The Lifelong Fellows Program matches experienced community leaders with communities beginning their Lifelong Community journey, re-energizing their efforts, or launching a new program, service, or activity. For a summary of the program impact during Year One, read Communities for a Lifetime (to the left)
How does the program work?
The program year starts in September and ends in June. Prior to the start of the year, Fellows are matched with Host Communities that have identified needs in line with the expertise of the Fellow. For example, a community starting a volunteer home chore program will be matched with a Fellow who has experience implementing a similar program.
In September, each Host Community work with their Fellow to develop a project plan that will guide their work together.
Fellows donate 3-5 hours/week to the community and receive a small stipend.
Host Communities are eligible to receive a $1000 microgrant to help finance their project. Many of the hosts are run completely by volunteers and have few financial resources. A small amount of money can make a big impact.
Fellows identify and plan a training series that will help them in their work with the Host Community
In June, the program year comes to an end during the Annual Lifelong Maine Communities Conference
Benefits for Fellows and Hosts
The Lifelong Fellows Program is in its fourth year. Some of the Fellows have been with us since the beginning. Others have served for only a year. The benefits that they have described include: (1) the opportunity to share what they have learned as leaders of Lifelong Communities; (2) the relationship between the fellows—they have developed very strong ties; and, (3) participation in the training series.
Host Communities have also benefitted. During the pandemic, host communities were 6x as likely to develop programs to address emerging needs as communities that had not engaged a Fellow. During the past three years, host communities have completed assessments, developed plans, implemented new programs and activities, advocated for changes in policy, identified and deepened relationships with partners that allowed them to expand the scope and reach of services, and MORE!
Want to know more? Read highlights from each year below. Contact us if you are interested in joining as a Fellow or as a Host Community
With much gratitude to our funder, the Maine Community Foundation, which has generously funded the program and provided thought leadership and technical support since 2019, when the program was launched.
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