Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE

DATE:              June 20, 2018

SUBJECT:         Maine Women’s Fund announces 2018 – 19 Annual Grants

CONTACT:       Megan Hannan, Executive Director, 207.774.5513  megan@mainewomensfund.org

Maine Women’s Fund Awards $130,500 to 14 Nonprofit Organizations Serving Women and Girls Throughout the State

June 20, 2018, Falmouth, Maine - The Maine Women’s Fund recently announced its 2018 –19 Annual Grants, making it one of the largest funding cycle in its 29 year history. The public foundation supports nonprofits throughout the state that are dedicated to the betterment of women and girls. Since its inception, the Maine Women’s Fund has given over 400 awards totaling more than $2.25 million to more than 200 organizations.

This grant cycle, the Maine Women’s Fund received letters of interest from over 70 organizations, ranging in various sizes, from all areas of the state. The Grants Committee invited 22 of those organizations to submit detailed proposals. After further assessment and due diligence, 14 organizations were selected for funding, based on: strength of the program and organization; the clearly identified need for the program; diversity of programs and its beneficiaries; and opportunities to make the greatest impact across the Maine Women’s Fund’s six funding areas.

“We are grateful for our many generous donors and sponsors who make grants possible. The chosen organizations will support women and girls throughout Maine move towards new Opportunities of personal growth and community leadership,” said Dr. Candace Walworth, Board member and Chair of the Grants Committee. "This year's grantees demonstrated strong and diverse leadership which will help catapult their strategic goals and mission."

The Maine Women’s Fund 2018 – 19 Grantees are:

  • A Company of Girls uses the arts (visual, culinary and performing) to help underserved girls confidently raise their voices and become leaders in their community.  We're thrilled to be supporting this organization again this year as they empower hundreds of girls through their various programs in and around Portland and in partnership with many other organizations including schools and community centers. 
  • ArtVan is an organization the Fund is supporting for the first time this year. They bring art therapy directly to 500+ underserved youth across four Maine counties - through libraries and public housing developments in Auburn, Lewiston, Biddeford, Bath and Brunswick - allowing youth (mainly girls) to express themselves, build self-esteem and self-empowerment, reduce anxiety and develop greater social skills.  
  • Gedakina, a multi-generational indigenous-led endeavor, is strengthening and revitalizing cultural knowledge and identity of Native American youth, women and families. For the second consecutive year we are privileged to support Braiding Sweetgrass, a mentoring, social support and leadership program which draws upon the strengths of Wabanaki women and girls to mentor each other in their communities. 
  • Hardy Girls Healthy Women is an 18-year old, research-based nonprofit empowering girls with knowledge, critical thinking skills, and a platform to drive social change.  We are excited to be supporting their Girls Advisory Board again, which is comprised of high school girls who create and facilitate conferences of 200+ 4th-8th graders focused on issues prevalent and important to each community.   
  • Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project has been a frequent grantee of ours and is Maine’s only statewide immigration legal aid organization with offices in Lewiston and Portland, office hours in Milbridge, and statewide televideo access. Our funding supports their critical work to keep immigrant women safe by providing legal representation to victims of domestic violence and trafficking.  
  • Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault works to end sexual violence and support high quality violence prevention in Maine communities. With bipartisan support and our repeat funding, they will continue their work enhancing victim-centered public policy promoting improved response systems for these crimes and preventing sexual violence, ensuring the needs of Maine women and girls do not go unheard. 
  • Maine Community Integration, a Lewiston-Auburn ethnic based community organization, provides cultural understanding and equal opportunities for immigrants. This funding will support the important expansion of Isku Filan, a girls empowerment program for grades 312 where participants learn about their culture, engage in their interests, form strong bonds with other girls, and give back.  
  • Maine Family Planning works to ensure all Maine citizens have access to affordable reproductive health care and education. We are honored to be supporting their efforts to ensure opioid-dependent women living in rural Maine, who face an increased incidence of unintended pregnancy, have improved access to contraceptive education and counseling and a simplified distribution of contraception via telehealth.
  • Maine Women's Policy Center is a statewide nonpartisan organization working to ensure freedom from violence, freedom from discrimination, access to healthcare, and economic security. They strive to identify policy solutions, educate the public and policy makers, host Girls Day at the State House and organize women to speak on their own behalf, ensuring women are registered, informed, and voting. 
  • Mano en Mano was founded to create a stronger and inclusive community by building bridges of understanding, fostering leadership, and standing for social justice, equity, and self-determination. This funding will launch a new series of Nuetra Voz’s community-led workshops designed specifically around the self-identified needs of women leaders, highlighting and sharing community knowledge and skills.   
  • New Ventures Maine provides financial education training, coaching and access to saving accounts for women statewide. We are so pleased to be supporting their new work at the Southern Maine Women’s Re-Entry Center and the Maine Correction Center. By understanding individual needs and learning styles, they will help these women re-establish their relationship with money and build connections to vital community resources.  
  • Restorative Justice Institute of Maine promotes a widespread cultural and systemic shift by advancing the use of restorative justice in communities, schools, and correctional settings across the State. We are excited to support their innovative efforts to partner with women impacted by sexual violence in leading the development of a survivor-led restorative justice process for sexual assault. 
  • Survivor Speak USA is a survivor-led organization to end sex trafficking and sexual exploitation. We are proud to be funding this organization for the first time, supporting their training and education work in Maine which enables survivors to heal, build strong relations, and become leaders in educating the public, police departments and other collaborating organizations, as they advocate for policy change.  
  • Wayfinder Schools is an alternative high school serving at-risk youth and teen parents in Maine. Our funding supports the Passages Program, a frequent focus of our funding, which provides a home and experientially based high-school education to increase community connections and job skills development for teen parents from Washington County to Southern Maine. 

Grants are given in the following priority areas:

  1. Education: Programs that offer education and training which build confidence, self-reliance, independence, and safety.
  2. Financial Skills & Literacy: Programs that increase the financial skills, opportunities and/or literacy of individuals or the 25%+ of Maine’s businesses which are woman-owned.
  3. Healthcare: Programs that provide access to and/or improve the quality of healthcare for women and girls.
  4. Leadership: Programs that ensure women and girls of all races and classes have access to opportunities to reach their full potential.
  5. Personal Safety: Programs that advance personal safety, including freedom from and care for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking.
  6. Policy: Programs that identify gender-based disparities and implement the policies to correct them.

About the Maine Women’s Fund

Since 1989, the Maine Women's Fund has been creating social change by investing in the power of women and girls. The mission of the Maine Women’s Fund is to transform the lives of Maine women and girls through strategic grant making, 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.

The Fund is the only Maine foundation focused exclusively on advancing women’s and girl’s economic security. In 2017, Maine Women’s Fund created Swift Social Justice Grants Program to stand with women and girls from communities disproportionately impacted by the current political and cultural landscape as they address immediate threats or take advantage of opportune moments. Since 1989, the Fund has granted over 400 awards totaling more than $2.25 million to 200+ organizations investing in the power of women and girls across the state. The Fund provides critical funding and technical assistance to nonprofit organizations in Maine within six strategic areas: Education; Entrepreneurship; Healthcare; Leadership; Personal Safety and Public Policy. Learn more at www.mainewomensfund.org.

 

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