The Bank of Maine announced Aug. 10 that it will conduct a statewide search for Maine’s most effective nonprofit board members. This search will culminate on Dec. 1 with an event, to be called “Focus on Philanthropy 2011: The Art of Leadership”, which will recognize five leading nonprofit board members.

At the luncheon concluding the program, The Bank of Maine will present these directors with Leaders & Luminaries Awards totaling $20,000.

“In today’s challenging economic climate, the nonprofit sector is struggling with limited resources and reductions in funding,” said John W. Everets, chairman and chief executive officer of The Bank of Maine, in a news release. This award will honor “effective and creative leadership of some of the state’s critical nonprofit organizations.”

The Leaders & Luminaries Award competition will be free and open to any board director of a 501(c)(3) organization based in Maine who can demonstrate how inspiration, creativity and ingenuity in governance has led to his or her organization’s success. An independent selection committee appointed by The Bank of Maine will select the five winners. The grand prize winner will receive $10,000 for his or her nonprofit and four runner-ups will each receive $2,500 for their organizations.

In addition to the awards presentation, Focus on Philanthropy 2011: The Art of Leadership will include a panel discussion, moderated by former Gov. Angus King and comprised of a distinguished panel of guests including: Robert Forrester, president and CEO of Newman’s Own Foundation; Robert Gardiner, former president of Maine Public Broadcasting ; Prescott Stewart, managing director of development at Harvard Business School; Lowell Weicker, former senator and governor for the state of Connecticut and president of the Board of Directors of Trust for America’s Health and Melanie L. Herman, executive director of the Nonprofit Risk Management Center.

For complete details and entry information, visit The Bank of Maine website at Deadline for entries is Sept. 15.