Making Democracy Work

Emily Farley Fund

League of Women Voters of the Portland Area

Ann Luther receives the Emily Farley Award, presented by Marsha Bingler at the 2017 Portland Area League's Annual Meeting. Learn more about the Emily Farley Award and Fund.

History and Purpose

The LWV Emily Farley Education Fund was established by the League of Women Voters Portland Area in 1997 to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the formation of the LWVUS and to support the educational activities of the LWV Portland Area.

Throughout its existence the LWV Portland Area has provided the public with opportunities to become informed by organizing educational forums, candidate debates, registering voters, and encouraging voter understanding and participation in the government.

The fund is named in honor of Emily Farley, who was finance chair of the LWV Portland Area for many years, as well as a dedicated board member and President. She was a steadfast volunteer wherever and whenever needed for the tasks of the LWV including answering the LWV telephone, doing research, leading discussions, organizing meetings and registering voters. Emily has been an inspiration for all who have worked with her and have followed her as members of the LWVPA.

Guidelines for Distribution

The funds shall be used to support projects proposed by the LWV Emily Farley Fund Advisory Committee of the LWV Portland Area that provide educational opportunities for presentation and discussion of the pros and cons of public policy issues on national, state or local levels in one or more of the following ways:

  • Organizing public forums, discussion groups, panels, lectures, debates and conferences as formats for learning about both sides of public policy issues;
  • Developing education materials to help citizens understand difficult public policy issues in a balanced presentation;
  • Informing voters on election issues such as referenda questions and citizens initiatives;
  • Holding candidate debates and forums presented on a nonpartisan basis;
  • Providing information to help citizens understand the mechanics of how to participate in their government and the political process;
  • Registering voters in a nonpartisan manner.

The Fund cannot support activities that attempt to influence legislation or intervene in any political campaign on behalf or in opposition to any candidate for public office as provided under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Advisory Committee

The Advisory Committee reviews project proposals received from the Board of Directors of the League of Women Voters of the Portland Area and makes recommendations on Fund distributions consistent with the purpose of the Fund to the Maine Community Foundation.

Emily Farley Award

Karla Wight receive the EFF Award in 2016

In 1982, the LWVPA created an award program to annually celebrate a League member who most fully embodied the traits admired in Emily Farley, with special emphasis on Portland area League members. That program disappeared in 2001 as the energy of the LWVPA faltered. As the LWVPA began to reconstitute itself and formed its 2014 Board, the Emily Farley Fund acquired a new Advisory Committee.

After a 16 year break, the Emily Farley Award was revived. At the LWVPA's 2016 Annual Meeting, Karla Wight received this award; at the 2017 Annual Meeting, Ann Luther was the recipient; at the 2018 Annual Meeting, Anne Schink was the recipient; and in 2019 the award was presented to Barbara Kaufman.

Learn more about Karla and how she clearly demonstrates the criteria developed for this honor on page 13 of our "Spring Newsletter."

Learn more about Ann and the many ways she has supported the League and helped us grow.

Learn more about Anne and her role in the reconstitution of the Portland Area League.

Learn more about Barbara and her leadership of the Portland Area unit since 2014.

Criteria for the Emily Farley Award

Support the Emily Farley Fund

Please help us to continue to honor Emily's work with your tax-deductible donations to the fund. Checks can be made out to the Emily Farley Fund at Maine Community Foundation and mailed to

League of Women Voters of the Portland Area
P. O. Box 7904
Portland, ME 04112