One of the ways to support WERU, as well as a host of other fine organizations, is giving through MaineShare. WERU is a MaineShare member and we wanted listeners to know more about this excellent Maine organization and its work.
What is MaineShare and what is its mission?
MaineShare is a federation of 44 non-profit progressive organizations working in Maine. MaineShare’s mission is to provide significant support to organizations doing progressive social justice and root cause work in Maine and to raise public awareness of their work.
When did it start and why?
MaineShare was founded in 1989 and distributed its first checks to nine original Member Groups. In 2017, MaineShare will have raised and distributed over $5 million to a growing and diverse community of progressive nonprofits. There are currently 44 Member Groups.
Who are a few of your member organizations that have been part of MaineShare since the early days?
Maine Veterans for Peace (1990), Maine Peace Fund (1990), Maine People’s Resource Center (1990), New Ventures (Women Work and Community) (1990), Resources for Organizing and Social Change (1990), Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence (1991), Maine Hospice (1991), ACLU Maine (1992) and MOFGA (1992).
How does MaineShare operate? Who does the work?
MaineShare gives people an easy way to donate to over 40 statewide organizations advocating for environmental protection and social justice, and making Maine communities safer and stronger. Through online or direct contributions and payroll giving programs offered by workplace partners, our donors choose to support any number of these member organizations. These contributions are solicit during the Fall Giving Campaign and are distributed twice annually to the designated member groups.
Once an organization is selected to become a member group of MaineShare they are required to participate collaboratively in promoting MaineShare and to provide annual documents for review to maintain their membership. MaineShare considers the addition of new organizations every few years to continue to fulfill the vision.
MaineShare is a staff of 3: Cate Cronin, Executive Director, Ana Maria Hluska, Associate Director, and Lisa Bowen, Part-time Bookkeeper.
How can members of the public and businesses participate in MaineShare and help with its important work?
Companies need strong communities to succeed and when a company or small business shows that it values the health and welfare of its neighbors – by investing in vital and vibrant communities – they have great impact – and then benefit from those strong communities.
There are many benefits to giving through MaineShare: employees are proud to work for companies that care about what they value in the community. Adding new options to an existing workplace campaign will increase employee participation and reflect your value of a diverse and inclusive workforce. It helps meet consumer demand for increased Corporate Social Responsibility. It provides a single point of contact between your business and over 40 statewide nonprofits working everyday for the people and environment of Maine. It’s good for business. Finally, conducting a MaineShare campaign is an excellent way to demonstrate your company’s commitment to the health and future of our community.
Anything else you’d like to add?
All decisions about how to designate funds are made by the donor. Member Groups work to provide solutions to social and environmental issues facing Maine. Readers and listeners are encouraged to visit our website www.maineshare.org to learn more and subscribe to our newsletter, and to follow us @maineshare on Facebook to realize the great work of our member groups. And many thanks to everyone who donates and participates in MaineShare’s work!