Steve Rowe, president and CEO of the Maine Community Foundation, will retire this summer. Rowe has led the statewide foundation since 2015.
“Steve Rowe arrived with a passion for MaineCF’s mission and has guided us through a very important time in the community foundation’s history,” said Karen Stanley, chair of the Maine Community Foundation Board of Directors. “His unwavering commitment to the people of Maine has helped us support critical work to build healthy communities and a vibrant economy. We are grateful for his contribution to the foundation.”
At the outset of Rowe’s tenure, he led community conversations across the state. At these meetings, hundreds of people talked about the opportunities and challenges they saw to improve the quality of life for residents of their communities. That feedback grew into MaineCF’s five-year strategic goal work. Starting in 2016, the foundation has developed programs and strategies to address five core areas: a strong start for children, access to education, racial equity, thriving older people and growth of entrepreneurship and innovation.
Since then MaineCF’s efforts in those areas have included grant support for critical nonprofit work, support for advocacy, statewide educational summits, programs for donors, and new and expanding partnerships with local, regional, and national organizations.
Under Rowe’s leadership, the Maine Community Foundation achieved its longtime goal of having a permanent fund in every county to support local grantmaking. Rowe also has guided work with MaineCF’s partners – donors and nonprofit organizations – to broaden support for climate change, land conservation, high-speed internet access and racial equity. He also has guided the community foundation’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with more than $7 million in emergency grants awarded to nonprofit organizations.
“Serving as Maine Community Foundation’s president is one of the highlights of my professional career, but the timing is right for my retirement – both for me and for the foundation,” Rowe wrote in his letter to the board. “I have worked with so many wonderful people – donors, volunteer advisors, nonprofit leaders, staff, board members, and others – since I arrived at the foundation. I am extremely proud of all that we have accomplished together to improve the quality of life for all Maine people.”
Rowe, 67, plans to leave the foundation this summer and looks forward to more time with family and other pursuits.
Maine Community Foundation, founded in 1983, is a statewide nonprofit organization focused on improving the quality of life for all Maine people by working with donors and other partners. In 2020, MaineCF awarded more than $50 million in grants and scholarships from more than 2,000 charitable funds. At 2020’s end, MaineCF’s charitable assets totaled more than $650 million. For more information, visit www.mainecf.org.