An Educated Workforce

A Beehive Collective member draws gold highlights on a poster
A Beehive Collective member draws gold highlights onto the Washington County Leadership Institute’s 16th anniversary celebration poster. Photo by the Beehive Collective
To mark its 16th anniversary, the Washington County Leadership Institute wanted to put on an extra-special event, inviting all 250 alumni to celebrate the milestone. The institute, which received the 2010 Noyce Award for Nonprofit Excellence, has been an important educational partner for the community foundation.

Kehben Grier, a graduate of last year’s leadership institute and a member of the Beehive Collective, an art/activism group based in Machias, designed the poster for the event, inspired by the organization’s teaching philosophy: a non-hierarchical approach that draws from nature, place, and culture. She worked with the Book Arts Program at the University of Maine at Machias to print the poster by hand. Three groups of citizens joined together to produce not only a work of art, but a successful celebration, held in the renovated Machias Grange Hall, home of the Beehive Collective.

Other Ways the Community Foundation is Getting Citizens Involved

  • The County and Regional Fund component of the community foundation's Community Building Grant Program is powered by local volunteers who review grant proposals from area nonprofits and make recommendations based on their knowledge of community needs and issues.
  • The Encore Leadership Corps (ENCorps) is a free training program for Mainers aged 50 and older. It teaches participants about how to get involved in the community, promote change, and resolve conflicts. MaineCF partners with the University of Maine Center on Aging to offer this program, whose initial funding was provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Aging Initiative and the Atlantic Philanthropies.
  • The Unity Foundation, in collaboration UniTel and with support from the community foundation, offers the Jumpstart our Youth (JOY) program to teach young people the importance of smart funding and grantmaking practices. Students from the statewide Jobs for Maine's Graduates (JMG) program examine the needs of nonprofit organizations, learn how to solicit and review applications, understand finance and budgeting, and interview applicants seeking funds. In 2010, JMG was honored with the Brenda Batson Community Spirit Award from the Make-A-Wish Foundation because of the JOY program's work.
  • The Maine Policy Scholars program gets students from the University of Maine System's seven campuses involved in shaping public policy. Students work with a faculty advisor and community mentor to tackle real-life policy issues currently facing Maine and write memos for the governor proposing ways to address those issues. The Maine Policy Scholars program is managed by the Maine Community Foundation and funded by several community foundation donors.

To learn more about how the Maine Community Foundation is getting citizens involved and how you can support this work, contact Laura Young by e-mail or by phone, toll-free, at 877-700-6800.