Table of Contents
Message from the CEO
Spotlight on Impact: Next Step Domestic Violence Project
Women of Maine: Highlighting Triumphs from Around the State
Three Additional 2016 Grantees Announced
Power of She
Grant Opportunities
Thank you 2016 Leadership Luncheon Sponsors
A Message from the CEO

The staff, board and volunteers are still catching their breath while beginning to savor the memories of the 2016 Leadership Luncheon attended by more than 600 people May 18.
It was a great event celebrating Maine Women in the Arts with inspiration from and celebration of women's leadership in Maine. Here are just a few highlights:
  • Cathy Plourde, extraordinary social-change playwrite as our fabulous emcee;
  • Three young women from the Maine Inside Out performing their moving stories of challenging life experiences and hopeful futures;
  • Renowned photographer and educator Rose Marasco sharing her story of taking chances in life, and encouraging us all to take chances on young people as well;
  • Melissa Sweet, award-winning author and illustrator, and childhood donut entrepreneur, creating powerful female characters to inspire young readers;
  • The Women of the Commons of Eastport, revitalizing a Washington County waterfront with women's ingenuity and creativity;
  • Julia Sleeper, founder and Executive Director of Tree Street Youth, transforming the lives of new Americans through arts and education in Lewiston;
  • The moving story of Mary Lou through the video "Leaving Charlie" and the extraordinary work of Martha's Cottage, transitional housing for elder victims of abuse, a program of the Elder Abuse Institute of Maine;
  • The tote bag gift for everyone made possible by Adam Lee and inspired by the creativity of founding board member Carol Ward; and
  • Board President Natalie Solotoff's announcement of three additional grants made possible through private foundation support to bring this year's total grant awards to $136,400, compared to $80,000 just a few years ago.
Those highlights and more made the day a memorable event and raised $95,000 to support the Fund's mission of social change investing in the power of women and the dreams of girls.

You can see more images of the day at the Fund's Facebook page, and at .

Thank you to everyone who made the day so special and successful: Our remarkable staff, Kelly Martin, Lauren Webster LaFrance, Anne Saer Driscoll, and Kim Crichton of Transform LLC; Charity West, chair of the Luncheon Sponsorship Committee, and Heather Shields, chair of the Luncheon Planning Committee, their committee members, volunteers, event sponsors (including Bon Ton, Lead Sponsor, who made sure there was a gift certificate at each seat!) program advertisers and the board members and friends who filled the room with energy to support women and girls. Thanks to Jill McGowan, who provided gift certificates for our awardees and emcee, too!
Thank you for all you do for Maine women and girls . I hope we will see you at next year's Luncheon: stay tuned for the date to be announced soon! Keep an eye out for a spring appeal, and please consider a gift to support the Fund, and help us keep moving forward to create a Maine with a just and caring society where women and girls thrive, so communities prosper.


Sarah Ruef-Lindquist 

Spotlight on Impact: Next Step Domestic Violence Project
Empowerment vs. Accountability: Conversations about Consent

Should survivors of sexual assault be counseled to be empowered, to have good boundaries and a positive self image or should perpetrators be held accountable for their actions? This question and many others like it are the outgrowth of conversations the Next Step Domestic Violence Project is having with 7th and 8th grade students. Their "Addressing the Root Causes of Gender-Based Violence" project seeks to create transformative change to address gender inequality in a way that it that their standard domestic and sexual violence, stalking and dating violence education has not. Rather than listening to a lecture, presentation or play, the students engage in a focus group discussion with two goals in mind: to shift belief systems about domestic and sexual violence, stalking and dating violence and to shift behaviors and responses around these same issues in selected schools in Hancock & Washington Counties.

The focus group questions are developed from an extensive outline which covers physical and verbal interactions, social media/technology, coping skills, impact, etc.  During the groups students are asked a series of questions and they respond in writing or with short verbal answers, or sometimes by raising their hand to gather quantitative information. The groups are not so much encouraging discussion between participants, though that inevitably happens, as they are about collecting responses much in the way people respond to a survey. Continue reading...

For more resources about consent, healthy relationships and the eradication of gender-based violence visit:,, or
Women of Maine:  Emma Hathaway

When she was 14 years old
Emma Hathaway's parents brought her and her brother sailing on the Timberwind, a windjammer out of Rockport Harbor. It was late October, theboat's last trip of the year. Interest piqued and eager to help, Emma was offered the job of cook for the following season. "After that summer," Emma said "I knew there was nothing else half so much worth doing."
That first summer aboard the Timberwind, the privateer schooner Lynx was built and launched from the adjacent Rockport Marine. "Seeing the construction and watching the fanfare at the launch was incredibly fun and cool," expressed Emma. "She's a lovely boat and I knew I wanted to sail on her." After rounds and round of phone calls, the owners agreed to let Emma join the crew aboard Lynx in Hawaii. Continue reading...
Three Additional 2016 Grantees Announced
The Maine Women's Fund recently received a $25,000 grant from a private foundation to support three additional grants in 2016, for a total of $136,400 in grants to fifteen organizations. In March, the Fund had awarded $111,400 to twelve organizations that had submitted applications for the 2016 grant cycle.

Programs funded by the Maine Women's Fund improve the quality of life for Maine women and girls through increased access to education and healthcare, developing financial literacy and leadership skills, influencing public policy, and advancing safety from harm. The three additional Maine Women's Fund 2016 Economic Security Initiative grant recipients are: 

Crisis & Counseling Centers, Inc. - Financial Freedom: Empowering Women in Recovery - to provide financial literacy and education to women in recovery from mental health and substance abuse issues in Kennebec, Knox, Lincoln, Sagadahoc, Somerset and Waldo counties.

New Ventures Maine - Mini-grants: Measuring Success, Sustaining Value - will research and document the value/impact of mini-grants by surveying past mini-grant applicants and awardees and design/implement a plan to fund mini-grants for three years, expand their reach and coordinate with Main Street communities.

Maine NEW Leadership - an intensive, six-day, nonpartisan public leadership institute offered free of charge to a diverse group of college women from across Maine that provides unique experiential training in many aspects of policy making, including public speaking, coalition building, networking, advocacy, and running for office.

The twelve previously announced grantee organizations are: A Company of Girls, Family Crisis Services, Four Directions Development Corporation, Hardy Girls Healthy Women, Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project, Mabel Wadsworth Women's Health Center , Maine Women's Policy Center, Islesboro Community Center, ROiL dba Maine Inside Out, Spurwink, Waldo County General Hospital, and Wayfinder Schools. Descriptions of all this year's grant awards may be found here .

All of the 2016 grantees were recognized at the Fund's annual Leadership Luncheon at the Holiday Inn by the Bay in Portland on May 18, 2016.

Power of She: All Women's 10K

Grant Opportunities and Events

Created in 2011, Foundation CHANEL works toward improving the social and economic living conditions of women and young girls, regardless of their origins. Its vocation is to promote women's access to economic resources and entrepreneurship, to education and training, to leadership and decision-making, to health and social protection, as well as sport and culture as important levers for social and economic integration.

The Foundation is pleased to launch a call for proposals focusing on women empowerment. The foundation welcomes proposal submissions from local, national and regional Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and social businesses with innovative and high-impact gender equality programs. This call especially focuses on Latin America, Europe, Japan, Southern Africa and the United States (see Geographic implementation in Eligible Project Proposal). Link to the RFP.

The 2016 Roslyn S. Jaffe Awards will once again award a grant of $100,000 to a grand-prize winner and grants of $25,000 to two runner-up awardees. Deadline for entry is June 15, 2016. Winners will be announced at the end of September and will be honored at the Third Annual Roslyn S. Jaffe Awards Luncheon, hosted by acclaimed journalist and philanthropist Soledad O'Brien, in October.
The awards recognize the creators and founders of social impact organizations that are working to improve the lives of women and children in the areas of health, education, social reform, and self-esteem. Link to the RFP
To submit a nomination, visit
Thank You 2016 Leadership Luncheon Sponsors
Lead Sponsor:

Cornerstone Sponsor:




Video Underwriter:


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 | 87 Elm Street, Suite 215, Camden, ME 04843

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