Maryland Humanities Announces General Operating Support Through New SHINE Grants Program

July 13, 2022

A white background with text that says “Maryland Humanities Shine,” with Shine in all-capital letters. In smaller letters, text says ”Strengthening Humanities Investment in Nonprofits for Equity.” On another row: “General Operating Support Grants. Application opens: August 18. Application closes: September 15.” The dot for the i in “Shine” looks like a sparkle and the n looks like a rainbow with a dark blue, a lighter blue, and a green. These are the colors for the text in the entire image.(Baltimore, MD) — Maryland Humanities will now provide 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 August 18–September 15. Full guidelines and eligibility requirements are available here; the application template and scoring rubric will be released next month. 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.

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.

“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.”

Keith Stone, Vice Chair of the Board of Directors and Grants Committee Chair at Maryland Humanities, says, “While we’re no longer providing program-specific support like we have through prior grant programs, we believe that the shift to general operating support will allow Maryland Humanities to build deeper, stronger relationships with our partners, each of which will focus on providing quality humanities programming to Marylanders.”

“We are thrilled to be able to provide financial support for nonprofits who embrace humanities throughout Maryland,” says Mary Hastler, Maryland Humanities Board Chair. “Their role in ensuring that all Maryland residents have the opportunity to learn and grow in the humanities and operating support provides a fundamental framework for this to take place.”

Running the SHINE program will be Camilla Sandoval, Maryland Humanities’ new Program Coordinator for Grants and Community Engagement. Sandoval joined the staff at the end of June but has been working with the organization’s Grants Department in a consultation capacity since May. She comes from the National Park Service where she worked in grants management and gained experience at all stages of the federal grant cycle. Sandoval has also worked on local-level projects and received her M.A. and  B.A. degrees in History from UMBC.

These grants are funded by the State of Maryland via the Maryland Historical Trust.  Learn more about our SHINE Grants, eligibility, and deadlines here. For questions, contact Sandoval at

Press Release