On behalf of the staff at the Maine Philanthropy Center, it is with deep sadness that we share the passing of Sani Fogel, the first Executive Director of the Maine Philanthropy Center. Sani was a trailblazer in the philanthropic community and her contributions to the Maine Philanthropy Center were immeasurable.
Janet Henry, who succeeded Sani at MPC in 2001, had the following sentiments to share about working with Sani:
“It’s difficult to pay tribute to Sani in a few sentences. I will always be grateful for her decision to choose Maine as her permanent year round home in 1995.
At the time, I was serving on the board of what was then the Maine Grants Information Center and chairing the search committee to hire our first director to be introduced at our first Philanthropy Partner Conference.
When she accepted this challenge, she was literally given a box of files and a key to a closet in the University of Southern Maine Library to be converted into a “center” for visitors to search for grants and learn grantwriting skills. And she always delighted in reminding me of how meager those beginnings were, especially in the pre-internet days!
Well, Sani made up for that scarcity of resources with her extensive nonprofit background, connections to a national philanthropy network and her determined leadership. She converted that box and closet into what today is the successful Maine Philanthropy Center with a much broader and, pardon the pun, out-of-the-box vision. What a legacy."
Sani's leadership and dedication to our community helped shape MPC's work and direction. Her commitment to making a positive impact in Maine will be remembered by all who knew her. Her legacy will continue to inspire and guide us in our efforts to create a better future for all. Her work will continue to be honored through the Maine Philanthropy Center’s library, which bears her name. We extend our heartfelt condolences to Sani's family and loved ones during this difficult time.
To learn more about Sani’s incredible life, please visit her obituary in the Portland Press Herald.