Question: What is the difference between the core funding program and the annual RFP?
- **The core funding program is still being developed and we will be sharing more information about it in the coming months. It will focus specifically on rural areas of Maine and we will be partnering with organizations, schools, and communities that are working with middle school students to raise aspirations. Most of our funding resources will go to supporting these partnership activities. Funding for this grantmaking program will be foundation-initiated and we will not be accepting unsolicited applications.
- **The RFP is an annual grant opportunity that will have a different focus from year to year. The focus for each year will be determined by the evolution of the core funding program and the interests of the board of directors. In 2016, we want to learn more about organizations that are doing innovative and impactful work with middle school students anywhere in Maine around raising aspirations for higher education, and for this year we are using the RFP as a tool to find out who is out there doing this work right now. The total amount of funding available for the RFP is limited, and grants of up to $10,000 will be available for general operating support. Organizations that receive funding in 2016 may or may not be eligible for future RFP cycles. Eligibility will be determined by the focus area and priorities for that year. Each year, we will publish new guidelines and eligibility requirements a couple of months prior to the deadline for submitting a letter of inquiry.
Question: My organization works with middle school students in an urban or suburban area – are we eligible to apply for the 2016 RFP?
- Yes. Eligibility for the 2016 RFP is not limited by geography – it is open to organizations working in urban, suburban and rural areas.
Question: My organization works with high school students only but we are focused on raising aspirations and improving college access – are we eligible to apply for the 2016 RFP?
- No. Our focus is specifically on youth in middle school grades (ages 10 – 14).
Question: My organization works with youth of all ages, including ages 10 – 14 – are we eligible to apply for the 2016 RFP?
- Yes, as long as a portion of your programming focuses directly on youth ages 10 – 14 and includes efforts to raise their aspirations, you are eligible to apply for the 2016 RFP.
Question: I see that RFP grants are available for operating support – what can we use the funding for, if we are selected to receive a grant in 2016?
- General operating support grant funding can be used for anything that helps the organization achieve its mission. The funding does not have to be used specifically for the organization’s programs that work with youth in middle school. The purpose of the RFP is to recognize and support organizations that are using innovative and impactful approaches to working with middle school students to raise aspirations and explore pathways to college and career opportunities.
Question: Are schools eligible to apply for the 2016 RFP?
- Schools are eligible to apply.
Question: What amount of funding can we request in our proposal?
- The maximum grant amount available is $10,000.