Fortune Society



Long Island City, NY

Tax ID:


Tax-Exempt Status:


Budget (2021):

Revenue: $41,268,534
Expenses: $39,047,482
Assets: $19,683,060


Criminal Justice Advocacy Organization



Executive Director:

JoAnne Page

Budget (2022):

Revenue: $59,216,910
Expenses: $44,779,426
Assets: $33,781,145 1


  1. The Fortune Society. Return of an Organization Exempt From Income Tax (Form 990). 2022.

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The Fortune Society advocates for reducing the prison population while also providing housing, substance abuse prevention, education, and other programs to prisoners and those recently released from prison. Based in New York City, the Fortune Society provides services to more than 8,000 individuals within the state and local criminal justice system. 1

History and Activities

The Fortune Society was inspired by an off-Broadway play entitled Fortune and Men’s Eyes produced in 1967 by David Rothenberg, who founded the Fortune Society. 2 The play offered a sympathetic look at the challenges convicted prisoners face at the hands of prison gangs and unsympathetic guards. 3

In 1969, the Fortune Society created its education program to teach prisoners vocabulary and grammar. In 1971, the society created an employment services program to help prisoners find a job after release. The program later expanded to include policy advocacy to reduce employment barriers for those leaving prison. 4

In 1987, the Fortune Society founded its food education initiatives that includes education workshops and services to provide hot and healthy food to prisoners. In 1991, the society created a program called Alternative to Incarceration to divert persons convicted of crimes from incarceration. In 1992, the Fortune Society created the Substance Abuse Treatment program to help prisoners and ex-convicts attain sobriety. 5

In 2002, the society opened a transitional house in the West Harlem neighborhood of New York to house recently released prisoners transitioning back to normal life. The house was later named “the Castle.” 6

In 2007, the society launched a formal public policy advocacy arm called the David Rothenberg Center for Public Policy to change the laws governing the American criminal justice system. 7 The society won a major public policy victory in 2014 upon winning the case Fortune Society v. Sandcastle Towers Housing Development Fund Corp., which opened the door for advocacy groups to challenge blanket bans imposed by landlords on renting to those with criminal records. 8

To respond to the large number of mentally ill people who are homeless, in 2011 the society opened the Better Living Center as a state-licensed outpatient clinic. 9

In recent years, ex-convicts made up roughly 70 percent of the staff of the Fortune Society, which now offers programs in computer tutoring, substance abuse treatment, fatherhood and motherhood training, mental health services, and more. 10 The society also embraced left-of-center ideas like diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) by creating a standing DEI committee within the organization. 11


The Fortune Society receives support from several partners, including Arnold Ventures, a center-left philanthropy founded in early 2019 by liberal donors Laura and John Arnold; Bloomberg Philanthropies, a $7 billion foundation created by left-leaning billionaire and former New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg; JPMorgan Chase & Co., one of the world’s largest banks; the Tiger Foundation, which invests in non-profits in New York City that address poverty; the Tow Foundation, a Connecticut-based private grant maker in the arts, medical research, higher education, and criminal justice; Van Ameringen Foundation, a private grantmaking foundation that funds prevention, advocacy, and treatment in the area of mental health; and others. 12


In 1989, Joanne Page became the executive director and president and CEO of the Fortune Society. 13 Pate previously worked as a staff attorney at Legal Aid Society, which provides criminal, juvenile, and civil legal support to low-income New Yorkers and also advocates for left-of-center criminal justice, immigration, and housing policies through the courts. Page as also previously a board member for the Milton S. Eisenhower Foundation, a which works to reduce income inequality and poverty in urban neighborhoods. 14


  1. “The Fortune Society.” The Fortune Society. Accessed October 21, 2023.
  2. “History.” The Fortune Society. Accessed October 21, 2023.
  3. “Fortune and Men’s Eyes: Plot Summary.” IMDB. Accessed October 21, 2023.
  4. “History.” The Fortune Society. Accessed October 21, 2023.
  5.  “History.” The Fortune Society. Accessed October 21, 2023.
  6. “History.” The Fortune Society. Accessed October 21, 2023.
  7. “History.” The Fortune Society. Accessed October 21, 2023.
  8. “History.” The Fortune Society. Accessed October 21, 2023.
  9. “History.” The Fortune Society. Accessed October 21, 2023.
  10.  Evanier, David.  “David Rothenberg’s Fortune.” The Fortune Society. Accessed October 21, 2023.
  11. “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee.” The Fortune Society. Accessed October 21, 2023.
  12. “Meet Our Partners.” The Fortune Society. Accessed October 21, 2023.
  13. “History.” The Fortune Society. Accessed October 21, 2023.
  14. “JoAnne Page.” LinkedIn. Accessed October 21, 2023.
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: June - May
  • Tax Exemption Received: June 1, 1969

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2021 Jun Form 990 $41,268,534 $39,047,482 $19,683,060 $10,356,678 N $37,674,334 $3,319,846 $2,196 $969,027
    2020 Jun Form 990 $39,833,881 $38,951,849 $16,630,898 $9,526,452 N $36,135,043 $3,122,954 $415 $1,078,845 PDF
    2019 Jun Form 990 $34,574,097 $34,437,220 $15,409,655 $9,188,201 Y $31,701,155 $2,568,856 $1,480 $1,038,993 PDF
    2018 Jun Form 990 $34,591,065 $34,308,413 $14,906,596 $8,821,057 Y $31,863,341 $2,482,013 $1,372 $1,046,171 PDF
    2017 Jun Form 990 $31,206,501 $30,484,060 $12,315,355 $6,382,088 N $28,170,691 $2,653,907 $1,454 $994,090 PDF
    2016 Jun Form 990 $26,983,053 $26,918,304 $10,042,444 $4,830,171 N $24,569,584 $2,123,475 $1,837 $1,117,137 PDF
    2015 Jun Form 990 $24,627,588 $24,520,464 $10,828,764 $5,682,081 N $22,207,131 $2,149,748 $1,198 $763,609 PDF
    2014 Jun Form 990 $11,799,621 $12,142,472 $10,797,694 $5,758,589 N $11,233,495 $473,856 $578 $469,695 PDF
    2013 Dec Form 990 $22,336,783 $21,699,850 $11,435,940 $6,053,984 N $21,015,162 $1,151,952 $968 $1,078,339 PDF
    2012 Dec Form 990 $19,032,603 $18,912,955 $9,244,225 $4,499,202 N $17,543,388 $1,411,526 $763 $794,812 PDF
    2011 Dec Form 990 $18,153,296 $18,005,498 $8,025,413 $3,400,038 N $16,470,137 $1,575,837 $5,329 $912,441 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Fortune Society

    Long Island City, NY