There are many ways to read a book, and your support helps make those ways available to people across Maine: children in Maine's schools, adults learning how to read, inmates at Maine’s prisons and jails, and residents of the state’s most rural communities, among many others. The Maine Humanities Council creates communities through opening up a shared world of ideas, whether it’s a Winter Weekend discussion of Crime and Punishment or a New Books, New Readers discussion of Frog and Toad Are Friends. The power of books is the power to connect, inspire, and delight.

There are four ways of giving that can help us reach all of Maine:
Annual Fund | MHC Circle | Restricted Giving | Planned Giving


Annual Fund

Annual Fund gifts support the programs that need financial help the most, having an instant impact the year that they are given. A $50.00 gift could provide one set of books for an adult new reader in New Books, New Readers.

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MHC Circle

The MHC Circle is the MHC’s major donor group with a starting donor level of $1,000. It helps to sustain the MHC’s work across Maine, reaching people who do not ordinarily or easily have access to the humanities. MHC Circle contributions help fund essential programs like Let's Talk About It and New Books, New Readers. MHC Circle members receive advance notice of special events and information about Council activities, publications, and projects. A $1,000 gift could provide the scholar to facilitate a powerful Let's Talk About It discussion in a rural library.

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Restricted Giving (including Winter Weekend Sponsorship)

You may restrict your gift to any program that you wish. Winter Weekend sponsorships, for example, are restricted to New Books, New Readers, where a $100.00 gift provides books to two new adult learners for one series (such as “Resolving Conflict” or “Community”), and gives the donor the first chance to sign up for the upcoming Winter Weekend. Gifts to Literature & Medicine support this program's important work in Maine hospitals.

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Planned Giving: Humanities Tomorrow Society

Imagine a world in which everyone loves books...

The Maine Humanities Council has been at work for more than 30 years to help bring books and discussion to Maine and its people statewide. Our mission is “to engage the people of Maine in the power and pleasure of ideas, encouraging a deeper understanding of ourselves and others, fostering wisdom in an age of information, and providing context in a time of change.” We do that through sharing books and ideas with people who love books, and with those who are just beginning to learn to love books, including children under five and low-literacy adults. Books can connect people, communities, and ideas, leading to enrichment of all lives.

The Humanities Tomorrow Society honors the legacy that is established when Maine Humanities Council friends make gifts through wills, estate plans, charitable trusts, or gift annuities. These gifts ensure that humanities programs involving books and ideas will be offered to Mainers for many years to come. Planned gifts are important for the Maine Humanities Council’s future program success and financial stability. Making a planned gift today not only means an investment in the Council’s future but can also mean, through charitable trusts and gift annuities, financial benefits for you and your family. For many people, a planned gift can be a much larger one than they could make during their lifetimes. As is the case with all qualified donations, significant tax benefits can result, reducing income and estate taxation. Humanities Tomorrow Society Members know that they are making a significant difference in the Maine Humanities Council’s future, keeping books and ideas a part of the future of thousands of Mainers statewide.

Download: Policy on Acceptance of Gifts, Sample Bequest Language, Humanities Tomorrow Society brochure.

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For more information about making a gift to the Maine Humanities Council, please contact Diane Magras, Director of Development at (toll-free) 1-866-MEreader (1-866-637-3233) ext. 208, (local) 207/773-5051 ext. 208, or

Dorothy Schwartz Opportunity Fund

Created in honor of Dorothy Schwartz on the occasion of her retirement in 2006, the Dorothy Schwartz Opportunity Fund helps the MHC enrich and empower communities through nimble thinking and new or deeply strengthened programs, representing the cutting edge of humanities work in Maine. All gifts made in memory of Dorothy Schwartz will support this fund.

Ways of Giving

Gifts of stock

Transferring stock shares to the MHC’s account is often an easy way to make a large gift. Click here for more information.



A gift of cash can be a check or credit card number sent to the MHC office or securely online through Paypal. Gifts of cash are the most immediate way to support the MHC’s work.