Ways to Give
With your commitment to justice and your charitable investment through the Maine Justice Foundation, we can increase funding for programs for legal aid that help the most needy of Maine residents who face life-altering civil legal issues. Unfortunately, about 90 percent of people who qualify for civil legal aid can’t get it because the resources are severely limited.
YOU can provide a critical safety net through your endowment at the Maine Justice Foundation. Join with us to ensure civil legal aid for Maine’s most vulnerable people now and for decades to come.
Gifts to the Maine Justice Foundation can be mailed to:
Maine Justice Foundation
124 State Street
Augusta, ME 04330
Or give online now:
The Maine Justice Foundation has been awarded a coveted four-star rating by Charity Navigator! Charity Navigator rates over 160,000 U.S. nonprofits based on their financial health, efficiency, governance and transparency. We are proud to have earned their highest rating. Learn more here about Charity Navigator and their rating criteria.
A Gift Providing Income for Your Lifetime
You can create a Charitable Gift Annuity with the Foundation, resulting in a lifetime stream of income for you and another beneficiary. This significant gift will help the Foundation fulfill its mission and can also allow you to meet your financial and philanthropic goals.
- A charitable gift annuity provides income, in quarterly payments, to you and/or one other beneficiary for your lifetimes.
- A portion of your gift and of the annual income you receive are tax deductible.
- Your gift stays with the Maine Justice Foundation, helping poor and vulnerable Mainers to get the justice they deserve.
Please contact our Development Director at (207) 622-3477 for more information. We would be happy to produce a detailed illustration of an annuity for you, based on gift amount, age and number of beneficiaries. Minimum gift amount is $10,000, and minimum age is 65.
You can create a legacy of your commitment to justice for all by establishing an endowment at the Maine Justice Foundation.
Types of Endowment Funds
Unrestricted: Distributions from the fund will be determined through the Foundation’s grants review process, which is managed by the Grants Committee of the Board of Directors.
Field of Interest: You may identify an area of interest, e.g., geographic area, specific population, types of services, legal issues, for which grants will be made.
Designated: You designate the Foundation or specific non-profit organization(s) that provide(s) legal or other services, consistent with the Foundation’s mission, to receive the annual distribution from the fund.
The minimum amount to start an endowed fund is $100,000. The current spending policy, which is set by the MJF Board, determines the amount of distribution each year.
To find out more about creating an endowment, contact our Development Director at (207) 622-3477.
Funds of the Maine Justice Foundation
Racial Justice Fund – Established in 2020, the Racial Justice Fund seeks to educate and advocate for systemic change that will foster racial justice and equity in Maine.
Today as Americans and Mainers we are confronted with a gap between Black and white citizens—a chasm that we cannot help but look across with dismay. There remains much work to uncover hidden biases and the systemic racism that exists in white-dominated institutions.
Twenty-two leading Maine companies and the Stephen & Tabitha King Foundation stepped forward in the summer of 2020 to help us create the Racial Justice Fund. We are grateful for their support.
The fund will support initiatives across Maine that address systemic racism and inequality inside and outside the legal system. An advisory committee of lawyers, academics, and public officials, including Black and indigenous Mainers, will guide the creation of the fund’s specific priorities.
LGBTQ Justice Fund – Imagine having your home, your health benefits or even your children taken away. You feel helpless. You don’t know what to do or where to turn for help. Now imagine you are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. Your situation just became more difficult and more risky. And if you don’t have the income to get legal representation, you are left with virtually no place to turn.
The movement for full equality for LGBTQ people has made incredible progress. But there are still many threats to the laws that protect LGBT Mainers. We have to make sure that every LGBTQ person has access to justice. From domestic violence and custody battles to evictions and restraining orders, Americans have no Constitutional right to a lawyer. For LGBTQ people, who suffer disproportionately from poverty, the need for a lawyer can be acute.
In 2016, attorney Bill Robitzek set up the LGBTQ Justice Fund at the Maine Justice Foundation. Our goal is to provide funding for nonprofits that address the civil legal needs of low-income and vulnerable LGBTQ Mainers, now and permanently.
Join Bill and co-founders Sarah McDaniel, Arnie Macdonald, and Teresa Cloutier in making a significant gift to the LGBTQ Justice Fund.
Howard H. Dana, Jr. Fund – This fund supports the Foundation’s mission by supporting its operations. This means more money will be available for direct support for those who cannot afford an attorney.
Notable in Justice Dana’s career is his longstanding commitment to securing legal services for the poor.
“I think basically every lawyer learns that their function is to make sure their clients get justice,” he said. “In our country, we have two lawyers, typically – one on either side of the case – and the problem is that there aren’t enough lawyers to represent the poor. This makes for an unfair battle and an unfair system of justice.”
U.S. District Judge Jon D. Levy, a longtime colleague of Dana’s said, “Howard is a truly wonderful person and a legal visionary,” he said. “I have no doubt that his groundbreaking work on the recognition of a civil right to counsel will, over time, change the face of American law.”
True to his commitment to justice, Justice Dana continues to contribute to the Howard Dana Fund, an endowment established in his honor upon his retirement.
The Michael J. Levey and Michael S. Brown Fund – This endowment supports the Foundation’s mission by supporting its operations. This means more money will be available for direct support for those who cannot afford an attorney.
Mike Levey has practiced law in Maine since 1974 and in Winthrop, Maine since 1976. His commitment to justice has made him a valuable advocate for the Maine Justice Foundation where he serves on the board of directors. He has provided gifted leadership for the strategic planning of the Volunteer Lawyers Project.
Mike knows that without adequate resources, the Foundation can’t help as many low income and vulnerable Mainers through Maine’s civil legal aid providers. He and his wife created The Michael J. Levey and Michael S. Brown Fund, an endowment that will distribute funds each year to help defray the costs of the Foundation’s operations. This means more money will be available for direct support for those who cannot afford an attorney.
“We created this fund to help the legal system, of which I am very proud to be a part, work for all Maine citizens, including those who are unable to pay for the help they need,” says Mike.
James M. Roux Fund – Established by Arnie Macdonald and Liza Moore for the Summer Intern Program of the Cumberland Legal Aid Clinic, University of Maine School of Law.
Arnie and Liza created this fund in memory of James M. Roux (Maine Law '84), Liza's late ex-husband and Arnie’s friend. After graduating, Jim served in the US Army as Judge Advocate General with the 82d Airborne Division. He returned to private practice and became a preeminent trial lawyer. In the last years of his practice, Jim shifted his focus to plaintiffs’ work, championing underdogs who could not otherwise be heard. He also developed an interest in the plight of the Nepalese Sherpa people after his treks to Mount Everest Base Camp, and was headed to Southeast Asia when killed in the September 11 terrorist attacks. Jim was a dedicated lawyer and proud Mainer.
Arnie and Liza also are inspired to honor the passion, commitment, and engagement of Jim's son, Jamie. Arnie says, “We make this gift in Jim's memory but also out of our love and pride in his son. In their honor we want to help Maine's aspiring lawyers not only to have excellent technical skills but to keep a watchful eye on the underdogs, underprivileged and underserved, where the civil rights so important to our society may first start to erode.”
The Thomas P. Downing Fund – With the support of family and friends, Diana Scully established The Downing Fund in 1985 to provide funding for the Thomas P. Downing, Jr. Award named to honor the memory of her husband and his work on behalf of vulnerable Mainers. The award is given to legal aid staff in recognition of their significant contribution to Maine’s low-income residents.
ESO Endowment – This important fund was established in 2011 by an anonymous donor who dedicated it to providing support for people in need of legal assistance in Washington and Hancock counties. The donor wanted to keep families safe and healthy, helping the elderly with their needs and making sure children have the opportunities they deserve.
Bar Fellows Endowment – Established with the generous gifts of Bar Fellows to support the mission of the Maine Justice Foundation. Read more about the Bar Fellows here »
Sidney W. Wernick Lecture Fund – The Foundation manages this fund on behalf of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court. It was created to honor the Honorable Sidney W. Wernick, who served as Associate Justice from 1970 to 1981 and in active retirement status until 1984, and died in 1995.
Advancing Justice Through the Campaign for Justice
The six providers that the Campaign for Justice supports provide legal assistance to an average of 30,000 adults and children annually.
That means over a quarter million Maine people have been helped since 2004 when the Campaign was founded.
Types of Gifts
Gifts of Cash
Your gift of cash made with a check or credit card is the easiest way for you to give.
Your real estate property can be an exceptional gift that offers you tax benefits. You can make an outright gift of real estate. Or you can sell your property to the Foundation at a discounted price. A third option is a retained life estate when you transfer title to the Foundation and continue to live in the home for the remainder of your life.
Gifts of Stock
Gifts of stock offer you more benefits than giving cash. With gifts of publicly-traded stocks and bonds, you can claim a federal income tax charitable deduction for the full appreciated value of the securities. You will pay no capital gains tax on the transaction.
Your valuable artwork, books, equipment, or other tangible personal property can result in a charitable deduction and a valuable gift to the Foundation.
DO YOU WISH YOU COULD DO MORE?
You have a variety of ways to make a significant gift without affecting your current income or assets. These are wonderful legacy gifts that honor your commitment to justice for generations to come. Most are gifts that are easy to make.
A Gift Through Your Will Or Trust
Gifts through your will or trust (bequests), allow you to make a sizeable gift after your lifetime without impacting your income now. These are wonderful legacy gifts that will honor your commitment to justice for generations to come. These gifts can be easy to make, such as adding simple language to your will or making the Foundation the beneficiary of a retirement account or life insurance policy.
The Maine Justice Legacy Circle recognizes those champions who are making a planned gift to support access to justice. Discover how a gift in your will or trust can have a significant, lasting impact and join the Circle. For more information, click here.
Sample Bequest Language to Use
“I give and bequeath to The Maine Justice Foundation, a nonprofit corporation
(EIN # 22-2559133), located at 40 Water Street, Hallowell, Maine 04347, or its successor [a sum of money, percentage of my estate, or description of the gift].
- To add to an existing fund at The Maine Justice Foundation: "I request that this gift be added to the (name of fund) Fund.”
- To create a new fund at The Maine Justice Foundation: "I request that this gift be used to establish a new fund (name of fund) to support (name nonprofit, field of interest, unrestricted grant making or operations of the Foundation) in accordance with the Articles of Incorporation creating The Maine Justice Foundation, as now or hereafter amended.”
Life Insurance Policies
You can make the Foundation owner and beneficiary of a life insurance policy.
Change Of Beneficiary Form
Name the Maine Justice Foundation as a beneficiary of a part or all of your bank accounts, brokerage account, or certificates of deposit.
Life Insurance Policies
You can make the Foundation owner and beneficiary of a life insurance policy.
During Your Lifetime
Charitable gifts from your retirement plan can be a “wash” for tax purposes.
If you are age 70½ or older you can make tax-free gifts totaling up to $100,000 from your traditional IRA account directly to qualified charities, like the Foundation. While you cannot claim a charitable deduction for IRA gifts, the distribution counts towards your minimum required distribution and does NOT trigger income tax for you.
Did you know your retirement plan can be taxed up to 70% if you pass it on to your family? But if you designate it to charity, it will be tax-free. Name the Maine Justice Foundation as a percentage or full beneficiary of your traditional IRA or other retirement plan.
Be sure to consult with your plan administrator or your financial advisor before making any changes in the distribution of your retirement plan.
For more information on these and other types of gifts, please contact our Development Director at (207) 622-3477.
A. Anonymity: Upon your request, the foundation will keep your gift and/or status as a donor anonymous. The foundation reserves the right to publish your name on a list of donors unless you request anonymity. The foundation reserves the discretion to disclose the receipt of an anonymous gift, the amount of the gift, and any restricted purpose attached to the gift.
B. Removal: Upon your request, the foundation will promptly remove you from our mailing list and will not contact you.
C. Use/Sharing of Your Information: The foundation does not sell, trade, or share your name or any contact information with any other organization. The foundation will only release your personal information if required by law.
D. Online donations: We do not electronically or in any other way store your credit card information.
E. To change your information or ask questions about our data and donor policy: Contact: Development Director, Maine Justice Foundation, 40 Water Street, Hallowell, ME 04347; (207) 622-3477.
The Donor Bill of Rights
Philanthropy is based on voluntary action for the common good. It is a tradition of giving and sharing that is primary to the quality of life. To assure that philanthropy merits the respect and trust of the general public, and that donors and prospective donors can have full confidence in the not-for-profit organizations and causes they are asked to support, we declare that all donors have these rights:
I. To be informed of the organization's mission, of the way the organization intends to use donated resources, and of its capacity to use donations effectively for their intended purposes.
II. To be informed of the identity of those serving on the organization's governing board, and to expect the board to exercise prudent judgment in its stewardship responsibilities.
III. To have access to the organization's most recent financial statements.
IV. To be assured their gifts will be used for the purposes for which they were given.
V. To receive appropriate acknowledgement and recognition.
VI. To be assured that information about their donation is handled with respect and with confidentiality to the extent provided by law.
VII. To expect that all relationships with individuals representing organizations of interest to the donor will be professional in nature.
VIII. To be informed whether those seeking donations are volunteers, employees of the organization or hired solicitors.
IX. To have the opportunity for their names to be deleted from mailing lists that an organization may intend to share.
X. To feel free to ask questions when making a donation and to receive prompt, truthful and forthright answers.
Donor Bill of Rights: 2017, Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), all rights reserved. Reprinted with permission from the Association of Fundraising Professionals.