to add materials or change answers. This can be done up until the deadline. When the application is complete, the applicant must hit the ‘Submit’ button on the final page. This locks the application and makes it ready for review. All application materials must be submitted through the Grants Management System (GMS) and 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)
  • Copy of IRS 501(c)(3) determination letter. (Required for nonprofit organizations)
  • Most currently completed Form 990  -- OR -- audit. (Required for nonprofit organizations) 

                            Small =  IRS 990 Form (for organization with an annual income of $50,000 to $999,999).     

                            Large = Most recent financial audit (for an organization with an annual income of $1,000,000 and over).

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

  • Your Vendor Code is a state assigned number that allows award 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. Please do not upload the Vendor Form as part of the application. The form can be downloaded from the  Grants Help page
  • Vendor Forms can be emailed to vog.eniam@glig.nitsrek

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 and your community impact. (region and demographics). Please specifically identify services you offer for underserved populations and those with special needs. (Max: 3,450 characters - about 600 words.)
  3. Provide an overview of your programming. Please include at least three specific program examples. (3,450 characters - about 600 words.)
  4. Explain how your management, board governance, and committee structures. Please highlight organizational oversight mechanisms. (3,450 characters - about 600 words.)
  5. Provide an overview of your strategic plan. Describe your process for planning, where you are in the cycle of your current plan, and the progress you have made toward your goals. (Max: 3,450 characters - about 600 words.)
  6. Highlight major financial challenges, accomplishments, and changes that you have faced within the past year. Please include financial projections that could be impactful this coming year. Identify specific sources of revenue that account for 25% or more of your total revenue and share information about the sources of any deficit and your plans for resolving that deficit. Include any information that will help clarify your financial situation. (3,450 characters - about 600 words.)

Review Criteria

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

  1. Community impact and relevance of the applicant to the community. (20%)
  2. Artistic excellence and artistic merit of the applicant’s programming. (20%)
  3. Strength of applicant’s management structures. (20%)
  4. Quality of the applicant’s Strategic Plan. (20%)
  5. State of the applicant’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. The reviewer recommendations are presented to Maine Arts Commission members who approve the review process, making an award official. Notifications to applicants of the spring deadlines are sent in mid-July. 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.


All applicants are notified of their award status (approved or declined) via email after the Commission members approve the review process. Awardees are also listed on the Maine Arts Commission website. Paperwork for an applicant to accept an award is sent via email. Award funding is delivered by surface mail in the form of a paper check. A grant is taxable income, however, the Agency does not send 1099 or other tax forms to awardees. A copy of your executed award contract can be accessed on the State of Maine site at:


All organizations applying to the Maine Arts Commission are encouraged to use the FREE SMU-DataArts system. DataArts is a national dataset of information dedicated to illuminating strengths, challenges, and opportunities for American arts organizations. By completing an annual DataArts survey you will have access to visualization tools to better inform stakeholders and tell your story. You will also be contributing to a clearer understanding of the value of the arts to our state and to our nation. For more information on what a DataArts profile is, how it will benefit your organization, and how to get started, go to



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 and 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.        

Partnership Grant Staff Contact: 
Kerstin Gilg  207-287-6719
Director of Grants & Accessibility

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

Assistant Director, Visual Arts Director
Julie Horn: 287-2790

Arts Education Director 
Martha Piscuskas: 287-2750

Traditional Arts Specialist
Kathleen Mundell: 236-6741