Organization Operations Grant
Organization Operations Grant header image


Deadline: February 172022
Maximum Award: $7,500
Required Match: 1 to 1 (In-kind or cash match). 
Award Cycle: July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023

Organization Operations Grant

The Organization Operations Grant provides unrestricted operating funds to 501(c)(3) arts organizations of Maine. Applicants can apply in one of two categories: organizations with a budget under $500,000, or organizations with a budget over $500,000.  Application requirements are the same for both, as is the maximum award amount. Awarded funds must be used within the award cycle. Applications are due by 5:00 p.m. on the day of the deadline.

Applications are encouraged from any organization meeting the eligibility requirements.  Organizations are welcome to apply to all grant programs within a cycle but may only accept one award if offered both Organization Project and Organization Operations funding.

Have general questions about the Grant/Application Process? Access the Grants FAQthe Grants Definitions Page, or Grants Help Page

 Print PDF of Guidelines

An applicant is eligible to apply if they meet the following criteria at the time of application deadline:

  • Is a nonprofit arts organization with 501(c)(3) tax-exempt statusfrom the Internal Revenue Service (Some multi-disciplinary or multi-purpose organizations, including arts entities embedded in universities and colleges, may be eligible
  • Has a current Maine Arts Commission account
  • Has a State of Maine Vendor Code (required to receive funding) Download Printable Vendor Code Form 
  • Has a valid DUNS number
  • Awarded funds will be used within the award cycle
  • If applicable, has completed Final Reports required by the Maine Arts Commission for previous awards
  • Has a strategic plan or business plan that will be active during the award cycle
  • Has produced a minimum of one year of programming within Maine
  • Has an organization budget over $50,000 with at least 40 hours of paid staff time per week (this could include more than one employee
Eligible Expenses

This grant can be used towards operational support for 501(c)(3) arts organizations.

Ineligible Expenses
  • Deficit or debt reduction
  • Donations and re-granting
  • Equipment purchases over $5,000
  • Fundraising
  • Remote office expenses
  • Lobbying activity

Grant Narrative to be completed in the Application Portal (All character counts include spaces. 2,550 characters/page)

  1. Provide the mission and a brief description of your organization. (Max: 1,275 characters - about 175 words)
  2. Provide an overview of your programming and explain its artistic merit. (Max: 2,550 characters - about 350 words)
  3. Explain how this grant will impact the community and the people you serve. We encourage efforts of inclusion with populations that have historically been under-resourced by arts and cultural funding due to geography, gender, race/ethnicity, disability, or socio-economic status. (Max: 2,550 characters - about 350 words)
Review Criteria
  1. 20% = Artistic Excellence and artistic merit of the project and its goals (as expressed through the answers to questions #1 and # 2 and supporting uploads)
  2. 35% = Evidence that the funds will be used strategically to address the mission of the applicant  (as expressed through the answer to question #2, the online budget form and supporting uploads) 
  3. 35% = Evidence of organizational/community benefit (as expressed through the answer to question #3 and supporting uploads and inclusion survey)
  4. 10% =Application overall quality

All applications must be submitted through the online Application Portal.  Once an application is started, the applicant may make changes up until the deadline. When completed, the applicant must hit the ‘Submit’ button on the final page. This locks the application and makes it ready for review. The application includes an online form and attachments to be uploaded.

Online Form Requirements:
  • Completed grant narrative
  • Completed budget form
  • Completed inclusion survey

Uploads – You will be able to upload up to a total of 10 pieces of support materials through the Application Portal.  Some are required, others are optional. The total amount should be 10 items or fewer. 

Required Attachments to be uploaded:
  • Copy of IRS 501(c)(3) determination letter 
  • Most recently completed federal tax return (990, or 990-EZ if applicable) 
  • Current Strategic Plan or Business Plan
  • A list of board members, including their professional affiliations
  • (Optional) Additional information that supports the application (artistic samples, images, reports, letters of support, contracts, etc.)
Vendor Code – An applicant must have a current Vendor Code to receive award funds.
  • For new applicants – Please read the Vendor Form help information, download a Vendor Form, fill it out, and return it to the Maine Arts Commission by mail, email, or fax.
  • For past applicants:If your contact information has changed in the past year, you will need to fill out a new Vendor Form with your updates. 

The Maine Arts Commission reserves the right to use submitted materials in the non-commercial promotion of the artist and/or Maine Arts Commission programs. 

Submitted applications are reviewed by Agency staff for completion, eligibility, and adherence to the funding guidelines. Compliant applications are read by a diverse panel of Maine arts and culture professionals with appropriate expertise related to the grant program. Panelists submit scores based on the review criteria.  Award recommendations, based on scoring and available funds, are submitted to the Maine Arts Commission members at their bimonthly meeting for final approval. All applicants are soon notified of the awards and how to access review meeting notes.  

The delivery of funds may take up to six months from the time of award notification. This means that grant awards 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, as long as it takes place within the award cycle.   

All applicants are notified of their award status (approved or declined) via email.  Successful applicants also receive emails with documents and instructions on award acceptance.  Awardees are listed on the Maine Arts Commission website. 

Final Reports are required no later than two weeks after the end-date of the award cycle, but it is recommended that they be submitted just after the conclusion of the project. The Final Report Form can be accessed by revisiting your application in the Application Portal.

Final Reports include a progress summary, a recap of actual expenses, demographic statistics, and a section to upload materials. Awardees are also invited to complete a brief survey offering feedback to the Agency about their experience. The Maine Arts Commission relies on Final Reports:

  • to inform the National Endowment of the Arts and the State how public funds are used,
  • to become more knowledgeable about Maine creative work,
  • and as a resource to promote the State arts community.

Operation Grant Information Session - February 9, 2022

View session transcript



Ask for Help

The staff at the Maine Arts Commission are ready to help as you prepare your application and navigate the Application Portal. We especially encourage first-time applicants and those new to grant writing to contact us for assistance. For more information, visit our staff directory


Grant information can be made available in large print format or other languages 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.  To learn more, the NEA offers an accessibility self-assessment checklist

Get Started in our Application Portal

Apply for a Grant

Need More Help?
For General Questions:
207- 287-2724
Help by Discipline:

Assistant Director
Julie Horn: 287-2790

Program Officer
Martha Piscuskas: 287-2750

Traditional Arts Specialist
Kathleen Mundell: 236-6741