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Meet Melinda Shain
Grantee & Partner News
In the News
Click on the purple link for more information.
June 27, 2013 Auburn
July 22, 2013 Waterville
Girl Rising: a feature film about the power of education to change a

July 14-19, 2013
Grab the Torch: Leadership, Ethics and Philanthropy Institute is a six day overnight camp experience providing in-depth insight into nonprofits and foundations for freshmen in high school through freshmen in college.

August 15, 3013 Rockland

BREASTS: A Natural and Unnatural History. An evening with author Florence Williams.  


Ongoing: Washington County  

Axiom Technologies offers free computer classes: Excel, Social Media for Seniors and Basic Computer Skills. Contact  Jane Blackwood.

Drucker Institute Nonprofit Innovation Award  
Given to a nonprofit organization that best demonstrates "change that creates a new dimension of performance."
Deadline: July 1, 2013   

Ribbons of Hope   

Accepting applications from nonprofit organizations working to promote the well-being and future prospects of women and girls.

Deadline: August 1, 2013  


Bank of America Charitable Foundation

Community Development (Housing) Deadline: May 10, 2013
Critical Needs (Hunger)   

Deadline: August 2, 2013     


American Honda Foundation Invites applications for STEM programs.
Deadline: Rolling

Pollination Project Seed Grants for Social Entrepreneurs
Individuals working to make their community and the world a better place in the areas of arts and culture, community health and wellness, the environment, and justice.
Deadline: Open

Kellogg Foundation
Invites applications for programs that engage youth and communities in learning opportunities.
Deadline: Open

May and Stanley Smith Charitable Trust
Seeks proposals for youth development programs.  
Deadline: Open 
Nancy Strojny, Portland Chapter Chair for SCORE, needs women to volunteer as business coaches. Contact 508-272-0763  or

Patricia Rice, Bangor Chapter Chair for SCORE needs women to volunteer as business coaches. Contact 207-942-0103 or

We invite you to visit the
resources section of our website.
      Find us on Facebook  Follow us on Twitter  View our profile on LinkedIn 


There was a standing ovation and few dry eyes after Kaila Gagnon took the stage at our Leadership Luncheon three weeks ago. Eighteen-year-old Kaila recounted the struggles and criticism she endured in the public school system and her determination to finish high school while raising an infant daughter.


"I informed my principal I was pregnant and he was far from impressed. He then let me know that my condition was not acceptable in his school and that I needed to leave. Even after he suggested I wasn't welcome, I still tried my hardest to stay. The school and teachers refused to work with me, so I finally consented to leave. I then applied to the Passages Program."


Passages student Kaila Gagnon and her teacher Heather King 
Photos courtesy Amanda Kowalski


Last spring, a Maine Women's Fund grant supported the expansion of the Passages Program of the Community Schools at Opportunity Farm and Camden, which serves pregnant and parenting young women through a home-based high school diploma program. Passages served 50 students in the 2012/2013 school year. We're delighted to report that Kaila will be receiving her high school diploma next week and has plans to attend nursing school. 


This is just one of the eight success stories from exemplary Maine women that we heard at the Leadership Luncheon. The Fund staff, board and volunteers are still enjoying the effect of seeing so many of you at the event. We are grateful to the Fund community for coming together to network, listen to inspiring stories and support the work of the Fund. To our sponsors, advertisers, volunteers, grantees, awardees, our emcee, Suzanne Nance, all 650 individuals who purchased tickets, and the more than 300 individuals who made pledges or gifts at the event, thank you.


The event will live on in a video highlights production due out later this summer. If you weren't able to attend, or did attend and would like to help us share the event with your friends as a host or organizer of a viewing, please let us know by clicking here and we'll be in touch as we plan those gatherings between now and next year's event. In the meantime, you'll find pictures on our Facebook page, you can watch the Anne Taintor video that screened at the event and check out the event recap on our website.   


Samantha Smith Award recipients Maya Brown, Julia Bluhm and Izzy Labbe 

And now, drum roll please..... we are thrilled to announce that donations made at the luncheon doubled the amount raised at last year's luncheon and significantly exceeded the $25,000 goal we set. Over $38,000 in gifts and pledges were made to help support women and girls in Maine. That's a huge increase! We also increased our sponsorship and advertising revenue by 42% over 2012. 


TWIN Award recipient Anne Taintor (left)
Sarah Orne Jewett Award recipient Samantha Appleton (right)

Literally hundreds of you wrote or called to share your overwhelmingly positive thoughts on the event and to thank us. However, the Fund should be thanking you. On behalf of the board, staff and
volunteers who made the day possible, thank you for all you do to support women and girls in Maine.



Sarah Ruef-Lindquist





Melinda Shain MELINDA SHAIN  

How did you get involved with the Maine Women's Fund?

My first engagement with the work of the Fund was participating in a grantmaking session. I was recruited by former Board member Rebekah Smith, who I first met in law school at the University of Maine and have long admired for her dedication to public service. I was completely amazed to learn about the initiatives and communities the Fund supported across the state that were capable of making broad positive impacts with surprisingly small resources.  Every year I learn more about the need for the important work the Fund's grantee partners do and continue to be inspired by what is possible from investing in the power of women and the dreams of girls.


Why is economic security for Maine women and girls important to you?

Women's economic insecurity impairs their participation in civic life and threatens the health, education and overall well being of all community members. It's tough to find the energy and time to serve as an elected official or otherwise be civically engaged when you have to make ends meet earning only .77 cents for every dollar a man earns for doing the same work. As long as women don't have equal opportunities and are not viewed as equal participants in society we will not have the benefit of their voice and different approach to solving problems. We are seeing as more and more women leaders break through glass ceilings, that diversity of thought contributes to better solutions to the myriad of challenges Maine and our country face.  Accordingly, I see the economic security work of the Fund as contributing to far more than improvements to individual lives. Women will lift as they climb and that means that entire communities benefit when women and girls have the tools, resources and equal opportunities to reach their full potential. 


Women Standing Together Roundtable Session

Thursday, June 13th | 11:30am-1:30pm | Portland
Join Women Standing Together to help Shannon Kinney, founder of Dream Local, determine how to rapidly scale while protecting and spreading Dream Local's culture and core values.
Passages Program Graduation
Saturday, June 15th | 2:00pm | Camden
The Community Schools at Opportunity Farm and Camden will old a ceremony for graduates of the Passages Program at the John Street Methodist Church in Camden. >>>More

Maine Initiatives Twentieth Anniversary Celebration

Wednesday, June 19th | 5:00-8:30pm | Portland
Maine Initiatives celebrates their twentieth anniversary at Ocean Gateway in Portland, honoring grassroots leaders and homegrown heroes of the Portland region. This year's honorees are: El-Fadel Arbab, Bill Creighton, Rev. Marvin Ellison, Cyrus Hagge, Adam, Cathy, and Jonathan Lee and Donna Yellen and Preble Street >>>More

Career Planning: Find Your Place in Today's Job Market
July 15th through August 23rd | Online

Prepare for your next career or job with a plan that's right for you. In this class offered by grantee, Women, Work & Community you will review your skills, interests, and experiences and relate them to occupations; identify educational opportunities; research the local job market; and develop a step-by-step plan to achieve your goals. This online class is for anyone with internet access who is looking for a class with flexible hours, where you will not have to attend a live class, and can work at your own pace within the scheduled weeks of this class. Participants will connect with the instructor and classmates in online discussion boards and conference calls.  >>>More


MaineShare's Virtual Hike & Bike
Support our partner, MaineShare by participating in the 6th annual Smaller Footprint Hike and Bike. You will choose your own hike, bike ride, or walk and raise money for MaineShare. With this Virtual event there are no expenses involved or resources used so every dollar goes to MaineShare. Start and finish your hike or bike anywhere you want between now and Labor Day. Getting started is easy. It easy and quick to create your online Personal Fundraising Page. >>>More

Mainebiz Women to Watch Nominations

Mainebiz is seeking nominations for women business owners, CEOs, presidents, and top executives who have a proven track record of success and who have been trailblazers and mentors for the 2013 Women to Watch. Due June 12th, 2013.
Nomination form here.
Does the Gender Wage Gap Really Exist?
Ever wondered how your salary stacks up compared to the rest of the country? Take a look at this infographic to learn about wage growth over the decades, as well as jobs and locations where pay and gender gaps vary widely. >>>More 

Lessons from the Leading Edge of Gender Diversity
from McKinsey Quarterly
Advancing women to the top may be a journey, but how to do so is no longer a mystery. New research points to four principles that can help just about any company.  >>>More



The Maine Women's Fund thanks MaineShare for its ongoing support. MaineShare makes it easy to donate to more than 30 statewide organizations working every day to make Maine a better place to live. For more information, please visit the website.

On behalf of the staff and board of the Maine Women's Fund, thank you for reading and for all you do to support Maine women and girls.

Office locations:

565A Congress Street, Suite 306, Portland, ME 04101 | 43 Mechanic Street, Suite 300, Camden, ME 04843