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February 138:30 AM-1:00 PM. Nonprofit Day at the State HouseHall of Flags, State House, Augusta. For more info: click here.


March 18, 7:00 PM. 
Maine School of Law's Third Annual Justice for Women Lecture Series will feature renowned human rights and women's rights advocate from Afghanistan, Dr. Sima Simar. USM's Abromson Community Education Center, Portland. Registration is required: click here.  

Local and statewide groups are invited to apply to Maine Intiatives' Grants for Change. More info: call 207-622-6294 or email

Deadline: February 7
Joyce Foundation Announces $1.6 Million for Adult Learners
to support the creation and promotion of education technologies to help adult learners improve their reading, math and 21st century skills such as critical thinking. Click here to learn how to apply. LOI Deadline:  February 24, July 11. 
The Quimby Family Foundation
will be accepting Concept Letters for its grant cycle through February 28. Click here to learn more about its funding areas.
Jeannette Rankin Women's Scholarship Fund provides scholarships and support for low-income women ages 35 and older to build better lives through college completion. Click 


Deadline: March 1 


launched a new global campaign to bring financial inclusion to low-income communities. $200 million over five years will support financial programs that will provide vital knowledge, tools and services to underserved individuals, families, businesses and communities. 
Deadline: Open
American Honda Foundation Invites applications for STEM programs.
Deadline: Open
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

Healthy Generations is a multi-generational health initiative with a goal to improve the health of communities by focusing resources on improving nine key health care concerns.
Deadline: Open  

RedRover Seeks Applications From Emergency Shelter Organizations to Help Victims of Domestic Abuse and Their Pets. Safe Housing grants of up to $3,000 each awarded to shelter organizations to support the creation of space to temporarily house the pets of victims of domestic violence. Click here for the full RFP.

Maine Women's Fund Resource Development Training for past and current grantees. 2014 dates: March 21; May 2. Click here for more info. 


Do you need help filing your taxes? Free tax preparation by IRS-certified volunteers is available to low and middle income persons (individual or combined income under $51,000), including those over age 60. Call United Way of Aroostook at (207) 764-5197 or email United Way for an appointment and information. 


Want to be a mentor for 8th grade girls as they learn about women's leadership? Volunteer for Girls' Day at the State House on February 25Email or call (207) 622-0851 x22.
The Jeanette Rankin Foundation is looking for volunteers to help with its application review and evaluation. This involves a training session of 1 hour and approximately 5-6 hours of time, with the review to be completed between March 7-24. Note: the review is done in pairs so volunteers can sign up to work together with a friend. All that's needed is basic computer skills, access to the internet, and a desire to help women overcome poverty. More info here.  
Axiom Technologies offers free computer classes.  Click here for a list of classes and registration details.  

Newly formed nonprofit Eating Disorders Association of Maine is searching for people to join the board. Quarterly meetings are in Portland from 5:00PM-7:00PM. For more information, visit the website or contact Mary Orear at (207) 230-0170 or at

Nancy Strojny, Portland Chapter Chair for SCORE, needs women to volunteer as business coaches. Contact 508-272-0763  or

We invite you to visit the
resources section of our website.

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Dear Friends,   

Photo credit: 
 Jamie Bloomquist


The roots of the word "philanthropy" mean "love of humanity." This is a fitting theme for February, when many celebrate their love for others on Valentine's Day. The institution of philanthropy is about investing in communities. The Fund's philanthropy is about investing in programs for women and girls that address their economic security, and thereby strengthen communities. 


The Fund is also an investor in the financial markets, with an asset base of $1.6 million. We have grown these assets over the past 25 years with the support of donors who believe in the Fund's vision: a just and caring society in which Maine women and girls thrive so communities prosper.


The Fund manages these investments in line with this vision. After a rigorous selection process, the Fund employs an investment manager who uses socially responsive criteria, including sustainable business practices, progressive workplace policies and gender diversity in management and governance, to select the investments in our portfolio. Our investment manager can also take advantage of the Fund's status as a shareholder to advance social change through shareholder advocacy on environmental, human rights and diversity issues.


The manager is overseen by a volunteer Investment Committee, chaired by board member Robin Lin Hodgskin, who is a professional investment advisor at Morgan Stanley in Portland. This committee, along with Fund staff, monitors the account's holdings and the manager's performance. Together, we steward this essential endowment, which supports the Fund's mission to transform the lives of Maine women and girls through strategic grantmaking, community engagement and support to nonprofit organizations dedicated to social change.


So when February 14 rolls around, remember: it's about love of humanity. The Fund's philanthropy is about investing in humanity, too. Thank you for all you do to help the Fund be the best investor for Maine women and girls, and their communities.


Sarah Ruef-Lindquist 

The Fund received nearly double the number of 2014 Economic Security Initiative grant applications compared to 2013. There is great diversity not only in geography representing all counties, but also in the work being done across all areas of funding priorities: Education, Entrepreneurship, Healthcare, Leadership, Personal Safety and Public Policy. 

As reported last month, the Fund is taking a big step toward furthering its mission by requiring all 2013-2014 grantees to participate in a technical assistance training series to help build statewide capacity for social change. As an expert in this area, the Fund has awarded a grant to the  Maine Women's Policy Center to plan and lead this pilot project, which will be a peer learning opportunity among organizations advancing women's economic security across Maine. Grantee organizations will explore together the root causes of the issues they address and apply their learning to engage the community in also addressing those root causes.


Grants are expected to be announced in late March. 


To honor the memory of Karen Moran, who died in November, friends and family have established an endowed fund in her name. The Karen Moran Leadership Fund for Women and Girls reflects Karen's commitment to strengthening leadership capacity, and will help to ensure that women and girls of all races and classes have access to opportunities to reach their full potential. 
Read more about Karen here.


The Maine Women's Fund is grateful and honored to help carry on Karen's inspiring legacy of generosity, feminism and leadership. 


For more information about the Karen Moran Leadership Fund, please contact Sarah Ruef-Lindquist





Thanks to our generous sponsors!
Lead Sponsor

iBec Creative        

Friend/Nonprofit Friend 
Women Standing Together
Better Bread Company

Email Lauren Dietlin, COO, for sponsorship information.

2013 Leadership Luncheon



The Maine Women's Fund was the recent recipient of several grants in support of a Needs Assessment and Asset Mapping Project. The Emanuel & Pauline A. Lerner Foundation, The Sam L. Cohen Foundation and the Elmina B. Sewall Foundation each granted the Maine Women's Fund $10,000 in support of the project.



The regional project, undertaken on a county-by-county basis beginning in January 2013, is designed to identify areas of unmet need and organizations throughout Maine working to address the challenges to economic security for women and girls, increase awareness of the Fund's work, and to strengthen the Fund's grantmaking. In January and February 2013, meetings were convened in 14 of Maine's 16 counties to explore data provided by the Fund with indicia related to the status of women and girls by county and prioritize needs, and involved more than 100 participants and leaders.


A total of 17 meetings took place in 15 of Maine's 16 counties during the months of October, November and December 2013. Those meetings involved a combined 120 community members as well as 33 volunteers and staff of the Fund as facilitators. A focus on community assets addressing need increased awareness, for both participants and the Fund, of existing programs and potential collaborative opportunities.


"The Fund is grateful to have such dedicated partners in these foundations. The financial support provided for this project helps the Maine Women's Fund clearly understand regional economic security needs facing women and girls. Findings from the project can help the Fund's grantmaking be as strategic, effective and sustainable as possible," said Maine Women's Fund CEO Sarah Ruef-Lindquist.



Each month leading up to the Leadership Luncheon we will shine the spotlight on one of our awardees.

The Samantha Smith Award recognizes a young woman from Maine who works to promote social change in her school or community, inspires other girls to become active in supporting long lasting change in Maine, uses her voice boldly to influence others and make a difference in her community. 


Chloe Maxmin, this year's recipient, is a graduate of Newcastle's Lincoln Academy. An environmental activist whose work began when she founded the Climate Action Club at her high school, Maxmin helped galvanize a green movement in her school and mid-coast Maine community. She is founder oFirst Here, Then Everywhere, the only online network by and for young environmentalists. Currently a Harvard College junior, Maxmin serves on the editorial board of The Harvard Crimson and is the coordinator for Divest Harvard, leading efforts for divestment in fossil fuels from Harvard's $32.7 billion endowment fund 


In April 2013, Rolling Stone magazine profiled Chloe as one of the "New Green Heroes":

Now, she's taking on two of the world's most powerful forces: Big Oil and Harvard. 'The fossil-fuel industry has a stranglehold on the system, so we're going to bypass it,' she says. Last fall, Harvard students passed a referendum demanding the university untangle its $31 billion endowment from the fossil-fuel industry. Maxmin refuses to be daunted by the administration's chilly response. 'My life has been taken over by divestment,' she says, 'and I can see it succeeding.' Read the whole article here 


Read Divest Harvard's Open Letter to President Faust. Read an interview with Chloe by Heart of Gold Girls. 


Divest Harvard

Congrats to Chloe! Come see her receive the Samantha Smith Award at the annual Leadership Luncheon on May 21. See the full list of awardees here.  



Safe Voices assists women fleeing domestic violence through its residential shelter, educational training, 24-hour helpline and community education and prevention activities. the organization was a 2012-2013 Economic Security Initiative grantee of the Fund. The organization shared this story:

My name is "Alice." I am a domestic violence survivor and have two beautiful daughters ages 6 and 8. We moved out of the Safe Voices domestic violence emergency shelter in August 2013. From the shelter we moved into the Safe Voices Transitional Housing building where I'm being supported by its Transitional Services Program. As a result of the domestic violence, I found myself without a job, without income, without a safe place to live with my two children and with a limited support system. With the support of my transitional services coordinator, I quickly found a job, although it is low-paying with sporadic hours, and a safe place to live. When my Transitional Coordinator talked with me about joining the Self Sufficiency Support group I was ecstatic and even volunteered to come to a planning meeting while I was still living in the shelter.  Shortly after leaving the shelter, I found myself in a new and committed relationship with my partner "Jeff."  


Both of my daughters have come to every group session so far. They are integrated into meal time and discussions of healthy eating and habits amongst the group. They enjoy the company of the other adults, and have become particularly bonded with the two childcare workers. I feel that the attention they get from the workers and the discussions as a whole are a real benefit to them.


In this group, I have found a safe place to share my struggles with holding a job, raising a family, and surviving.  I'm learning practical strategies for making my money go farther, as well as getting great support for my self-sufficiency goals. I have become a support and leader to my peers within the group as well. Jeff and I have made this commitment and together we are working towards our own individual and familial goals of self-sufficiency.


To learn more about Safe Voices and its work, visit


Two Fund grantees, the Maine Women's Policy Center and Women, Work and Community, recently teamed up to present a powerful case for making women's voices heard at the State House and during this 2014 election year. The Portland Press Herald op-ed put a spotlight on the pressing issues facing women and girls and outlines a call to action to encourage our elected leaders to support policies that reflect the full range of women's needs: 
Come fall, we women can expect candidates to appeal for our support, and experience tells us they'll offer warm statements that idealize motherhood and express opposition to domestic violence. All too often, however, the policy and spending choices that our elected leaders make tell a different story." 
Read the full piece here


The Maine Women's Policy Center reports on the Maine Women's Day at the State House:

The priorities included ensuring that Maine has a fair supplemental budget that prepares the state and its citizens for the future; passing LD 1578, An Act to Increase Health Security by Expanding Federally Funded Health Care for Maine People; and passing LD 156, Resolution Proposing an Amendment to the Constitution of Maine Concerning Early Voting and Voting by Absentee Ballot. The Coalition for Maine Women will also fight bills that would rollback progress for women. As Eliza Townsend, MWL Executive Director, stated in her remarks, "We don't have a minute to waste on unnecessary legislation, whether it undermines existing law in the name of religious freedom, or it is an attack on women living in poverty." Participants will have more opportunities to work on these priorities throughout the 2014 Legislative Session.


Maine NEW Leadership is now accepting applications for its 2014 Summer InstituteOffered by the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center at the University of Maine Orono, this six-day, residential non-partisan training program, provided at no cost to undergraduate college women, educates and empowers women to become civic and political leaders. To be eligible, undergraduates must either be from Maine or attending college in Maine. Graduating college seniors are eligible to apply. Dates: May 30 to June 4, 2014See a video outlining the program here, and access the application here. Applications must be postmarked or hand-delivered by March 21, 2014.   
Hardy Girls Healthy Women is looking for volunteers to help with its Girls Rock! Weekend festivities. Specifically, the organization needs: 
  • General support at their office leading up to the event (April 1-4 during office hours, 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM);
  • Help during the Girls Unlimited Conference at Colby College on Friday, April 4 (7:30 AM - 1:30 PM); 
  • Staffing at the Girls Rock! awards on Friday, April 4 in Augusta. 
  • Help with the Girls Unlimited Conference in Portland on Saturday, April 5th.
In other Hardy Girls Healthy Women news: welcome to the organization's new Executive Director, Kelli McCannell"As a long-time admirer of Hardy Girls, I am thrilled to join the organization. I am already inspired by the strategic, holistic, strength-based programming, informed by girls and for girls. With the dedicated Board and generous donors, I am confident we can lead HGHW to the next level, maintaining our roots in Central Maine and deepening our presence in Southern Maine and beyond," Kelli said of the new position. Read more here




Sarah Ruef-Lindquist, Fund CEO, Appointed to the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women 

The Fund is pleased to announce the appointment of its CEO, Sarah Ruef-Lindquist, resident of Camden, to the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women. The Commission is a government-appointed group dedicated to improving opportunities for women and girls in Maine by advising the Governor and members of the Legislature about policy and social issues affecting women and girls in Maine. Additionally, the group carries out research and presents a biennial Report on the Status of Women and Girls in Maine. Sarah will serve on the Reports Committee. To learn more, visit the Commission website


Maine Philanthropist Leaves Historic Property for Nonprofits' Use 

The  Elsie & William Viles Foundation in Augusta, Maine, is working to implement the will of philanthropist Elsie Pike Viles, who left an estate valued at nearly $20 million to the foundation when she passed away last March. The foundation's board of directors has allocated funds to pay for improvements to the historic Daniel Cony Weston House and host the meetings of local nonprofit organizations at no cost. Read more from Philanthropy News Digest here. Read the story in the Kennebec Journal here


The 2014 Shriver Report is Now Available for Download:
The 2014 Shriver Report, a study by Maria Shriver in partnership with the Center for American Progress, shines a powerful spotlight on the alarming economic insecurity of American women and their families. 
Follow the conversation on Twitter. Download the Shriver Report
here Keep an eye out for a related documentary, "Living Paycheck to Paycheck: The Life and Times of Katrina Gilbert," which airs on HBO on March 17.  Find more information on the documentary here


Lilly Ledbetter: President Obama Can Do More For Equal Pay
Lilly Ledbetter
Excerpted from Ledbetter's recent op-ed in the Washington Post:
The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act is just the first of many tools women need. My fight for equal pay was never supposed to end with me, and it was never meant to be partisan. Letting that be the case would be an additional injustice. A 2012 study by the American Association of University Women (AAUW) controlled for factors known to affect earnings, such as education, parenthood and hours worked, and found that college-educated women still earn 7 percent less than their male peers just one year out of school - even when they have the same major and occupation. That's not a small amount, and it gets worse over time, as most benefits and raises are based on wages. These pay disparities harm women, their families and the nation's economy. According to a recent study by the Institute for Women's Policy Research, the U.S. economy would produce an additional $447.6 billion in income if women received equal pay. Click here for the full column. 
Please join Lilly Ledbetter in urging President Obama to make 2014 the year for progress on equal pay by signing an executive order banning federal contractors from retaliating against workers who ask about pay discrepancies--a critical first step. -- via Ultraviolet. Click here to sign the petition! 


In case you missed it: view the Maine Women's Fund 2012-2013 Report to the Community. If you'd like to receive a copy by mail, please email or call 207-774-5513.  
#Women Leading Philanthropy National Symposium: April 2-3, 2014,
 Chicago, IL
Learn from leaders in philanthropy, social innovation, and enterprise who apply innovation, disrupt the status quo, create true impact and effect social change in their communities and across the globe. Organized by the Women's Philanthropy Institute at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of PhilanthropyConference topics will include: the difference women's leadership makes across sectors of society; how women express philanthropic leadership in families; ways women are innovating and experimenting in philanthropy with funding communications, and investment; and how to tell the story of women's philanthropic accomplishments for maximum impact. More information is here


Did you know? The Fund is on Twitter and LinkedIn

Follow and connect with a community dedicated to investing in the power of women and the dreams of girls.  



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 | 41 Mechanic Street, Suite 328, Camden, ME 04843