Improving Systems for Meeting Basic Human Needs Grants

Improving Systems for Meeting Basic Human Needs Grants recognize that for people and places to truly be healthy, the basic needs of individuals must first be met.  These grants are intended to advance change in the systems and policies under which individuals find themselves requiring assistance to meet their most basic needs. 

This summer, Sewall staff and board began reviewing the first three years of the Healthy People Healthy Places program, including application and funding trends, and the Foundation’s progress in advancing its program strategiesand related commitments to learning, capacity-building, and equity.  Out of this review process arose a great deal of learning that warrants further consideration and prompts interim changes for 2018.

In 2018, we will accept Improving Systems for Meeting Basic Human Needs applications ONLY from organizations that were previously awarded funding through this program between 2015 and 2017. 

This decision applies to 2018 only, and is intended to continue work that has been successful in the past, while allowing time to develop a clearer focus and improved process for the Improving Systems for Meeting Basic Human Needsprogram in the future.  

We recognize that any shift in foundation programs can be alarming.  But we have found it necessary to hit the “pause” button in our Improving Systems for Meeting Basic Human Needs program, in order to clarify our focus and improve our grant-making processes.  We remain strongly committed to being informed by nonprofits and other partners, as we seek to serve Maine people more effectively.

We are happy to hear from you and will do our best to keep you informed as this work evolves.


2018 Application Information

2018 Application Period


The deadline for applying is January 16, 2018, 5pm EST.  Decisions will be announced in early June.