ELLSWORTH & PORTLAND — The Maine Community Foundation’s Equity Fund is accepting applications from nonprofits for project and capacity-building grants that address lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) issues and needs.

The Equity Fund helps strengthen LGBTQ organizations in Maine and supports initiatives that work toward inclusive, diverse, prejudice-free communities for the LGBTQ population and all people in Maine.

Grant awards of up to $7,500 are available, with priority given to projects and organizations that serve people in rural and underserved communities; support LGBTQ families, youth or elders; increase access to health care or reduce health disparities; reduce anti-LGBTQ violence; support social and cultural community-building activities; and provide education to promote respect and understanding of LGBTQ people.

The deadline for grant applications is Sept. 15. An online application, guidelines and list of 2019 grants are available at mainecf.org.

Recent grants were awarded to:

• Maine Transgender Network Inc., to expand transgender peer support services to Western and Midcoast Maine

• Outright-Lewiston Auburn, to expand the capacity of its Youth Advisory Board to meet the growing need for peer-based mental health support in youth programming

• Speak About It Inc., to strengthen organizational capacity to meet the needs of LGBTQ+ students and the communities that support them through increased professional development and training opportunities for staff and educators.

If you have questions, please contact Senior Program Officer Gloria Aponte C. at gaponteclarke@mainecf.org or 207-761-2440.

Headquartered in Ellsworth, with additional personnel in Portland, Dover-Foxcroft and Mars Hill, the Maine Community Foundation works with donors and other partners to provide strong investments, personalized service, local expertise, and strategic giving to improve the quality of life for all Maine people. To learn more about the foundation, visit mainecf.org.