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


Applications for the  
Direct Service Grant Program
will be accepted until
MARCH 30th

The program is open to nonprofit organizations working to address the immediate needs of disadvantaged people in Maine. 

As in recent years, the program will focus on mental health; cancer supports and resources for patients, survivors, and affected families; and quality supports and services to address basic needs.

President & CEO Speaks at National Conference on Working Families

President and CEO Tony Cipollone spoke at the Working Together for Working Families Conference in New Jersey on February 2nd.

Tony presented on the two-generation work that the Foundation is supporting in Washington Country through the Family Futures Downeast program. 

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Note from the President and CEO

Throughout these chilly months, groups across the State continue to work hard to expand supports and opportunities for disadvantaged Mainers.  In this Winter Issue of our John T. Gorman Foundation Newsletter, we want to update you about some of the great work being done by grantees and other partners around Maine. We'll begin by introducing you to the new cohort of John T. Gorman Fellows, who will kick off their work together at the end of the month. We'll also tell you about a new workforce initiative in Lewiston focusing on the construction trades, which we think holds real promise for both employers and jobseekers in that community.

The Maine CA$H coalition is now in its second decade of helping tax filers around the state build their long-term assets, and we are proud to support their efforts as they continue to figure out more efficient ways to serve their clients.  We were also pleased to support a new report that examines the issue of juvenile records in the state of Maine, and recommends practical ways to improve the way that we help young people rebound from their past mistakes.

Finally, a reminder that our annual Direct Service Grants Program is now open and will continue to accept applications until March 30 th. Each year, this program helps us support and learn more about the important work nonprofits are doing around the state, and we're honored to be a part of it.

Stay warm and as always, I invite you to send along any questions or comments related to our mission of improving lives for vulnerable people in Maine. 
-Tony Cipollone, President and CEO
New Cohort of John T. Gorman Fellows Begins Their Work

The 2017 John T. Gorman Fellows. Top Row: Angela Atkinson Duina, Cat Hamel, Eliza Townsend, Jason Parent. Middle Row: James Martin, Jenna Mehnert,  Kaylene Mitchell, Liz Cotter Schlax. Bottom Row: Rilwan Osman, Robyn Merrill, Shawn Yardley, Stephanie LeBlanc. 

In January, the Foundation was pleased to announce the second cohort of the John T. Gorman Fellowship, a leadership program in Maine for select nonprofit and public sector professionals. The Fellowship aims to help participants become more focused on results and build the vision, confidence and competence required to advance change and improve the lives of vulnerable people throughout the state. The inaugural Fellowship, which convened in 2015, attracted a group of extraordinary leaders who have already begun to make considerable progress on the goals that they defined in the program.

The 12 fellows in this year's class come from across Maine and range widely in terms of interests, experiences and backgrounds. They are unified by their shared commitment to issues related to the Foundation's mission and investment priorities: improving educational achievement for young children, promoting successful transitions to adulthood for vulnerable older youth, helping struggling parents to support their families, and enabling more low-income seniors to remain in their homes as long as possible.   To learn more about this year's Fellows and the strengths they bring to the program, please visit the Fellowship section of the website.  
Report Looks at Long-Term Effects of Juvenile Records

The guiding principle behind the juvenile justice system is to help young people take responsibility for their actions and learn from their mistakes so that they can put the past behind them. In fact, resea rch shows that most young offenders effectively outgrow risky behavior and don't com mit crimes as adults. But a  new report from the Muskie School of Public Service  finds that for many young Mainers who have been in contact with the juvenile justice system, their past follo ws them well into adulthood, preventing them from realizing their full potential. These unintended "collateral consequences" can have a lasting impact on a young person's life. Along with other partners, the John T. Gorman Foundation supported the report as part of our work to help more vulnerable Maine youth successfully transition to adulthood.
Through interviews and data, the researchers behi nd the report convincingly demonstrate the extent of these consequences. While many of us might believe that offenses committed while still a minor disappear from an individual's record once they legally become an adult, the report points out that, on the contrary, in Maine, "juvenile records are not automatically sealed at any age." Additionally, the authors write, "Maine does not have an option for expunging juvenile records... Records will not go away by themselves." While there is a process that an individual can initiate to seal their juvenile record, it's costly, complicated, and requires both legal assistance and an in-person visit to the courthouse to complete. 

Construction Workforce Initiative Trains Jobseekers in Lewiston
Contractors throughout Maine currently face a quandary -- they have plenty of work on their job sites, but they can't recruit enough skilled employees to fill their openings. At the same time, many unemployed Mainers want jobs and could benefit from the steady work that they'd receive in the construction trade, but don't have the right skills to be attractive to those employers. To help address both these problems, the John T. Gorman Foundation is supporting a pilot workforce training initiative in Lewiston that connects residents who have historically faced barriers to employment and provides them with the basic aptitude they need to be competitive in the field of skilled trades. 
The program, which launched on January 30th, braids together federal, state, and private funds and incorporates lessons learned from other effective workforce development efforts throughout the country. The stakeholders behind the initiative include the Foundation, the City of Lewiston, community based organizations, Lewiston Adult Education, the Lewiston Career Center and the local Workforce Development Board. To ensure a better chance of success for the initiative, these partners solicited the feedback and advice of prominent construction employers in the region when designing the program's curriculum. "We knew that to be successful, this program had to have buy-in from and meet the needs of the firms that we hoped would someday hire the program participants," says Sara Gagné-Holmes, Senior Program Associate at the John T. Gorman Foundation.

CA$H Coalition Helps Mainers Build Financial Savvy
A volunteer tax preparer works with a client at the Waterville CA$H site
Tax season is in full swing, and at the 34 CA$H Coalition tax prep sites throughout the state, dedicated staff and volunteers are helping to make sure that hardworking Mainers get the most out of their refunds through smart financial planning. Now in its fifteenth year of offering this free service,  CA$H Maine is a statewide collaboration of ten coalitions which encompass 50 partners from the not-for-profit and business world. The John T. Gorman Foundation has been a proud supporter of the Maine CA$H Coalition as well as  New Ventures Maine (NVME), the organization that helps to oversee the financial capability integration project, since 2014.

This year, the CA$H sites in Maine are benefiting from technical assistance provided by a national nonprofit, the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED), which is dedicated to expanding economic opportunity for working families. "CFED is one of the leading groups in the country thinking about these issues, and it's a huge opportunity for NVME and the Coalition to have them as a resource," said Nicole Witherbee, Chief Program Officer at the Foundation.