News icon Candura Named Director of Development at the Mitchell Institute

PORTLAND, Maine — Jared Cash, President and CEO of the Mitchell Institute, announced today that Jeff Candura will join Maine’s premier scholarship organization as Director of Development on May 28. Among his responsibilities, Candura will lead the work of inspiring people and foundations to make philanthropic investments in the success of nearly 600 college-going Mitchell Scholars each year from every community in Maine.

“After conducting a national search, we are delighted to welcome Jeff, a highly successful fundraiser who finds joy in helping people express their values through philanthropy,” Cash said. “With Jeff’s leadership in all aspects of our fundraising, we will ensure that more hardworking young people in Maine have access to higher education, and we will provide communities statewide with engaged leadership and a stronger and more educated workforce.”

Candura comes to the Mitchell Institute from the Maine School of Science and Mathematics (MSSM) Foundation, where he served as Development Director and later Executive Director. At the MSSM Foundation, Candura helped to significantly increase fundraising revenues and guided grantmaking for student scholarships, faculty professional development, and facility improvements.

Candura brings a breadth of development and nonprofit management experience to the Mitchell Institute. Before the MSSM Foundation, he served as the Development Director for the Maine Democratic Party from 2019 to 2021, when his team oversaw consecutive record fundraising years. Candura previously spent six years as the Director of Advancement at Gould Academy in Bethel, where his office was responsible for annual giving, major gifts, capital campaigns, and several on- and off-campus events. He also held development positions at Tufts University and the United Way of Larimer County in Fort Collins, Colo.

“The mission of the Mitchell Institute resonates deeply with me,” Candura said. “Access to—and the affordability of—education are the greatest social mobilizers we have as communities. I, of course, love that the Mitchell Institute provides scholarships. Even more so, I believe the additional counseling, funding, and mentorship that come along with being a Mitchell Scholar contribute significantly to their success. I look forward to working with the staff, board, and supporters of the Mitchell Institute to continue providing a hand up to Maine students.”

Candura has a B.A. in English from Ithaca College and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Colorado–Denver. Candura lives with his wife, two children, and dog in North Yarmouth. They can often be found enjoying all that Maine has to offer, including skiing, hiking, running, paddling, and mountain biking. A Massachusetts native, Candura also hasn’t been able to shake a lifelong obsession with Boston sports.

About the Mitchell Institute

Founded by Senator George J. Mitchell, the Mitchell Institute’s core mission is to improve the likelihood that young people from every community in Maine will aspire to, pursue, and achieve a college education. By awarding $1.85 million in college scholarship funds to students from every community in Maine, the Mitchell Institute unlocks the potential of the state’s young people so that they can find success in college and contribute to the vitality of their communities. In addition to providing each Mitchell Scholar with a $10,000 scholarship, the Institute provides support programs for leadership development and supplemental funding opportunities for activities related to career and professional development. This combination of personal, professional, and financial support makes college degrees more attainable for Mitchell Scholars, who graduate at a rate 30% higher than the national average and are more likely than their peers to work in Maine or return to the state after graduating from college.