John T. Gorman Foundation looks back on their first 25 years

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

A letter from the John T. Gorman Foundation Board Chair Shawn Gorman and President & CEO Tony Cipollone:

"2020 was clearly a monumental year fueled by unforgettable events. For the John T. Gorman Foundation, 2020 also marked a momentous milestone: it was our 25th anniversary.

"In January 2020, we began the year by crafting plans to celebrate this landmark occasion with a gathering of the Foundation’s friends and partners. Then came March and we, like everyone else, turned all our attention to figuring out how to best help our most vulnerable neighbors deal with a pandemic that we are finally starting to emerge from over a year later.

"While the events of the last year or so rendered a traditional celebration impossible and inappropriate given the challenges facing so many folks, we’d be remiss if we didn’t take a moment to acknowledge the enormous generosity of Tom Gorman and his decision to leave his considerable legacy to the Foundation he created in 1995.

"When Tom established this organization, which he called the JTG Foundation, he was driven by his desire to help Mainers living on the margins; those who could benefit from the helping hand of community support. With a small, committed Board of Directors – some of whom continue their service to the Foundation to this day – Tom quietly sought to make a difference for a range of disadvantaged people affected by various challenges, especially those suffering from cancer and mental illness. From 1995 until Tom’s passing in 2010, JTG dispensed close to $15 million to organizations providing critical services and supports to people in Maine.

"Tom Gorman’s generous bequest to the Foundation catapulted the Foundation’s assets to roughly $180 million. To pay homage to Tom, the Board of Directors chose to rename JTG to the John T. Gorman Foundation in 2011. They also decided to open an office in Portland and bring on staff who could work closely with the Board to chart a new strategic course for the Foundation’s work.

"Today, a professional staff of ten is privileged to work with a group of dedicated Directors and our partners in the community to continue advancing Tom Gorman’s aspiration to make a difference in the lives of disadvantaged Maine people. In the last 25 years, we’ve distributed over $78 million in grants and other supports; and over the last five years, our investments have leveraged almost $60 million in federal, state, municipal and private funding for our grantees. We hope that we’ve been able to represent Tom’s legacy in a way that would have made him proud, and we will keep striving to maintain that standard.

"While we weren’t able to celebrate our 25th in person, we thought it would be fitting to highlight some key events in the evolution of the John T. Gorman Foundation, captured in the interactive timeline. It is also a wonderful record of the innovative and successful strategies our incredible partners have implemented to improve the lives of Maine people. We hope you enjoy it and we look forward to adding to it with you in the years ahead."