MaineCF Board Chair Peter Lamb, Vice-chair Karen Stanley, and President and CEO Steve Rowe tour the Colonial Theater in Augusta.
A grant from MaineCF’s Belvedere Historic Preservation Fund is helping restore this cinema built in 1913. Thalassa Raasch photo/MaineCF

When the Maine Community Foundation began its philanthropic mission 35 years ago, its founders quickly realized the organization would need ways to connect with all parts of the state. To that end, President Ed Kaelber and his colleague and successor Marion Kane created a county program with committees of local leaders from each county who would serve as advisors to the foundation. The advisors would help review grant applications and make awards to local organizations from permanent county funds established by individuals and institutions. 

By 1986, Aroostook, Piscataquis, and Washington counties had dedicated funds and committees in place. Today, 14 of Maine’s 16 counties have permanent endowments to support local organizations working to build strong communities in their regions. The remaining two counties should have their funds and committees in place by 2019. Each county fund benefits from the engaged advisors who know their communities and are committed to improving the lives of people within them.   

As you read through this report, consider that the foundation started with a gift of $10 in 1983 and now has almost $530 million in assets; that in 1993 grants and scholarships surpassed $1 million for the first time, while in 2017 they exceeded $32 million; and that the 11 funds under management in 1984 have grown to more than 1,800 today. Our timeline shows these and other milestones.

This report celebrates resilience in Millinocket and Dick and Eleanor Morrell’s commitment to giving. We talk with Dr. Frank Bragg of Bangor about tackling the opioid crisis and highlight a program for adult learners. You’ll also find updates on MaineCF’s five strategic goals, financial reports, and ideas for how you can work with MaineCF to invest in Maine. And on the back cover we salute Ed Kaelber, who passed away on May 17, five days after his 94th birthday.  

Although much has changed at the Maine Community Foundation over the past 35 years, our mission, and our commitment to it, have remained steady. You are the inspiration behind that mission: to work with donors and other partners to improve the quality of life for all Maine people. We look forward to continuing to partner with you in the future. Thank you.

Peter Lamb, Chair, Board of Directors
Karen Stanley, Vice-Chair, Board of Directors
Steven Rowe, President & CEO