Our History

In June of 1988, a visionary group of women gathered to create what eventually became the Maine Women’s Fund. Inspired by a talk given by Helen Lakelly Hunt, a member of the board of the National Network of Women’s Funds, these Founding Mothers were convinced that they could make a significant difference in the lives of Maine women and girls through philanthropy.

The Fund made its first grants in 1990 and remains the sole philanthropy focused only on women and girls. The mission of the Maine Women’s Fund is to transform the lives of Maine women and girls through strategic grantmaking, community engagement and support to nonprofit organizations dedicated to social change. The Fund’s vision is a just and caring society in which Maine women and girls thrive so communities prosper.

Since its inception the Fund has invested nearly $2 million in 200 organizations with programs creating systemic change and improving the quality of life in our communities.

Since 2007, the Fund’s grantmaking priority has been building economic security for women and girls; a woman’s ability to take care of herself, her family and to contribute to her community depend on her financial security. With economic security a woman can access better housing, healthcare, nutrition, employment and otherwise contribute to her community.

Under its current leadership and strategic plan, the Fund is positioning itself to a permanent source of philanthropy in Maine for women and girls.

Founding Mothers


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