A solid nonprofit sustainability plan often demands new thinking, and adaptation – even transformation as external environments change. Such was the case with long-time Unity Foundation partner Good Will-Hinckley founded in 1889 as a respected residential school for youth with emotional or behavioral problems.
When Maine’s solution for providing services to these young people evolved away from a residential model, it was clear that the organization needed to refocus its mission to survive. As its primary funding stream evaporated, the grounds, buildings and resources of the institution would need to be rededicated.
In 2011, Maine passed legislation allowing for the establishment of charter schools and the Maine Academy of Natural Sciences (MeANS) was born at the former Good Will-Hinckley School. Serving in an advisory capacity, Unity Foundation brought important stakeholders together to address sustainable funding needs and to transform Good Will-Hinckley into the Maine Academy of Natural Sciences — an institution that continues to serve Maine youth, but with an enthusiastic new education goal.
Amid nonprofit pomp and circumstance, The Maine Academy of Natural Sciences graduated its first high school class in 2013!