Since 1996, OUT Maine has been working to create more welcoming communities and affirming for Maine’s diverse queer youth in all of their intersectional identities. We seek to change the very systems that serve them: schools, health care, foster care, community organizations, and more.

No other Maine organization does the work we do supporting rural LGBTQ+ adolescents throughout this crucial period in their development. OUT Maine is a leader in designing community-based, targeted programming and training that lifts up LGBTQ+ youth in Maine’s isolated and under-resourced regions. Our objective is to provide social support, positive LGBTQ+ role models, and inclusive policies and programs these youth need to succeed.

We take a statewide, three-pronged approach: support LGBTQ+ youth and their families and allies; empower the youth to be their most authentic, resilient selves; and educate health care providers, educators, clergy, and other professionals who change young people’s lives through their support.

In 2023, our Board of Directors and staff began a strategic planning process to chart our path forward. With support from a consultant, we engaged in conversations with youth, families, and community partners to learn how our organization can expand the support and resources needed for building resilience and life skills to help our LGBTQ+ youth thrive.

The strategic plan that emerged will expand inclusivity and support for LGBTQ+ youth, parents, and families throughout Maine through a multi-tiered support framework. It will enhance OUT Maine’s organizational capacity to expand outreach and impact within the LGBTQ+ community statewide and strengthen OUT Maine’s financial sustainability and resilience. Building the welcoming and affirming communities urgently needed for Maine’s LGBTQ+ youth.

We are grateful to our staff, board, volunteers, partners, and supporters who stand with us to build the welcoming and affirming communities urgently needed for Maine’s LGBTQ+ youth.


Goal 1: Expand inclusivity and support for LGBTQ+/Queer youth, parents, and families.

Objective: By June 30, 2029, establish and implement a comprehensive, multi-tiered support framework that enhances inclusivity and fosters a safe, affirming environment for LGBTQ+/Queer youth, parents, and families through targeted programming and systemic transformations across organizational structures. 

How we will expand inclusivity and support:

  • Establish inclusive youth programming through our Hub and Spoke model in all sixteen counties.
  • Strengthen our professional development training content and resource tools to ensure they are relevant and accessible for all participants.
  • Expand our systems change work to include schools, healthcare and mental healthcare, advocacy and legislation, philanthropic and nonprofit community, and state systems including the Maine CDC (Prevention), Department of Education, Department of Corrections Juvenile Justice, and Department of Human Services Child Protective Services.
  • Increase participant’s leadership, empowerment, empathy, and affirmation skills through OUT Maine programs.
Goal 2: Enhance OUT Maine's organizational capacity.

Objective: By June 30, 2029, enhance OUT Maine’s capacity by implementing targeted staff development programs, technological infrastructure upgrades, and strategic partnerships to expand the organization’s outreach and impact within the LGBTQ+ community across the state.

How we will enhance OUT Maine’s organizational capacity:

  • Build connections within the community to strengthen local partnerships and expand outreach efforts.
  • Forge new relationships within local communities to expand OUT Maine’s network.
  • Review the website and brand to ensure OUT Maine’s messaging is relevant.
  • Implement strategies to ensure all messaging and communication vehicles are welcoming and inclusive
  • Develop a plan to improve diversity, equity and inclusion across the organization.
  • Create a plan to address employee retention and burnout prevention.
  • Increase volunteer capacity through training, management, and recognition.
  • Foster diversity on the Board and expand the Board of Directors’ capacity through board development to increase members’ capabilities to effectively govern and drive the organization’s mission.
  • Develop a comprehensive organizational evaluation system to measure and convey impact.
  • Establish succession planning for all board and staff leadership positions.
Goal 3: Strengthen OUT Maine’s financial sustainability through diversified funding streams.

Objective: By June 30, 2029, enhance financial sustainability and resilience by diversifying funding sources with an emphasis on developing and nurturing strategic partnerships with key stakeholders, both private and public.

  • Establish a diversified funding model to build long-term sustainability.
  • Develop a robust fundraising plan that may include corporate sponsorships, planned giving, and expanded funding through long-term grants and contracts.
  • Build internal capacity to execute long-term funding strategies.