Maine Philanthropy Center

Building Connections for Maine Grantmakers

Board Member Spotlight: Susan Onion of the Onion Foundation

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

MPC is lucky to have a dedicated, engaged board. We recently welcomed some new foundation and nonprofit representatives to our board, and are excited to introduce them to all of you in our Member Spotlight - Board Edition.

Susan OnionRead on to meet Susan Onion, Director and Trustee of the Onion Foundation. The Onion Foundation is a private philanthropic foundation based in Maine. Their mission is to encourage conservation and stewardship of the natural environment and to promote music and the arts in the state of Maine.

Hello, Susan!

September is back to school time for many. What’s one interesting thing you learned recently?

Jennifer Hutchins, the new executive director at Maine Associations of Nonprofits, introduced herself to our group at my first MPC board meeting in June. In her introduction Jennifer shared that 1 in 6 Maine workers is employed by a nonprofit. I had no idea that so many people work for nonprofits in Maine. It is inspiring that such a large number of people in our state are working to improve the quality of life for other Mainers.

Susan standing on the peak of Bigelow Mountain.

Susan Onion on Bigelow Mountain

What drew you to join the MPC board?

As a statewide resource and collaborator for funders and grant seekers, the center has certainly been an important networking and informational resource for us as we have started our journey in philanthropy. As a board member, I look forward to working with the Maine Philanthropy Center to continue my learning journey and to help support nonprofits and funders in achieving their own educational goals.

What are you most excited about in the coming year?

I’m really excited about Maine Philanthropy Center’s focus on diversity, equity and inclusion in the new strategic plan and am looking forward to learning opportunities and discussions in this arena. In the current political climate, it is especially important to recognize the need for open dialogue and education and MPC is in a unique position as an organization whose membership represents groups working in many different areas of interest throughout the state of Maine. I appreciate that MPC is leveraging this opportunity and is providing forums to bring together its members to discuss and consider their own organizational responses to these ideas.

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