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 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 Operations Grant provides unrestricted operating funds to 501c3 arts organizations of Maine. Applicants are able to apply as a small organization (budget under $500,000) or as a large organization (budget over $500,000). Application requirements are the same for both, as is the maximum award amount. 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.

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 may not apply unless the institution in its entirety has over 50% of programming dedicated to arts.

Applications are encouraged from anyone who meets the eligibility requirements. Reviewers may place priority on applicants that serve or represent populations that have historically been under-resourced by arts and cultural funding due to geography, gender, race/ethnicity, disability, or socioeconomic status.

Eligibility Requirements

All applicants must have a current Maine Arts Commission account and current Vendor Code to receive funding. 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 status from the Internal Revenue Service.
  • Has a valid DUNS number. (
  • Has a demonstrated 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 and at least one (equivalent) full time employee
  • Has completed the NEA accessibility checklist. (
  • Awarded funds will be used within the award cycle
  • Is in compliance with Final Reports required by the Maine Arts Commission for previous awards.

Eligible Expenses

This grant can be used towards operational support for 501c3 arts organizations.

Ineligible Expenses

  • Deficit or debt reduction.
  • Donations, contributions to other organizations, and re-granting.
  • Equipment purchases over $5,000.
  • Fundraising.
  • Home office or home studio rent and expenses.
  • Lobbying activity.
  • All unallowable expenses for federal awards as defined in 2 CFR 200 Subpart E - Cost Principles.

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.

Application Scoring 

Narrative 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. Provide a description of how you plan to use the funding for your organization operations. (Max: 3,550 characters - about 550 words.)
  3. Explain how the funding will benefit your organization, community, and/or the people you serve. (Max: 2,550 characters - about 350 words.)

Review Criteria

  1. 20% = Artistic excellence and artistic merit of the applicant (as expressed through your answer to question #1 and supporting uploads).
  2. 35% = Evidence that the funds will be used well, and for eligible expenses. (as expressed through your answer to question #2 and the online budget form).
  3. 35% = Evidence of organizational/community benefit. We encourage information about internal or external efforts of inclusion with populations that have historically been under-resourced by arts and cultural funding. (as expressed through your answer to question #3 and supporting uploads (NEAaccessibility checklist) and inclusion survey).
  4. 10% = Application overall quality.

Application Requirements 

All applications must be submitted through the online Grants Management System (GMS). Application materials will not be accepted in any other format. Once an application is started within the GMS system, 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. Applications must contain:

Online – You will need to complete all the required question fields within the Grants Portal.

  • (Required) Completed answers to all narrative questions. (Required)
  • Completed information about award use and project budget.
  • (Required) Completed inclusion survey for types of organizational involvement.

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

  • (Required) Copy of IRS 501(c)(3) determination letter (not needed for school districts or municipalities)
  • (Required) Most recently completed federal tax return. (990, or 990-EZ if applicable)
  • (Required) A list of board members, including their professional affiliations.
  • (Required) Current Strategic Plan.

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

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. If you have had a recent address change you will also need to fill out a new vendor form.

Please do not upload the Vendor Form as part of the application.Vendor Forms should be surface mailed, faxed, or emailed to Kimberly Jablon. vog.eniam@nolbaJ.ylrebmiK.

Review Process

Submitted applications are reviewed by Agency staff for completion, eligibility, and adherence to the funding guidelines. Applications determined to be ineligible will not move forward to the panel review. Eligible applications will be reviewed by a panel of Maine arts and culture professionals with appropriate expertise related to the grant program. Applications will be scored and ranked based on the review criteria. Panel rankings translate into reviewer recommendations that are submitted to the Maine Arts Commission members for funding approval. Applications are awarded based on the ranked list, funding priorities, and available funds.


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 after the Commission members approve the review process. Awardees are also listed on the Maine Arts Commission website. Paperwork and instructions 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:

Final Reports

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

Your Final Report form can be accessed through your application within the Grant Portal. It consists of three sections: Information about the final budget and demographics, a project summary, and a section to upload materials. There is also a survey so awardees can offer feedback to the Agency about their experience. The Maine Arts Commission relies on Final Reports to inform our funding from the National Endowment of the Arts, to become more knowledgeable about Maine creative work, and as a resource to promote the State arts community.

Ask for Help 

The staff at the Maine Arts Commission is available to help you in any way as you prepare your application and navigate the Grants Portal. We particularly encourage first time applicants and those new to grant writing to contact us and ask for help. For more information, visit our staff directory:


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.



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.

Get Started in our Application Portal

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