Maryland Humanities is now providing general operating support grants to humanities-focused Maryland nonprofits. With initial seed funding of $500,000 from the state of Maryland, the SHINE ― Strengthening the Humanities Investment in Nonprofits for Equity ― grants program launches this fall. Applications will be accepted through Sept. 15.

Eligible nonprofit organizations will offer humanities programming as a significant part of their mission with an annual budget of up to $500,000. They include but are not limited to: museums, historic sites, preservation and historical societies, and community or cultural organizations. Fifty eligible nonprofits in Maryland will receive grants of $10,000 each.

The application template and scoring rubric will be released later in August. These grants provide full flexibility to nonprofits, allowing them to determine where funds are most needed. General operating expenses include salaries, rent, utilities, supplies, equipment, programs and other expenses.

“With the SHINE Grants, we’re aiming to lower barriers and provide funding in a more equitable way to organizations statewide,” says Lindsey Baker, executive director at Maryland Humanities. ‘Reporting from Grantmaking for Effective Organizations found that general operating support enables ‘nonprofits to build a strong and sustainable infrastructure to provide programs and services that will have the greatest impact.’ We’re looking forward to help push the field forward in this direction.”