About Us

The John T. Gorman Foundation advances and invests in innovative ideas and opportunities that improve the lives of Maine's most vulnerable people. We focus on four key areas: Improving educational achievement for children, promoting successful transitions to adulthood for vulnerable older youth, helping struggling families succeed and enabling seniors to remain in their homes as long as possible.  
Our Priority Areas

United Way of Greater Portland Launches

John T. Gorman Foundation President and CEO Tony Cipollone speaks at the Thrive2027 launch.
The John T. Gorman Foundation is among the many partners supporting United Way of Greater Portland's new county-wide initiative, Thrive2027. Helping to advance this ten-year effort that aims to make the Greater Portland area a better place to live and work is Foundation President and CEO, Tony Cipollone, who was one of the tri-chairs of the Goals Council (along with Rich Petersen, President and CEO of Maine Medical Center, and Anne Dalton, United Way Board member and an executive of The Association of Junior Leagues International).  

Stemming from a series of community conversations that engaged more than 1500 people, Thrive2027 has named three ambitious and necessary goals for its work: Every child has quality early learning experiences beginning at birth, Individuals and families have the education, employment opportunities, and resources to achieve financial stability, and Children, adults and communities have resources and opportunities to achieve optimal health status. The Foundation looks forward to joining with partners across Cumberland County to make this vision of Portland a reality. Learn more at Thrive2027.org.

The Opportunity Alliance Places Results at the Center of Its Approach

As the Community Action Agency serving Maine's most populous region, The Opportunity Alliance (TOA) seeks to help Cumberland County residents live better lives by offering over 40 programs that provide mental health, early education, housing and other services. Running such a large-scale operation is complex.

After a 2011 merger expanded TOA's reach, its leadership recognized the opportunity to improve client outcomes by better coordinating programs and services - both internally and with other organizations. With support from the John T. Gorman Foundation, TOA is transforming into a truly results-focused agency.

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Note from the President and CEO

As another beautiful Maine summer draws to a close, and with back to school just around the corner, we wanted to take a moment to update you on some of the recent news from the John T. Gorman Foundation. In this issue, we'll give you details on our 2016 Direct Services Grant Program, through which we distributed $1 million in funding to 60 organizations doing critical work in all 16 counties of the state. We'll also tell you about our work with the Axiom Education & Training Center in Machias, which is using technology and education to help strengthen the economy of that region of Maine.

We are a proud partner of this issue's profiled grantee, Starting Strong, which aims to help all Portland children read proficiently by the end of third grade through a number of strategies that engage the community. We've also included a behind-the-scenes look at the exemplary work being done by The Opportunity Alliance to strengthen the agency's commitment to results. In other news, the United Way of Greater Portland has launched their Thrive2027 campaign to make the area a better place to work and live for all its citizens, and the Foundation is committed to helping them realize this goal. As their tagline puts it: We're in!

We wish you a wonderful end of summer, and please send along any questions, comments, and ideas related to our mission of improving the lives of Maine's most vulnerable people.
-Tony Cipollone, President and CEO

Direct Service Grant Program Helps Mainers in Need 
St. Mary's Nutrition Center, which expands access to healthy food options in Lewiston, is one of the Foundation's 2016 Direct Service Grantees.
Earlier in the summer, the John T. Gorman Foundation was proud to award grants to 60 organizations as part of our 2016 Direct Services Grants Program. These organizations provide critical services in communities throughout the state. In total, the Foundation granted $1 million in direct services grants to nonprofits and agencies that serve every Maine county.

Each year, the Foundation issues an open call for grant applications to organizations that provide critical supports to some of Maine's most vulnerable people. A portion of the program is always devoted to funding mental health and cancer services, in recognition of our founder Tom Gorman's strong commitment to those issues.
Read more here.
Axiom Education & Training Center
Strengthens Washington County's Workforce
A graduate of Axiom Education & Training Center's certificate program with his family.
In rural Washington County, which has the highest unemployment rate in the state of Maine, economic development initiatives have real power to change lives. Susan Corbett, CEO of Machias-based IT firm Axiom Technologies, believes this strongly -- so strongly, in fact, that a few years ago she launched Axiom Education & Training Center, a not-for-profit dedicated solely to helping residents of the region pursue education and grow their technology skills through hands-on job training.

The effort has attracted widespread recognition for its innovative approach to building participants' digital literacy so that they are better prepared to succeed in today's job market. The John T. Gorman Foundation has supported the center since 2014, when we awarded a grant of $410,000 over two years to help enhance the skills and knowledge of the workforce in the greater Machias region.

Grantee Profile: Starting Strong
Portland Public Schools students in a Starting Strong program.
Since 2013, the John T. Gorman Foundation has invested in Starting Strong, an initiative that brings together more than 30 partners from the Portland area to focus on the common goal of ensuring that all children in the district can read proficiently by the end of third grade. The Foundation is a committed partner in the effort. In fact, Starting Strong's strategies reflect some of the same guiding principles that drive the Foundation work's with young children around the state.

As the early education component of ConnectED -- an effort designed to help children in the area better navigate the journey from cradle to college and career -- Starting Strong, which is housed at the United Way of Greater Portland, has energized parents, teachers and others who care about children in the Portland area.

"We are fortunate to have a community that's both very committed to kids, and also excited about trying new approaches to better serve them in the future," says Katie Camplin, the Project Director of Starting Strong. The initiative is particularly concerned with closing the notable gap in academic achievement that exists between children from lower-income families in Portland and their more economically advantaged peers.