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Leveraging Advantage

Leveraging Advantage

We’re passionate about turning privilege into progress.

Application closed for now. Opportunities will open up again in 2021. Please check back later. We’d love your help.


Leveraging Advantage community members commit to intentional mobilization of our resources and privilege on behalf of justice and equity in our community. 

Mission and Values

Leveraging Advantage is a member-led network of progressive individuals with financial and class privilege, coming together around shared values and interests to examine the intersections of wealth and social, economic, and environmental issues. 

By participating in this program, Leveraging Advantage members seek to explore their own identity and relationship to wealth and the advantages that are connected to it, including power, privilege, and opportunity. Through cross-pollination of ideas, strategies, and experiences of wealth, members shape their individual philanthropic action to align with their personal values. Leveraging Advantage fosters learning and community-building, while exploring possibilities for collectively leveraging their class privilege to advance justice and equity. We ground our work in shared values that include curiosity, empathy, respect, and confidentiality. 

The program is housed at Maine Initiatives, a community-based foundation supporting social, economic, and environmental justice through grants and other support to grassroots organizations in Maine. A volunteer Steering Committee of Leveraging Advantage members meets monthly to provide advice, input, planning, and logistical support to Maine Initiatives staff regarding program design and implementation. 

Engagement and Convenings

Leveraging Advantage offers a variety of engagements and convening opportunities: 

  • Thematic Small Groups to allow for member-led, intimate small group conversations and relationship-building;
  • Topical Workshops to delve deeper into specific topic areas; 
  • All-Group Convenings to bring together the full Leveraging Advantage network; 
  • Maine Initiatives Sponsored Events to engage Leveraging Advantage members in community events that reflect program themes around justice and equity. 

Thematic Small Groups: Leveraging Advantage members have the opportunity to participate in two thematic small groups: 1) Identity, Relationships & Values, and 2) My Philanthropic Practice. These thematic groups meet regularly, as determined by the participants, and allow members to explore topics in a comfortable setting, promoting greater individual and collective learning and deepening relationships. These small groups build solidarity and synergy, creating space and opportunity for individual and collective action. These groups are member-led and hosted, with facilitation by member volunteers.

Topical Workshops: Topical workshops feature outside experts and allow participants to engage more deeply on specific issues that emerge as areas of common interest and concern among the participants. Potential topics for 2019 may include: Progressive Tax Policy, Raising Children in the Context of Financial Wealth, and A Reparations Framework for Community Philanthropy.

All-Group Convenings: Twice per year, the full-group will come together to build community, discuss lessons learned, and identify shared interests for future programming.  These all-group meetings will also serve as opportunities to welcome new members. 

Maine Initiatives Sponsored Events: Maine Initiatives sponsors a variety of community events related to themes of justice and equity. We will extend specific invitations to Leveraging Advantage members to join us at a number of events that have particular connections to the themes and interests of the group. 

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