Women's Fund leader moves on
By LAURA LANZ-FROLIO  |  May 17, 2006

AndersonKeep an eye out for changes at the Maine Women’s Fund in upcoming months beginning with a new head honcho and an internal facelift.

Change became inevitable for the MWF in April when Karin Anderson, the executive director, announced that she would be leaving her post in search of greener pastures, or greener nonprofits in this case.

For the last 12 years, Anderson has been the backbone of the MWF, an organization that provides grants to other nonprofits and works within the community to raise money and awareness for women’s rights.

Anderson is the fund’s main player in establishing grant programs, which now total $1.3 million a year and reach every county in Maine. Thanks to Anderson, more than 250 different nonprofits have received grants from the MWF. Not to mention that in 2002, the Phoenix named Anderson one of the most influential people in Portland for her work in the community. (See “Portland’s Most Influential,” July 18, 2002.)

Anderson announced her resignation in April but won’t actually step down until December 31, giving the board of directors plenty of time to fill her shoes, which they are now trying to do.

Anderson says her time at the MWF has been well spent but she needs a change of pace. “I will miss having so many connections with so many cool women, but it’s also exhausting to maintain so many different relationships with people,” she says.

The change Anderson’s seeking won’t be too great, however. She says she’s looking for a new job but wants to continue working in the nonprofit realm, this time in a less prominent position.

“Rather than managing the whole organization, I would like to work a little deeper on a slightly narrower field of a nonprofit,” Anderson says.

With the departure of their executive director, the group has the opportunity to make changes in their structure, though it’s still under wraps what those changes will mean for the MWF and the community.

“I think we’re looking at this as an opportunity to really position ourselves for growth in the future,” says Shannon Nichols, the director of development and communications.

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