The Kainuu Regional Fund was founded in 1954, when it formed part of the North Finland Regional Fund, together with the Lapland Regional Fund and the North Ostrobothnia Regional Fund. It became a separate fund in 1968 and is one of the Finnish Cultural Foundation's 17 regional funds today.

The Fund is devoted to promoting and developing the arts, the sciences, and other fields of endeavour in the region - by providing annual grants and awards. Applicants born in the region are given priority when making grants, as is scientific or artistic work carried out in or covering the region, and cultural and development projects of regional importance.

The Kainuu Regional Fund comprises a General Fund and donation- and bequest-based donor funds. Grants made from the latter are directed towards areas specified by the donor when making his or her bequest. Areas not covered by this procedure are supported from the general funds.

The Fund's activities and decision-making are impartial and not linked to political parties or other organisations or associations. Grants made by the Fund are decided by an Administrative Council comprising 11 members representing a wide range of expertise and knowledge in the arts, the sciences, society, and business in the region.