OCTOBER 2014 Table of Contents
Message from the CEO
Spotlight on Board of Directors: Amelia Kurtz
Grantee Spotlight: Neighborhood Housing League
Grantee News
Maine Women's Fund to be Featured at Film Screening
Events, Resources & Opportunities


As you may have heard, the Fund is celebrating its 25th anniversary of grantmaking. Since 1990, the Fund has invested nearly $2M in 180 organizations across Maine in pursuit of our vision: a just and caring society in which women and girls thrive so communities prosper. In addition to grants, the Fund also provides valuable capacity-building technical support to its grantees in support of their critical work.


Social change is at the heart of the Fund's mission. We transform lives through our grantmaking. An innovative element of this year's grants process is the introduction of the

Social Change Workshop Series for Maine Women's Fund grantees, provided through a grant to the Maine Women's Policy Center (MWPC), whose staff will work with the Fund's grantees to address the "upstream" causes of the social issues they address.     


Through one of our first Donor Advised Fund grants, La Femme Fund, MWPC staff members (including executive director Eliza Townsend) will help organizations strategize on how to address the root causes of the issues they address. It involves asking these questions, for example:
  • What positive social change would render your mission obsolete?
  • What kind of positive social change would it take to put your organization out of business?
The trainings begin this month and continue throughout the year. They will involve exploring issues of power and influence, grassroots organizing and messaging. Eliza recently put it to me this way: "The most recent census figures make clear that economic security is the number one issue facing women and girls. If we want to make a meaningful difference, we need to address root causes. The MWPC is proud to partner with the Maine Women's Fund on this important and exciting project."


We are very excited to have the opportunity to make this work possible through the generosity of our donor and the collaboration of the Maine Women's Policy Center and our grantees. We look forward to sharing with the Fund community what comes from this innovative approach to building capacity for social change for Maine women and girls.


Speaking of change... the Maine Women's Fund plans to introduce a new, streamlined approach to our grants application process by requiring a preliminary "Letter of Interest" (LOI). Organizations that would like to be considered for a grant from the Fund's annual Economic Security Initiative will be asked first to submit a brief LOI, the form for which will announced and made available the week of November 10, and due December 8, 2014. Organizations whose LOI's are approved will then be invited to submit a grant application on or before February 13, 2015, and decisions about those applications should be made on or before April 2, 2015, and communicated shortly thereafter. Our goal is to simplify as much as possible the submission and review process for applicants and the Fund. Please feel free to contact Kim Crichton, grants coordinator, with any questions about the new process.


Thank you for all you do for Maine women and girls.  


Sarah Ruef-Lindquist 





A Look Back at the First Grants: 1990   

In its 1990 Annual Report, the Maine Women's Fund, then a newly-founded organization focused on the well-being of women and girls in Maine, outlined its first grants. You may notice a few familiar names! It is a testament to the dedication of the original donors, grantees and founders that so much good work has been done on behalf of Maine women and girls. In 1990, grants totaling $11,000 were awarded: 


The Maine Coalition for Family Crisis Services, to update and distribute copies of "getting help" pamphlet - $2,000


Silent Cry, a group of women and the Pleasant Point Passamaquoddy reservation working to educate their community about domestic violence and incest - $2,000


New Hope for Women, a domestic violence program serving Knox, Lincoln and Waldo counties - $1,500


Womancare/Aegis Association, a domestic violence program serving Piscataquis and parts of Penobscot and Somerset counties - $1,000


Sexual Assault Victims Emergency Services, a group running date rape prevention programs in Franklin County, Livermore Falls and Dixfield schools - $1,000


Caring Unlimited, a domestic violence program serving York county - $800


The Rape Crisis Center of Portland - $700


Looking Up, a group assisting incest survivors - $500


Womankind, a domestic violence program serving Washington County - $500


"Women Helping Women" Awards to Sister Marie Ahern of Orland for her work with H.O.M.E. Inc., Rep. Mary Cathcart of Orono for her sponsorship of groundbreaking legislation to improve domestic abuse laws, Christine Hastedt of Freeport for compassionate advocacy through Pine Tree Legal Association and Dale McCormick of Women Unlimited - $800   


Maine Commission for Women's "Women, Work and Worth" conference - $100  

Women's Business Development Corporation's fall conference - $100 


We welcome you, the Fund community, to share your stories, pictures and memories of 25 Years of Grantmaking with us. Please contact us at thewomen@mainewomensfund.org or at 207-774-5513.  



Since its inception the Fund has invested nearly $2M in 180 organizations creating systemic change and improving the quality of life in our communities.


Under its current leadership and strategic plan, the Fund is positioning itself to be a permanent source of philanthropy in Maine for women and girls. We invite you to join us this year as we look back and commemorate the Fund's 25 Years of Grantmaking.  


The Maine Women's Fund Founders are:
Nancy Anderson, Tracy Booth, Minette Cummings, Beth Edmonds, Nancy Herter, Mary Hillas, Deborah Johnston, Lucinda Lang, Jacquelin Libby, Gloria Milliken, Margot Milliken, Destry Oldham-Sibley, Marjorie Phyfe, Carol Ward, Ellen Wells, Phoebe M. Whipple and Anne Zill.



Maine Women's Fund Board of Directors: Amelia Kurtz 
Amelia Kurtz, CTFA, holds a BA (cum laude) from Wheaton College and is Chief Fiduciary Officer at Bangor Savings Bank, and previously was a trust officer with Key Bank. She is a member of the Tau class of the Institute for Civic Leadership.
Why do you support the Maine Women's Fund? 

I believe passionately in the mission of the Fund to transform the lives of Maine women and girls. I have been very lucky to have strong women advocates and mentors throughout my life. My mother was the biggest influence in my life, and I am fortunate to have been surrounded by many other amazing women who have served as role models throughout my education and career. I want to pay it forward and provide support for Maine girls and women as they move through their own life's journey, prosper and strengthen our communities.


What do you enjoy about board service?  

I love the opportunity to give back to my community in a meaningful way. I have benefited from having been raised in Maine and enjoy raising my children here. I am committed to helping make it possible for others to grow and thrive here as well. I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with this particular team of incredibly committed leaders and advocates that make up the Maine Women's Fund board and volunteer network.


What do you know about the Fund that you think most people don't, and should?

I think it is very important to remember that the Fund's mission to transform the lives of Maine women and girls not only supports individuals, but ultimately helps our communities thrive as well. By focusing on building economic security for women and girls, the Maine Women's Fund has given hundreds of women and girls the support they needed to become economically independent and take care of themselves and their families.

What is your vision for Maine women and girls?  

My vision is that women and girls throughout Maine will understand that they are an important part of our community and their contributions are highly valued. Whether they spend their life in Maine or venture across the country or world, my hope would be that they remember fondly living in Maine, learning the value of hard work and commitment to goals, and a sense of inclusion within our communities.




On Tuesday, September 23, representatives from the Maine Women's Fund visited Lewiston's Neighborhood Housing League, a 2014-15 grantee. It was inspiring and eye opening to learn about the difficulties faced by tenants in downtown Lewiston every day. We heard stories about endless freezing pipes and flooding, building-wide cockroaches getting in the way of mothers being able to feed their children breakfast, and even their program to educate about lead poisoning, as a great majority of Lewiston's rental housing units are large, 100-year old buildings. We heard the heartbreaking story of a high school girl who, because she had to boil water in order to wash her hair in the morning, faced lengthy detention for tardiness.


Neighborhood Housing League executive director, Melissa Dunn, speaks to Fund board member Candace Walworth


The Neighborhood Housing League of Lewiston is a grassroots tenant organizing and advocacy project that empowers residents to get involved in advocating for safe and affordable housing in Lewiston's downtown

Pictures on the wall of the Neighborhod Housing League offices in downtown Lewiston

neighborhoods. Services include: tenant education on tenant rights and responsibilities; documenting code complaints and helping tenants to advocate for themselves and others when their rights are abused; helping tenants to organize, realize the inherent power in numbers and increase their ability to create positive change; providing monthly tenants meetings; and providing group and individual training on bed bug eradication, advocating for housing safety, building community and creating change through empowered residents.  At least 90 percent of the tenants they serve are women and girls. 

Neighborhood Housing League's brochure


Director Melissa Dunn said, "When I help a tenant, we have to help them overcome many barriers." Dunn herself works to help tenants to organize within their buildings and to connect with Pine Tree Legal Assistance and the Code Enforcement Officer. Recently she helped bring eight people to provide personal testimony to the City Council.


Sadly, on the very day of our visit, another fire destroyed an apartment building downtown, displacing 24 people. NHL uses these experiences to empower the tenants in the buildings to organize their neighbors, get educated, and speak out.  


Economic security for women and girls and their families is at the heart of the NH League's work. We are proud to be a grantor of this dynamic, 220-volunteer-strong organization fighting for downtown Lewiston.



Learn more about Neighborhood Housing League: www.visiblecommunity.org 


Standing from left to right: Kim Crichton, Fund Grants Coordinator; Melissa Dunn, Executive Director of Lewiston's Neighborhood Housing League; Peg Hoffman and Matt Dyer from Pine Tree Legal Assistance. Seated: Candace Walworth, MD, Fund Board of Directors.
September 23, 2014. 




ILAP Partners to Present Portland Genocide Conference

The Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project is proud to partner with Maine Wabanaki-State Truth and Reconciliation Commission, REACH, and United to End Genocide to present "Genocide and ME: Shining the Light of Truth" on Thursday, November 20, at USM's Hannaford Hall. Several speakers will explore the ways genocide has touched and continues to touch the lives of those in Maine and its effect worldwide, including former US Representative from Maine Tom Andrews, who is now President of United to End Genocide in Washington DC. Look for registration information soon at www.ILAPmaine.org.


Wayfinder Schools' Upcoming Events:  

Thursday, October 9, 2014:  2014 Farm to Sea Auction | 6:00pm-9:00pm 

Portland Westin Harborview Hotel

Dinner, music, live & silent auctions to benefit Wayfinder Schools

Thursday, October 16: Fall Open House | 4:00pm-6:00pm

Camden Campus, 79 Washington Street, Camden

Cider & other fall treats, school tours and more

Thursday, October 30: Harvest Supper & Paper Lantern Parade | 5:00pm-8:00pm

Opportunity Farm Campus, 215 Gloucester Hill Rd., New Gloucester

Harvest supper, music, field games, marshmallow roast & lantern parade.  Costumes encouraged!


Women, Work & Community October FREE opportunities for Aroostook

Wednesday, October 15: Online Marketing and Tourism Tools Training

Thursday, October 16: Accessing Capital Workshop (RSVP here)  

Wednesday, October 22: Introduction to Self Employment (RSVP here


Crossroads Annual Gala

Thursday, October 23, 2014 at the Masonic Temple, Portland | 6:00pm  

This year's Crossroads Gala will include a silent auction and food and beverages catered by Blue Elephant Events & Catering and Vena's Fizz House. Crossroads will be celebrating its ruby anniversary--40 years of saving lives. Funds raised from the annual gala will go to the Barbara L. Dacri Scholarship Fund, helping more men and women get financial assistance for treatment and recovery.

>>Read more 

Hardy Girls Healthy Women reclaims Halloween from the media's over-sexualization by bringing the scary back. Both events include fun for families and costume contests.
October 25, 2014 at 2pm: First annual Hardy Halloween at Deering Oaks Park
October 26, 2014 at 10am: Sixth annual Freaky 5K run at Colby College


Current and former grantees of the Maine Women's Fund may send news, events, program updates or other happenings to Marcie@mainewomensfund.org by the 20th of each month.   


What: Getting to Know Us film screening 

When: Sunday, October 26, 2014 | 2:00pm

Where: The Historic Strand Theatre, located in downtown Rockland   

Cost: FREE 


Six Midcoast Maine not-for-profits will host the first ever GETTING TO KNOW US film screening, free to the public. Each organization has created a short documentary film that highlights people making a difference in our community. After the screenings, spokespersons from the not-for-profits will answer questions about the projects depicted in the films and their organizations in general.  Literature about the not-for-profits will be available in the Strand lobby. The Maine Women's Fund will be featured: 


MAINE WOMEN'S FUND: 2013 Leadership Luncheon

On May 23, 2013, more than 600 attendees gathered in Portland for the MAINE WOMEN'S FUND annual Leadership Luncheon. With emcee Suzanne Nance, the event celebrated five Maine women leading social change for women and girls. Guests also heard success stories from participants in programs funded by grants to The Passages Program at Community Schools at Opportunity Farm and Camden, Women Unlimited and Women Work and Community.


Approximate running time: 70 minutes, followed by a 15-20 min Q & A.




Thursday, October 9, 2014 at Hannaford Hall, USM campus in Portland | 6:00pm 

Maine Gubernatorial Forum on Economic Security for Women and Their Families  

Women will play a key role in deciding the gubernatorial election this year. The gubernatorial candidates will be asked to talk about the issues that matter most for the economic security of women and their families.

>>Read more 


October 25, 2014 at the Community Education Center, USM campus in Portland

Town & Country's Money Conference, featuring award winning author and journalist Jean Chatzky, financial editor for NBC's Today Show.

The information-packed day will include workshops on money matters that interest you and provide ideas and suggestions to get your finances on track in order to build a better life. Local resources will be on hand to share information about a range of financial topics including buying a car and investing for the future, plus other community resources.  

>>Read more    


Thursday, November 6, 2014 at the Wells Conference Center, Orono | 5:00pm-7:00pm 

MANP Community Catalyst Celebration

The Maine Association of Nonprofits invites you to its 2014 MANP Community Catalyst Celebration. This annual event, begun in 2013, serves as MANP's opportunity to honor the inspiring work of Maine's nonprofits in communities around the state, and to recognize catalysts in the nonprofit sector who have significantly impacted their communities. $30 for MANP members; $45 for NonMembers.

>>Read more  


Friday, November 7, 2014 in Boston, MA  | 10:00am 

The Unfinished Agenda: New England Women's Policy Conference 

The New England Women's Policy Conference will bring together a diverse cross-section of stakeholders to chart a new policy agenda that will ensure economic security for all women and their families.
John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Columbia Point, Boston, MA.
>>Read more


Friday, November 14, 2014 in Boston, MA  | 8:00am - 3:00pm

Dreaming Big: Making the Case for Girls, Focus on Middle Schoolers and Careers

Bringing funders, policymakers, educators and girl-serving organizations together to improve the lives and futures of girls. Simmons College, Linda K. Paresky Conference Center, 300 The Fenway, Boston, MA. Registration Fee $35, with college ID $10. Presented by Simmons College and Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts.   

>>Read more    




Money talks: why women need to invest cash, not just time, in other women  

As Hillary Clinton announces a $600M fund to support the education of girls in the developing world, The Guardian looks at what other women could do to help their gender.

>>Read more  


Millennial Donors Likely to Favor Social and Environmental Causes

Financial advisers hoping to win the business of millennials set to inherit tens of trillions of dollars over the next several decades should master the language of philanthropy,  The Wall Street Journal writes.  


Seeking Nominations for the 2015 Induction into Maine Women's Hall of Fame

The Maine Women's Hall of Fame, established in 1990, is co-sponsored by the Maine Business and Professional Women, the BPW/Maine Futurama Foundation, and the University of Maine at Augusta.

For nomination forms and more information: http://www.uma.edu/mwhof.html
Deadline: December 1, 2014

Women, Work & Community Fall Class Schedule:
Build your career, start or grow your business and learn to manage your money.


Researchers Expose Market Structure Behind Juvenile Sex Trafficking in Minneapolis  

Commissioned and funded by the Women's Foundation of Minnesota, Mapping the Market for Juvenile Sex Trafficking in Minneapolis: Structures, Functions, and Patterns is a first-of-its-kind approach to understanding how the overall market for juvenile sex trafficking manifests within communities in one city, Minneapolis.

>>Read more 

2014 Kids Count report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation:
"More than one-third of Maine children live in households where parents lack full-time, year-round employment, while 21 percent of Maine children - or 54,000 - live in poverty."
Read the full report here and the Maine report here.



RedRover Seeks Applications From Emergency Shelter Groups to Help Victims of Domestic Abuse and Their Pets.

In partnership with Sheltering Animals and Families Together, RedRover is accepting applications from emergency shelter organizations to help victims of domestic violence and their animal companions stay together during times of crisis.
Deadline: October 15
>>Read more

Walmart Foundation Accepting Applications for Community Grant Program
Through the program, grants of up to $2,500 will be awarded to local nonprofit organizations within the service area of individual Walmart stores in support of initiatives in the areas of hunger relief and healthy eating, sustainability, women's economic empowerment, and/or career opportunities.
Deadline: December 31
>>Read more

AAUW Accepting Applications for Community Action Grants
The American Association of University Women is accepting applications for its Community Action Grants Program, an annual program that provides funds to individuals, AAUW branches, and AAUW state organizations as well as community-based nonprofit organizations for innovative programs and non-degree research projects that promote education and equity for women and girls. 

Deadline: January 15, 2015

>>Read more 


The MetLife Foundation 

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

For 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




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:
74 Lunt Road, Suite 100, Falmouth, ME 04105 | 41 Mechanic Street, Suite 328, Camden, ME 04843

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