Equity Fund

Total grant applications received in the last cycle: 16 applications for a total of $92,630 in requests
Grant dollars awarded:
Average award:
Maximum award: $7,500
Percentage of applicants that received grants: 75%
Number of grants awarded:
Additional dollars awarded through donor-advised fund referrals:
Application deadline:
September 15

Recent Grants from the Equity Fund


The Equity Fund's mission is to strengthen lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) organizations in Maine and support community-based initiatives.


The Equity Fund supports all aspects of the LGBTQ community. It will consider projects and organizations that:

  • Increase access to health care or reduce health disparities
  • Reduce race-based disparities or barriers to opportunities
  • Reduce violence and/or harassment
  • Promote respect and understanding
  • Involve people who identify as LGTBQ. They should be:
    • in leadership positions on board and staff of the organization
    • involved in the design, delivery, and evaluation of the programs and services
    • most of the participants or intended recipients.
The Equity Fund awards two types of grants: project grants and capacity-building grants.

1. Project grants provide support for new or expanded projects. Projects are activities with a clear start and end, with goals and objectives related to but not the same as the organization’s mission.

2. Capacity-building grants provide support for activities that will improve operations and efficiency for organizations that serve LGBTQ communities. This includes activities that will:

•    improve governance and leadership,
•    improve staff skills,
•    improve services and programs,
•    improve financial management,
•    create and implement outcomes-based strategic and business plans.

Both project and capacity-building grants will support staff time dedicated to supporting proposed activities. They will not support costs associated with the general operation of the organization (see below).

Applicants to the Equity Fund may include administrative or indirect costs in their request as a line item in their project budget. These funds may be used at the discretion of the grantee to cover overhead or indirect costs but must be limited to 20% of the total amount requested.

All applicants must meet the Maine Community Foundation’s general grant eligibility requirements. In addition, please note that grants cannot pay for program expenses that have already been incurred.

Maximum award: $7,500. 

Ineligible Requests

The Equity Fund will not support the following types of programs or fundraising efforts because they primarily provide very indirect or delayed benefit to the community.

•    Operating support: This includes support for overhead and ongoing administrative costs such as rent, phone, and office supplies; salaries of key staff such as the executive director, or administrative staff.
•    Ongoing activities: Activities that are part of the organization’s mission with no clear start or ending dates. Projects or programs that have already been implemented and are continuing without expansion.
•    Endowments or capital campaigns: Activities designed to increase capital or assets of organization. This includes costs related to verbal or written requests for financial support such as appeal letters or fundraising events.
•    Camperships: This includes funding for admission, enrollment, tuition, or other costs related to individual or group attendance at a short-term recreational or educational program.
•    Capital expenses: Purchases of equipment or building materials that are related to the organization’s core operations rather than projects or capacity-building programs with clearly defined outcomes as described above.

All applicants must meet the Maine Community Foundation’s general grant eligibility requirements. In addition, please note that grants cannot pay for program expenses that have already been incurred.

How to Apply

Complete the online grant application by clicking the link in the grant application box at the top right corner of this page. Online applications must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on September 15.

Project Progress Report

All grant recipients will be required to submit a Project Progress Report (PDF | Word Document) approximately 10 months after receiving payment of the grant. Organizations that fail to file a progress report will not be eligible for future funding from Maine Community Foundation competitive grant programs for one year or until the missing report is filed.


If you have any further questions regarding the Equity Fund, please contact Gloria Aponte Clarke, program officer, by e-mail or by phone at (207) 412-0847.

Equity Fund Advisors

Charles Dwyer, Chair, Belmont
Kimberly Crichton, Bridgton
Shane Diamond, Portland
Donna Galluzzo, Portland
Olivia Orr, Portland
Dwight Sholes, Bowdoinham
Christopher Winstead, Bangor