Giving Guide 2020

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V O L . X X V I N O. X X I I G I V I N G G U I D E 2 0 2 0 – 2 0 2 1 12 F ew sectors were hit as hard by the pandemic as nonprofits. Nonprofits contribute $12 billion a year to the state's economy, according to the Maine Association of Nonprofits. One out of every six Maine workers is employed by a nonprofit. at means some 98,000 jobs in the state are held by nonprofit workers. Additionally, nonprofits pay $4.7 bil- lion annually in wages. But while nonprofits are an impor- tant part of Maine's economy, they remain some of the most vulnerable entities. is fact was brought to light in a startling way during the COVID- 19 outbreak. Some of the nonprofits most strained by the pandemic are ones serving indi- viduals recovering from substance addic- tion or domestic abuse or people who need mental health services or food for their families. Light at the end of the tunnel Amid the chaos of the pandemic, corpo- rate sponsors and foundations responded to the needs of many nonprofits. Bill Whitmore, Maine market vice president of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, shared several ways in which the organization assisted nonprofits through- out the state in recent months. ough Harvard Pilgrim is itself a nonprofit, its foundation was able to give to communities in Maine. Like all businesses, this wasn't easy during a time when so much was in flux. Still, helping nonprofits who were struggling was of prime importance to Harvard Pilgrim, which is based in Wellesley Hills, Mass. It typically donates $500,000 annually to nonprofits in Maine. During the pandemic has focused on continued access to food through food banks, food pantries and community gardens. "Back in March our CEO, Michael Carson, jumped in very quickly," says Whitmore. "We contributed $250,000 to a handful of organizations that we knew could use the money immediately." Good Shepard Food Bank was one of these nonprofits. Others included the United Way of Port- land and the United Way of East- ern Maine, along with the Boys and Girls Club in Portland. Kennebunk Savings Bank also stepped quickly to assist nonprofits dur- ing the pandemic. Brad Paige, president and CEO, says this was a challenge, as the bank and its staff were struggling to keep up with rapid changes. "Banks aren't known for being able to turn on a dime," says Paige. "Being agile and responsive to what was going on was key." Back in January, prior to the pandemic shutdown, the bank had begun an initiative to try out remote working. Fast forward to March and within a period of two weeks, 220 bank employees were working from home. at number doesn't include branch networks. "ere were another 140 employees who were affected as we figured out what to do with the branches," says Paige. Despite the challenges, Kennebunk Savings began giving back to commu- nities in Maine as quickly as it could. "is year we were scheduled to give $1 million back to communities," Paige noted. "When everything started P H O T O / C O U R T E S Y O F M A C H I A S S AV I N G S B A N K 'We've got your back' How corporate sponsors and foundations responded to pandemic B y J o y C h o q u e t t e GIVING GUIDE Machias Savings recognized early in the pandemic that food relief was a major issue and mobilized employees like Ginny Ryan (pictured here) to help out.

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