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
40 Water Street
Hallowell, ME 04347

Or give online now:


Endowment Funds

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.

You can start an endowment with as little as $10,000. 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 Director of Development at (207) 622-3477.


Funds of the Maine Justice Foundation

LGBT 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 the income to get legal representation, you are left with virtually no place to turn.

The movement for full equality for LGBT 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 LGBT 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 LGBT people, who suffer disproportionately from poverty, the need for a lawyer can be acute.

In 2016, attorney Bill Robitzek set up the LGBT 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 LGBT Mainers, now and permanently.

Join Bill and co-founders Sarah McDaniel, Arnie Macdonald, Teresa Cloutier, Jodi Nofsinger, and Jon Doyle in making a significant gift to the LGBT 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.

Find out more about the Campaign for Justice.
Go here »


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.

Real Estate
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.

Tangible Property
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.

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.

Retirement Plans

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.

  

Estate Distributions

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.