At the John T. Gorman Foundation, our work is not about doing good, it’s about improving people’s lives.

The John T. Gorman Foundation is a private foundation based in Portland, Maine. We advance and invest in innovative ideas and opportunities that improve the lives of Maine’s most vulnerable people. Our mission stems directly from the life philosophy of our founder, John “Tom” Gorman, who believed that his personal success was largely derived from the support he received from his family and community.

At the John T. Gorman Foundation, we are focused on improving educational achievement for young children; promoting successful transitions to adulthood for vulnerable older youth; helping struggling parents support their families and enabling low-income seniors age in place. Outcomes matter more during these transitions.  Research shows that successfully achieving these key objectives predicts future success. If they are not achieved, the consequences can be dire for current and subsequent generations.

To achieve the greatest impact, the Foundation has a special interest in strengthening families and communities; providing them with the supports and opportunities they need to thrive.

Our work comes at a challenging time. Across our state, residents are falling behind because of population changes, workforce readiness concerns and an exodus of young people searching for better opportunities. Too many people in Maine today experience poor educational outcomes, declining economic opportunity, and financial insecurity. Almost 40,000 children in our state are growing up in poverty, and less than a third of our fourth-graders read proficiently. More than a fifth of our young people drop out of school, and seniors in Maine live in poverty at higher rates than the national average.

While we continue to modestly support direct services that meet people’s immediate needs, most of our annual grant making aims to advance researched-based, prevention-focused ideas and initiatives that try to address the root causes of disadvantage among people in Maine. Our aspiration is to achieve lasting, measurably-improved results for the populations we care about most.