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July 30. 10:30AM-2:00PM. 
Women's Open House at Penobscot Job Corps, Bangor. 

Featuring tours, trade booths, Q&A with female students, BBQ, surprises and giveaways. More info: contact Penobscot Job Corps Center at (207) 990-3000 x305.

Joyce Foundation Announces $1.6 Million for Adult Learners
to support the creation and promotion of education technologies. Click here to learn how to apply. LOI: July 11. 


launched a new global campaign to bring financial inclusion to low-income 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
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Dear Friends,


Still basking in the glow of the fantastic Leadership Luncheon in May, the board and staff of the Maine Women's Fund have since enjoyed two wonderful opportunities to reconnect with former board and Ellen Wells Legacy Society members: at a gathering overlooking Rockport Harbor at the home of Joan Welsh, and a lovely reception amongst the lush gardens of Layne Gregory's home in Falmouth. Being together with past and present leadership, as well as those who are investing in the Fund's future, is delightful and energizing, and there is much to celebrate. Click here to see images from the Falmouth event.  


This past March, the Fund had the privilege of making the inaugural grant from the Karen Moran Leadership Fund, established late in 2013 to honor the late Karen Moran of Yarmouth. We also made grants for the first time from two recently established donor advised funds. One of them supports the Maine Women's Policy Center, which will work with the Maine Women's Fund's grantee partners to effect social change on the issues that impact economic security for women and girls. The Fund is so fortunate to have visionary, thoughtful and generous supporters who see the value in this work.


Of course, moving is a common summertime activity, and that's just what the Maine Women's Fund is doing later in August. The Portland office will be moving from 565 Congress Street to Lunt Road in Falmouth, into the former Lunt School building. We look forward to new space, new neighbors such as Southern Maine Agency on Aging and Ocean View, and plenty of free parking for our staff and visitors! More information will be included in our August newsletter.


We hope your summer is full of great reasons to enjoy and celebrate, like sunny days, warmer weather, and time with special people in special places. While you do, we thank you for all you do to support women and girls in Maine.


Sarah Ruef-Lindquist 




by Sarah Ruef-Lindquist 


Women have more control over more money than ever before. That means good things for women, and good things for philanthropy that supports women's and girl's economic security. Reports published over the past month are helping us to understand the "how" and "why" of this unprecedented phenomenon. According to the Women's Philanthropy Institute at Indiana University, 48% of estates worth more than $5 million are controlled by women, compared with 35% controlled by men. The Institute also notes women control nearly 60% of the wealth in the United States. 

What about that wealth? We've been hearing since 1999 about its intergenerational transfer - the largest amount of wealth held by the largest generation of people leaving their assets to family, friends and charity in astounding amounts.  But did the Great Recession of 2008 change all that? Well, yes, but not in a bad way.  According to the report just released by John J. Havens and Paul G. Schervish whose 1999 report on wealth transfer conservatively estimated $41TR to transfer between the years 1998 and 2052, with $6TR of that to charity, the numbers have only increased in both areas. Now they predict $59TR with $27TR to charity between the years 2007 and 2061.




Annually, a report called Giving USA looks at the prior year's tax returns and analyzes the amount and focus of philanthropy. Their report on 2013 data shows gifts through bequests growing at rates exceeding living individuals, foundations or corporations, consistent with these predictions.


Another fact: Consistently, Maine income tax returns report one of the lowest levels of annual giving to charities in the US. The data for 2011 indicated Maine was 47th in individual giving in dollars ($432M versus $175BN nationally), and 35th in terms of those reporting that they made charitable gifts during the year (23% giving versus 26% nationally). Maine also ranks 50th in terms of gift size.

But it seems that Mainers are more generous with their wealth at death: 2011 data shows that Mainers rank 3rd in the percentage of estates making gifts to charity (40% of estates in Maine making gifts to charity, versus 22% nationally), and is 9th in size of estate gifts to charity ($7.7M versus a $10.4M national average). This is consistent with data from 2008, when 31% of the 36 estates making gifts to charity ranked Maine 3rd in the nation for gifts to charity through estates. In the years between 2008 and 2011, Maine ranks in the top 10 of those states with gifts to charity.

So while not making annual gifts at the rate or in amounts of those from other states, Mainers would seem particularly generous to charity through their estate plans. It may be frugality and fiscal conservatism during life that then allows and supports generosity at death. Add to that phenomenon the continued greater longevity of women as compared to men and one can reasonably conclude that women are more often the holder of wealth in later years and in a greater position to be designating charitable gifts through their estates.That's good news. We encourage all of the Fund community to consider their potential to help fulfill the vision of creating a just and caring society where Maine women and girls thrive, so communities prosper, through philanthropy now, and for future generations, through thoughtful planning. The Ellen Wells Legacy Society recognizes those whose thoughtful planning includes the Maine Women's Fund.

Want to learn more? Please contact Sarah Ruef-Lindquist, CEO, 207-975-5165 or

"A Golden Age of Philanthropy Still Beckons: National Wealth Transfer and Potential for Philanthropy Technical Report", The Center on Wealth and Philanthropy at Boston College, May 28, 2014

"Millionaires and the Millennium: New Estimates of the Forthcoming Wealth Transfer and the Prospect for a Golden Age of Philanthropy", John J. Havens and Paul G. Schervish, 1999.

"Giving USA 2014", Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University



In January and February 2013, the Fund undertook conversations in 14 of Maine's 16 counties* to learn more about the needs of women and girls facing challenges to economic security. The meetings focused on poverty indicia and related issues for women and girls by county and statewide compiled by the Fund from various sources, and the perceptions of those attending of the accuracy or inaccuracy of that data. Those meetings resulted in a "Needs Map" which outlines the priority needs articulated in the conversations. More than 100 community members and 15 volunteers were involved in organizing and holding those meetings.

needs assessment
2013 Cumberland County conversation.

As a continuation of that project, the Fund convened a second series of meetings to examine those priority needs as well as assets perceived as addressing or potentially addressing them. A total of 17 meetings took place in 15 of Maine's 16 counties** during the months of October, November and December 2013. Primarily volunteer leaders from the community and from the Fund's board organized and convened local community members to discuss the needs of women and girls facing challenges to economic security, as well as the assets of their communities to address those needs. Those meetings involved a combined 120 community members as well as 33 volunteers and staff of the Fund as leaders.  There was minimal overlap of volunteer participants in the first and second round of meetings.


Leaders were asked to report on the groups' observations about the extent of unmet priority needs and perceptions about the assets within the community to address them, either in fact or in theory. This information can be useful to the Fund as a grant-maker discerning where unmet need exists, assets in place to address those needs and other resources and dynamics of the community related to them.

This project was made possible with generous support from the Sam L. Cohen Foundation, the Emanuel & Pauline A. Lerner Foundation and the Elmina B. Sewall Foundation.

* Franklin and Somerset Counties were not included due to the lack of available volunteer support. 

** In Franklin County it was not possible to find a volunteer to assist the Fund. In Oxford and Washington counties, two meetings were held.  



Fund volunteer, Brittany Swett

The Fund was fortunate to have Brittany Swett, Marymount Manhattan College '12 graduate, as a year-long, weekly volunteer. Brittany helped with administrative tasks, database updates and event support. We asked her a few questions as we prepare to say goodbye at the end of the July.   


What did you enjoy most about your time at the Fund?  

One of the most engaging parts of volunteering at the Maine Women's Fund has been gaining a better understanding of how a non-profit functions on a day-to-day basis. Spending time at such a strong local organization has given me the opportunity to meet so many fascinating individuals that I may have never known about otherwise. As a Maine native I also really enjoy being able to give something back to a community that I really value.


What are your future plans?   

In the fall I will be moving to San Diego, California to attend the University of San Diego School of Law.


 Best of luck to Brittany! We thank her for all of her work for Maine women and girls.


Girls on the Run was recently profiled on Channel 8 News. Girls from Reiche Elementary School in Portland learned about bullying and then went for a practice run. The 10-week program serves students from third through eighth grade and focuses on building self-esteem and empowerment.

Click here for some wonderful photos from the organization's
June 8th Spring Celebratory 5K!

Wayfinder Schools shared a powerful Passages graduation newsletter. Here is one piece from the many inspiring stories:
When I first found out I was pregnant I was scared; I had so many things to worry about and one big thing was my education. A friend had told me about Passages, so I applied and waited. Before I knew it, I had a baby, and I was out of school for a week and was freaking out because I knew it was going to be hard to catch up on all the work I missed, especially with a baby! I got a phone call and began home schooling with Passages. Passages didn't just give me a second chance at an education, but it opened me up to so many opportunities I never would have dreamed of. One thing I absolutely love about the program is that they continue to push you as hard as they can, not with just schoolwork, but as a person. A special thanks to my teacher who has been like a second mother to me and has really helped me straighten my life out and has taught me not everything is about everybody else. I never imagined that I would be walking with my cap and gown receiving my diploma. I can now continue on and make a better future for my daughter and me.

2013-14 grantee Trekkers celebrates its 20th anniversary this summer! Click here to find fun events designed to celebrate the occasion, including an art auction, a presentation by travel writer Paul Theroux, and other celebrations. Congratulations to Trekkers on 20 great years of mentoring young people.



September 27, 2014 at the Wells Conference Center 

Elect Her - Campus Women Win is the only program in the country that encourages and trains college women to run for student government and future political office. A collaboration between AAUW and Running Start, Elect Her addresses the need to expand the pipeline to women running for office and to diminish the longstanding political leadership gender gap.   

>>Read more 


Save the Date!  Friday, November 7, 2014

The Unfinished Agenda: New England Women's Policy Conference 

10:00 AM -5:00 PM  


Gender Transformative Giving: The Next Phase in Feminist Philanthropy 

A new report released by Women's Funding Network, True Child, and Public Interest Projects offers "context, research, and action steps to those who wish to implement a gender lens in their work." Download the report here.

The Women's Funding Network states:    

The increased violence and sexual assault on women and girls suggests an urgent need for greater understanding of cultural norms and the need to adapt new strategies not only in philanthropy, but in the larger social and educational institutions. Women's foundations, therefore, have an important role to play in creating social change in this regard at the state and local levels.

John T. Gorman Foundation Establishes Leadership Development Program in Maine

The John T. Gorman Fellowship is for nonprofit and public sector professionals working in fields related to the Foundation's four priorities. The Fellowship aims to help participants become more results-focused and enable them to build the vision, confidence and competence required to advance change and improve the lives of vulnerable people in Maine. The four priority areas are: improving educational achievement for young children, promoting successful adult transition for vulnerable older youth, helping struggling parents to support their families and enabling more low-income seniors to age in place. 

Deadline for application: September 19

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