March 2016 Table of Contents
Message from the CEO
Spotlight on Impact: SeniorsPlus
Women of Maine: Highlighting Triumphs from Around the State
Grant Opportunities & Events
Save the Date: 2016 Leadership Luncheon
A Message from the CEO


"To be truly transformative, the post-2015 development agenda must prioritize gender equality and women's empowerment. The world will never realize 100 percent of its goals if 50 percent of its people cannot realize their full potential." 
-Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon  
on the UN International Women's Day website,
These words reflect the reality of not only the third world, but of our first world and Maine. Every year on March 8, International Women's Day, we have "a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities."

Reflecting on progress made: Maine ranks #2 nationally (and #1 regionally in New England) for percentage of women who vote. That's according to the 2015 Report on Status of Women in the States by the Institute for Women's Policy Research. Voting is our most direct and fundamental means of democratic political efficacy.

Call for change
: Maine ranks at the bottom of the six New England states for women who have a bachelor's degree or higher (29.9%, 22nd nationally) and percentage of women-owned businesses (25.6%, 41st nationally). Until women are able to attain the highest level of education they need to provide for themselves and their families and have access to capital and skills to reach their entrepreneurial potential, the work of building economic security for women remains undone. 

Celebrate acts of courage and determination: This year at our Luncheon on May 18, 2016 a great example of a Maine woman who has demonstrated courage and determination for women and girls will serve as our master of ceremonies: 2004 Maine Women's Fund Award recipient Cathy Plourde, founder and former executive director of Add Verb Productions and author of the acclaimed play The Thin Line will join us for the event to celebrate the 2016 recipients and help tell the stories of grantees. According to the UNE website, The Thin Line is an engaging theatrical production that breaks the silence around eating disorders, reduces stigma around mental illness and raises awareness about the needs of those struggling with this "invisible" health condition. Cathy's work to bring the topic to the fore theatrically is a gift to Maine women, girls and beyond.

The Fund staff and our fantastic committees are working hard to plan another sell-out event: Luncheon tickets will go on sale in April! Stay tuned, watch your email for an announcement and check our website and Facebook page for details coming soon!

I hope you have a meaningful and inspiring International Women's Day. Thank you for all you do to support economic security for Maine's women and girls.


Sarah Ruef-Lindquist 

Spotlight on Impact: Making Ends Meet with Money Minders
Budgeting. Making and sticking to a budget is something with which too many people struggle. Last year the average U.S. household owed $7,281 in credit card debt. Not student loans, not outstanding mortgage balances, just $7,000+ in consumer debt, while the typical American family earned a yearly income of just $53,657 according to the US Census Bureau.[i] Now those are some sobering budget figures but consider the outlook for someone on a fixed income, with consumer costs rising yearly. These are the financial conditions under which many Maine senior citizens live and which makes the prospect of budgeting--and of making ends meet--wholly overwhelming.   

Meet Betty

Betty Snowman 
Mostly retired, Betty Snowman is a successful businesswoman who offers a small line of ladies clothing online from her home in Auburn and exhibits at craft shows. In addition to spending time with her children and grandchildren, attending the theater and avidly crafting, Betty gives back to the community by volunteering four or five times a month for the Money Minders Program at SeniorsPlus in Lewiston. "I had always said when I retired from my day job, I would volunteer for something," Betty explained. "I had in mind the local community theater.  But when I read the article in the newspaper about the Money Minders Program through SeniorsPlus asking for volunteers, I thought it would be a perfect fit. I'm not a certified accountant, but I was doing the accounting for my day job, my own craft business and am the treasurer for the Society of Southern Maine Craftsmen.  I like numbers and bank statements and check books don't scare me."   
Connie Jones, SeniorsPlus Director of Community Services & Nate Miller, SeniorsPlus Aging and Disability Resource Center Manager 
Money Minders matches skilled volunteers like Betty with people age 60 and older who need assistance getting their monthly bills paid in a timely and accurate manner. Volunteers create a basic budget, help sort mail, prepare (but not sign) checks, and balance the check register to the bank statement. This can help not only reduce overdraft and late-fees but also help reduce debt, and even more importantly, can help prolong seniors living independently in their own homes by helping them manage their financial affairs.

Meet "Marcia"

Marcia (not her real name), of Franklin country is a Money Minders success story. After experiencing financial exploitation by a family member she was unable to pay her bills; Marcia lost her car, was unable to buy food and medication and eventually received an eviction notice. Continue reading...  
Women of Maine: Highlighting Triumphs from Around the State
Julie Marchese 
"Achieving success and personal glory in athletics has less to do with wins and losses than it does with learning how to prepare yourself so that at the end of the day, whether on the track or in the office, you know that there was nothing more you could have done to reach your ultimate goal."
- Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Olympian
Whether aerobics or another type of fitness class, Julie Marchese has always been on the move. But a breast cancer diagnosis in 2004 really shifted her into high gear. Despite having not biked or swum in thirty-odd years and having never been a runner, Julie trained for and successfully completed the Danskin All Women's Triathlon in 2005 after being challenged by a fellow breast cancer survivor.
"After crossing the finish line, I fell in love with everything about the sport and I wanted other women to feel the same inner strength I was given by stepping out of my comfort zone and doing something I had never done before."
 Julie went on to found Tri for a Cure with the Maine Cancer Foundation. This all-female race has become the largest triathlon in Maine and has raised over $8 million in its eight year history. Julie also established sheJAMs, a training program for women of all fitness levels, sizes and ages, who gather together to train, workout, socialize and support each other. "Women love to socialize and we socialize while we are working out in a fun, non-competitive, supportive group." Continue reading... 


ESA Foundation Seeks Proposals From Women for Computer, Video Game Scholarships
The scholarships are offered for full-time undergraduate study at accredited four-year colleges and universities in the USA.  Up to 30 scholarships of $3,000 each will be awarded annually, 15 to graduating high school seniors and 15 to current college students. To view the full RFP click here.

Lalor Foundation Accepting Applications for Reproductive Health Programs
The Lalor Foundation is accepting applications from programs designed to educate young women about human reproduction in order to broaden and enhance their options in life. Grants of up to $50,000 will be awarded to programs for young women, particularly those who are disadvantaged by poverty, discrimination, geographic isolation, lack of specific sex education, hostile public policy, or other factors leading to inadequate reproductive health. To view the full RFP click here.

Deep Foundations Institute Accepting Applications from Women in DF Industry
The trust is accepting applications from women in the industry for a professional development opportunity related to the design and construction of deep foundations. The goal of the Women in Deep Foundations Committee is to increase networking opportunities and improve retention of female professionals in the industry. To view the full RFP click here.


Presented by Sarah Ruef-Lindquist, CEO Maine Women's Fund, and chair, Maine's Permanent Commission on the Status of Women and Girls
Tuesday, March 15, 2016
11:30 AM - 1:00 PM

Jeff's Catering, 15 Littlefield Way, Brewer
For more information click here.  

12th Annual CeleSoirée
March 18, 2016
5:30 PM
Ocean Gateway, Commercial Street, Portland
Featuring West African Drum and Dance Group Akwaaba Ensemble
For more information click here.  

Empower Immigrant Women's Conference

Saturday, May 21, 2016
9:00 AM - 2:00 PM Economic Empowerment Forum
6:00 PM - 9:00 PM Trailblazer Award Evening Gala
Hannaford Hall, University of Southern Maine, Portland
For more information click here.

The United State of Women: The White House Summit
Monday, May 23, 2016
Walter E. Washington Convention Center
Washington, DC
For more information click
Professional Advisor's Newsletter

The Maine Women's Fund has launched a newsletter for professionals in the estate and financial planning fields. Quarterly, we share information about planning ideas and opportunities that trust and estate attorneys, trust officers, accountants, investment advisors, financial planners and others can use to advise charitably inclined clients interested in economic security for Maine women and girls. The Fund offers charitable gift annuities and Donor Advised Funds along with a whole range of options to give donors as many choices as possible to fit their planning goals while creating a legacy of economic security for women and girls.
To receive the newsletter use this LINK or to read the first three issues, click HERE.
  2016 Leadership Luncheon

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The Maine Women's Fund has awarded grants totaling $98,000 to organizations working to build the economic security of Maine women and girls. This includes grants from donor-advised funds, resources established by individuals who make recommendations as to how the funds are spent. 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:
74 Lunt Road, Suite 100, Falmouth, ME 04105 | 41 Mechanic Street, Suite 328, Camden, ME 04843

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Maine Women's Fund | 207-774-5513 | Falmouth | ME | 04105