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Youth Empowerment Mini-Awards

What is the Youth Empowerment Mini-Award? 

The Permanent Commission on the Status of Racial, Indigenous, and Tribal Populations (Permanent Commission) has a statutory goal to promote, implement, and coordinate programs that create and improve opportunities for historically disadvantaged racial, Indigenous, and tribal populations in the state.

To advance this goal, we are launching a mini-award program supporting nonprofit organizations through one-time funding to implement projects designed to support youth ages 25 and under. This opportunity is geared towards nonprofits who have not worked with the Permanent Commission in calendar year 2023. 

Benefits of this program include both receiving up to $4,500 per organization to implement your project and being part of a small cohort of participating organizations, which will help to build new connections across Maine.

If you work at a nonprofit and have an idea for a project that can create and improve opportunities for youth aged 25 and under, please submit a brief proposal to us HERE for our consideration! 

How much funding is available? 

The Permanent Commission is offering one-time awards of up to $4,500 (per organization) to up to five qualified organizations. The Permanent Commission has the discretion to award fewer awards than planned, based on the quality and completeness of the applications.


When will successful applicants receive the funds?

Selected partners will enter into a Low Cost Service Contract (LCSC) to begin project implementation. The Permanent Commission hopes to execute contracts in early March, 2024. Contracts will provide for partners to submit two invoices during the course of the contract for work that has been completed and expenses incurred. Payment can not be made in advance.


What types of expenses are allowable/ unallowable? 

Examples of allowable expenses include (list is not exhaustive): 

  • Physical space rental, 
  • Food, non-alcoholic beverages, and other accommodation costs associated with the proposed project,
  • Staff time and material costs for any activities directly related to the project, including promotional materials, community outreach, educational activities, and data collection, 
  • Staff time associated with attending project meetings with the Permanent Commission and developing/delivering a final report to the Permanent Commission describing the project activities, fund uses, and any other agreed upon reporting content, and
  • Up to 10% maximum of indirect costs.

Examples of unallowable expenses include (list is not exhaustive):

  • Lobbying, 
  • Goods and services for personal use,
  • Goods, services, or staff time for work outside of the approved project, or 
  • Fines, penalties, damages and other settlements.

Project budgets must be submitted as part of the application process and any amendments agreed in advance with the Permanent Commission.  Applicants are encouraged to apply for the full $4,500 with a supporting budget.


Who can apply? 

In order to qualify, organizations must: 

  • Be a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization  
  • Be headquartered in Maine or have a minimum of 50% of employees based in Maine, and 
  • Have not contracted with the Permanent Commission during the 2023 calendar year.

Organizations with multiple affiliated locations across the State should submit a single application. 

If you have any questions regarding your eligibility, please reach out to the Permanent Commission at the contact below. 


What will a strong application include? 

A strong application will include: 

  • All requested organizational and individual contact information,
  • Creative approaches to creating and improving opportunities for youth in Maine who are part of historically disadvantaged racial, Indigenous, and tribal populations,
  • Clear, well-defined goals,
  • Specific plans for getting feedback from participants on how well the goals were met,
  • A detailed timeline that lists the steps of the project, inclusive of planning, implementation, feedback, and reporting.
  • A realistic and well-thought out budget that details how the funds will be used. 


What does a strong application look like? 

Please see below an example of a completed application, which you may use as a reference when completing your own unique application. 

Mini-Award Application Example 

This application example is designed to provide information on the level of detail the Permanent Commission expects from applicants. Please do not consider this example as a template to be copied or any indication of departmental preference for certain types of project proposals. We encourage you to share project ideas that best suit the needs of your organization and community. 


What is the application deadline? 

The Permanent Commission is accepting applications through 11:59PM on Sunday, February 25th. 


If selected, what requirements are there?

Selected partners will be required to:

  1. Have or obtain a State of Maine vendor number. Permanent Commission staff will provide necessary support to obtain this.
  2. Enter into a low-cost service contract with the Permanent Commission.
  3. Submit two invoices for work undertaken in accordance with the approved budget and work plan.
  4. Attendee three 60-90 minute virtual meetings with Permanent Commission staff and other awardees during the course of the contract. The first will be a kickoff meeting, the second will be a mid-way progress update, and the third will be a project wrap up.
  5. Submit a written final report by Friday, May 31, 2024 that describes the project activities, how the funds were used, and includes any other reporting content agreed with the Permanent Commission based on the specific project.
  6. Complete an evaluation form at the end of the project to provide feedback to help improve future initiatives.
  7. Include the Permanent Commission’s logo on any promotional materials as a project sponsor and make space for Permanent Commission tabling at an event (if relevant and appropriate for the type of event).


Who can I reach out to with more questions? 

Should you have further questions regarding this opportunity, please reach out to Hunter Cropsey, Acting Operations Director, at

Empowering Youth