The roots of the word "philanthropy" mean "love of humanity." This is a fitting theme for February, when many celebrate their love for others on Valentine's Day. The institution of philanthropy is about investing in communities. The Fund's philanthropy is about investing in programs for women and girls that address their economic security, and thereby strengthen communities.
The Fund is also an investor in the financial markets, with an asset base of $1.6 million. We have grown these assets over the past 25 years with the support of donors who believe in the Fund's vision: a just and caring society in which Maine women and girls thrive so communities prosper.
The Fund manages these investments in line with this vision. After a rigorous selection process, the Fund employs an investment manager who uses socially responsive criteria, including sustainable business practices, progressive workplace policies and gender diversity in management and governance, to select the investments in our portfolio. Our investment manager can also take advantage of the Fund's status as a shareholder to advance social change through shareholder advocacy on environmental, human rights and diversity issues.
The manager is overseen by a volunteer Investment Committee, chaired by board member Robin Lin Hodgskin, who is a professional investment advisor at Morgan Stanley in Portland. This committee, along with Fund staff, monitors the account's holdings and the manager's performance. Together, we steward this essential endowment, which supports the Fund's mission to transform the lives of Maine women and girls through strategic grantmaking, community engagement and support to nonprofit organizations dedicated to social change.
So when February 14 rolls around, remember: it's about love of humanity. The Fund's philanthropy is about investing in humanity, too. Thank you for all you do to help the Fund be the best investor for Maine women and girls, and their communities.