December 2008 • Vol. 28 No. 11 | An E-Publication of the Los Angeles County Bar Association

Donate Now during Bar Foundation’s Annual Fund Drive

Your gift will make a difference.

Yes, it’s that time—the time of year for giving. Mailings and e-mails from every charitable cause imaginable pour in requesting your support. But have you stopped to consider which law-related charities will benefit from your generosity before this year ends? Wouldn’t you like to assist a number of worthy organizations with just one easy payment or pledge? You can do so right now with a gift to the Los Angeles County Bar Foundation. 

The Bar Foundation was established many years ago by visionary leaders of the Bar Association in the hope that it would become a valuable community resource, and it has—granting nearly $7 million to legal services programs serving Los Angeles County over the past quarter century alone. If you are a member of the Bar Association, this is your Foundation, and through it, you can make a difference.

The Foundation makes grants the four LACBA-operated projects: Barristers AIDS Legal Services Project, Barristers Domestic Violence Legal Services Project, Dispute Resolution Services Inc., and Immigration Legal Assistance Project. The LACBA projects rely heavily on the Foundation’s financial support to help defray operating expenses. Of the $298,424 granted by the Foundation during fiscal year 2007-08, grants to the four LACBA projects totaled $217,050 (73 percent).

The Foundation also provides much-needed funds to numerous other highly respected projects serving Los Angeles County in the areas of children’s rights, disability rights, domestic violence, education of youth about their rights and responsibilities under the law, family law, free legal clinics, immigration, and mental health. A Foundation grant of $1,000 or more not only directly assists such organizations but also provides the indirect benefit of giving added credibility to those recipients when they seek grants from other funding sources.

Your donation will become part of the pool of funds the Foundation awards to projects that 1) provide free or low-cost legal services to needy individuals, 2) aim to improve the administration of justice, and 3) teach the public about the law and its responsibilities. (Note: The Foundation does not fund scholarships or individual efforts.) 

The Foundation’s grants support legal services projects that have helped people like:

Alicia, an eight-year-old girl who was denied treatment when her dentist found out she was HIV-positive.

Sue, a 21-year-old mother whose batterer was arrested twice but didn’t seek a restraining order until after the batterer completed an anger management class and then held a gun to her head.

Ronaldo, who was unable to receive the benefits he needed because the immigration service had the wrong name on his legal permanent residency card and wouldn’t change it.

Served by a 42-member board of volunteer directors, the Foundation enjoys an ongoing relationship with its grant recipients, submits them to a rigorous grant application process, and monitors their operations and services. You make the donation, and the Foundation does the legwork. Rest assured—Your donation will be put to good use.

Grant requests always exceed funds available. Each year, grant requests are far greater than the amount of funds available. Public sector funding has been drastically reduced or eliminated for many programs, and more are turning to private sector funding sources like the Foundation. Given the current state of the economy, most charitable organizations are bracing for a possible decrease in charitable donations just when services are most needed. Your contribution is more important than ever this year.

During last year’s fund drive, the Foundation raised approximately $351,000 by sending letters and making phone calls to individual attorneys, law firms, foundations, and other entities as well as appealing to LACBA members to include a modest donation when paying their annual dues. This effort enabled the Foundation to award grants to 24 organizations, increase the size of its endowment fund, and cover its operating expenses. However, grant requests for the same period totaled more than $540,000.

Helping is easy.

1) Include the $35 voluntary contribution to the Foundation when paying your annual LACBA dues. If your firm pays your dues but not the contribution, please include a personal check payable to the Los Angeles County Bar Foundation. (You can give more or less than $35 as your situation allows.) Consider this: If every LACBA member donated just the $35 suggested on the dues statement, and the Foundation received no other contributions from any other sources, there would be enough money to fund every grant applicant in full. You also may use LACBA’s online shopping cart at onlinestore.lacba.org to donate to the Foundation via credit card.

2) Send a check directly to the Foundation office. Tax-deductible contributions may be mailed to the Los Angeles County Bar Foundation, PO Box 55020, Los Angeles, CA 90055-2020.

3) To make an electronic credit card donation, go to www.lacba.org/foundation and click on the DONATE NOW button.

4) Call Linda Stude, Foundation Administrator, at (213) 896-6409 for information about pledge programs, installment payments, credit card contributions, or service on the Board of Directors.

For more information, go to www.lacba.org/foundation or e-mail lstude@lacba.org.
 




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