MaineCF Strategic Goals

Not all people in Maine grow up and live in safe and welcoming communities that provide opportunities for them to reach their full potential and enjoy a high quality of life. For example, many people, including children and seniors, struggle with the effects of poverty. Others struggle with the stressors of abuse and neglect. Still others are confronted with institutional and systemic racism. These barriers often limit access to quality health, education, employment, and other opportunities. They negatively impact people’s lives as well as our state’s economy.   

It is essential that everyone in Maine has access to opportunities to achieve their full human potential and realize a high quality of life. Every person in every community must be able to accumulate a strong supply of human capital – the education, knowledge, experience and creativity needed to succeed. To that end, the Maine Community Foundation will work with its partners over the next five years and intensify its commitment to five priority goals. Our mission: to help ensure more welcoming communities with healthier, better educated and happier people, a more productive workforce, and a more vibrant and inclusive economy.


A Strong Start

All Maine children receive a healthy start and arrive at kindergarten developmentally prepared to succeed in school and life.

When children lack consistent access to proper nutrition, stable housing, a healthy start, or experience repeated trauma, their ability to reach their full potential is diminished. All children need to grow up in a safe, stable, and stimulating environment with caring adults and free from chronic stress. Unfortunately, young families face many challenges in Maine. Nearly one in four children under age five lives in poverty.

Providing children with a solid developmental foundation will prepare them to thrive and contribute to Maine’s future success.

Learn more about the Strong Start goal strategies and plans. You'll find more resources and information from our Invest in Maine summit on this page.

For more information, please contact Stephanie Eglinton, senior program officer.

Access to Education

All Maine people, including adult learners and other nontraditional students, are able to complete a degree or certificate program to maximize their potential.

Maine offers excellent opportunities and quality of life, but a large percentage of adults lack the education and advanced training for existing high-skilled jobs. Around 200,000 Mainers have some higher education, but did not complete a degree because of costs, responsibilities, and/or lack of support. Low degree attainment is hampering Maine’s economy and the success of Mainers.

Ensuring adults complete education and training for high-skilled jobs will lift incomes and grow Maine’s economy.

Learn more about the Access to Education goal strategies and plans.

For more information, please contact Cherie Galyean, director of educational initiatives. 

Racial Equity

All people of color in Maine have access to opportunities and life outcomes that are not limited in any way by race or ethnicity.

Maine has long been home to people of color, including people of Native American, Asian, African, and Latino descent. Maine also has a history of drawing immigrants and refugees from around the world. Today, more than 85,000 people of color live in Maine and contribute to its economy and communities. The quality of life for people of color in Maine is complicated by systems of racism that limit their access to opportunities and resources. These systems negatively impact their lives, especially in areas of health, safety, education, and employment.

 Maine must address the barriers people of color face and increase their ability to engage in our communities and the economy.

Learn more about the Racial Equity goal strategies and plans.

For more information, please contact Lelia DeAndrade, senior director, grantmaking services.

Thriving Older People

All older people in Maine are valued and able to thrive and age in their workplaces and communities with health, independence, and dignity.

Maine’s population has the oldest median age in the nation. In 2015, 19% of Mainers were age 65 and older; by 2030, 28% will be 65 and over, compared to only 20% nationwide. Older adults represent an untapped resource for Maine’s economy and communities. Many older Mainers choose to remain in the workforce, own or start businesses, or take part in important community and civic engagements. Many are engaged in efforts to make their communities more “livable” for people of all ages.

Enacting policies to support well-being as we age and finding creative ways to maximize and unleash the talent and energy of people aging in Maine will result in a healthy economy and strong communities.

Learn more about the Thriving Older People goal strategies and plans. 

What's working to help older people in rural areas? A Grantmakers in Aging report shares success stories. 

For more information, please contact Laura Lee, senior program officer. 

Entrepreneurs & Innovators

Entrepreneurial innovation is broadly promoted and practiced in Maine, particularly in natural resource-based activities.  

Maine’s economy is increasingly reliant upon entrepreneurial businesses. Innovation and technology hold promise for new enterprises, including in farming, fishing, and forestry, but turning innovative concepts into marketable products and services can be challenging. Entrepreneurs need access to patient capital and technical support to start and grow their businesses.

Providing financial and technical support will encourage entrepreneurs to stay in Maine and others to move here.

Learn more about the Entrepreneurs and Innovators goal strategies and plans.

MaineCF has released its report "Cultivating Rural Entrepreneur Network Development in Maine," which offers ways in which rural entrepreneurs and small business owners in Maine can benefit from connections to fellow entrepreneurs.

For more information, please contact Maggie Drummond-Bahl or Cathy Melio, senior program officers.

Learn More

Please view or download this brochure
for more information about how you
can partner with the Maine Community
Foundation to support these goals.