June 4, 2020
Maine Women’s Fund
Maine Women’s Fund Announces $53,000 in Emergency Grant Funding to Improve Safety for Women and Girls Across the State and Throughout the Wabanaki Territories During this Pandemic
June 4, 2020–Today, the Maine Women’s Fund announced emergency funding totaling over $53,000 raised through its rapid response Safety First for Women Fund. The Maine Women’s Fund rapidly created this specialized fund to meet the urgent needs of women and girls across the state. Funders and advocates quickly responded and within six weeks, gifts totaling $40,000 were received from the Elmina B. Sewall Foundation, Sam L. Cohen Foundation, and the PRBB Foundation and over $13,000 from 59 different individuals.
“Over our 30-year history, approximately 30% of our giving has focused on improving personal safety and ending violence. The Safety First for Women Fund is a rapid-response emergency fund that reflects the Maine Women’s Fund long-term commitment to ending violence for those living in all the communities we serve,” said Executive Director, Kimberly Crichton. “We are thrilled to provide $10,000 to the Maine Council on Aging to support their powerful advocacy for greater safety for direct care workers, $27,791 to the Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence in support of the work of their nine member resource centers across the State of Maine and $15,439 to the Wabanaki Women’s Coalition in support of the work of their five member domestic and sexual violence advocacy centers throughout the Wabanaki territories.”
Systemic violence against women, violence against Black and Brown people, violence against LGBTQ+ people, violence against poor people, violence against aging and disabled people is all interconnected. We know we cannot end violence against women and children without ending all violence. There is no gender justice without racial justice. The Safety First for Women Fund was created to provide financial support and visibility for these powerful coalitions working at the forefront of our equity challenges in this very moment.
We are also proud to be amplifying the voices of survivors raising awareness about domestic violence with a $2,000 Swift Social Justice Grant to Finding Our Voices that has filled midcoast towns with survivor stories hung in downtown business windows. The awareness raising is working, with the local resource center reporting that several people have called the domestic violence hotline seeking support after seeing the banners around town.
Domestic violence accounts for approximately half of all Maine homicides. In some Wabanaki communities, women have combined sexual and domestic violence rates as high as 80%. Direct care workers, some of Maine’s lowest wage workers who provide the personal care for the elderly and disabled, were without adequate access to personal protection equipment and access to testing at the time this fund was started.
“We are honored to have had the opportunity to mobilize our community around these issues and we are deeply grateful to the 59 individuals and the three foundations who trusted and invested in the Maine Women’s Fund knowledge of the landscape, understanding of the places where other funders were investing, and identification of some of the most pressing unmet needs facing women and girls in Maine and the Wabanaki territories were,” said Board Chair, Janice Rogers. “Every gift we’ve ever made is reflective of someone’s belief in our work, in the power of women seeing and investing in each other.”
About the Maine Women’s Fund
Since 1989, the Maine Women's Fund has been incubating and investing in nonprofit organizations run by and for Maine women and girls. Through its $2.9 million endowment, it makes annual financial investments in new and established organizations working towards its mission – to transform the lives of Maine women and girls through innovative programs and advocacy efforts. The Maine Women’s Fund provides financial and technical assistance to the organizations it partners with to build capacity, achieve sustainability and develop the next generation of women leaders. In the past 30+ years the Maine Women’s Fund has granted over 475 awards totaling more than $2.5 million to 225 organizations investing in the power of women and girls across the state.
The Maine Women’s Fund is the only Maine foundation focused exclusively on advancing gender equity. In 2017, the Maine Women’s Fund created a rolling Swift Social Justice Grants Program to complement the Annual Grants Program and stand with women and girls from communities disproportionately impacted by the current policy and social landscape as they address immediate threats or take advantage of opportune moments. The Safety First for Women Fund is the Maine Women’s Fund first pooled emergency fund.
Learn more at www.mainewomensfund.org.
June 4, 2019
Maine Women’s Fund
Maine Women’s Fund Announces $132,550 for 14 Organizations Throughout the State
30th Anniversary awards invest in the power of women and girls through educational and leadership programs, policy change, and social and economic engagement initiatives.
June 4, 2019–Today, the Maine Women’s Fund announces their 2019 annual grants totaling $132,550 to 14 nonprofit organizations dedicated to transforming the lives of women and girls. Since its founding over 30 years ago, the Maine Women’s Fund has made 450 bold investmentstotaling more than $2.4 million to more than 200 nonprofit organizations.
“We are staying true to our founding mothers’ mission 30 years ago to ensure women and girls in our communities have opportunities and pathways to grow and reach their full potential “, said Dr. Candace Walworth, board member and Chair of the Grants Committee. “Our generous donors and sponsors allow us to fund new and established organizations so that they have the resources to strengthen women’s rights, create new opportunities, and economic well-being.”
The Grants Committee received letters of interest from 59 organizations of various sizes and from all areas of the state. Each committee member reviewed the requests and participated in a group discussion, then the Grants Committee invited 25 of those organizations to submit detailed proposals. After further assessment and due diligence by the committee, 14 organizations were selected for funding based on: strengths of the program and organization; the clearly identify need for the programs; the diversity of geographic area and populations reached through the program; and opportunities to make the greatest impact across the Maine Women’s Fund six funding areas: education, financial skills and literacy, healthcare, leadership, personal safety and policy.
2019 Grant Awards (listed in reverse alphabetical order):
- The YWCA of Central Maine, Lewiston, $10,000 to be a pilot site for the national STEM program, Curated Pathways to Innovation.
- Tree Street Youth, Lewiston, $10,000 to support a program to improve the conflict resolution skills of teenage girls.
- Spurwink, South Portland, $10,000 to develop protocols for Commercially Sexually Exploited Children for all of Maine’s Children’s Advocacy Centers.
- Speak About It, Portland, $10,000 to present free high school sexual assault prevention and consent education programs throughout the State.
- Shaw House, Bangor, $6,250 for the Women In Leadership Program, a mentor program designed to provide inspiration and encouragement.
- New Ventures Maine, Augusta, $10,000 to provide the Start Over Start Strong financial education and training to women who are incarcerated.
- Maine Community Integration, Lewiston, $10,000 to expand their robust cultural enrichment program designed to meet the needs of African immigrant girls, called Isku Filan (Strong Girls).
- Mabel Wadsworth Center, Bangor, $10,000 for a Client Advocate position to reduce the rate of uninsured women and LGBTQ people by providing on-site MaineCare enrollment assistance.
- League of Women Voters of Maine Education Fund, Augusta, $10,000 to engage underrepresented communities including students, rural women, and immigrants in civic engagement activities.
- In Her Presence, Portland, $10,000 to engage elder women participants in “The Seniors,” a pilot program to build resiliency and improve social connections to reduce isolation.
- Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project, Portland, $10,000 to provide legal services to immigrant survivors of domestic violence and trafficking who face significant barriers to safety.
- Four Directions Development Program, Orono, $10,0000 to support the Circuit Rider program which provides individual and group financial education in the five tribal communities.
- Equality Maine, Portland, $10,000 to simplify the process for changing gender markers on critical identity documents and bring this meaningful change to people statewide.
- ArtVan, Bath, $6,300 for the mobile program that partners with neighborhood housing for low-income families in Bath, Brunswick, Lewiston, Auburn and Biddeford.
About the Maine Women’s Fund
Since 1989, the Maine Women's Fund has been incubating and investing in nonprofit organizations run by and for Maine women and girls. Through its $2.9 million endowment, it makes annual financial investments in new and established organizations working towards its mission – to transform the lives of Maine women and girls through innovative programs and advocacy efforts. The Maine Women’s Fund provides critical assistance and technical assistance to the organizations it partners with to build capacity, achieve sustainability and develop the next generation of women leaders. In the last 30 years the Maine Women’s Fund has granted over 450 awards totaling more than $2.4 million to 200 organizations investing in the power of women and girls across the state.
The Maine Women’s Fund is the only Maine foundation focused exclusively on advancing gender equity. In 2017, the Maine Women’s Fund created a rolling Swift Social Justice Grants Program to compliment the Annual Grants Program and stand with women and girls from communities disproportionately impacted by the current policy and social landscape as they address immediate threats or take advantage of opportune moments. Learn more at www.mainewomensfund.org.