December 2009 • Vol. 29 No. 11 | An E-Publication of the Los Angeles County Bar Association

Bar Foundation’s Annual Fund Campaign Needs Your Donation Today

Your gift really does make a difference. Click here.

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 LACBA leaders 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 LACBA member, this is your foundation, and through it, you can make a difference.

The Foundation makes grants to the four LACBA-operated projects: Barristers AIDS Legal Services Project, the Domestic Violence Legal Services Project, Dispute Resolution Services Inc., and the Immigration Legal Assistance Project. These projects rely heavily on the Foundation’s financial support to help defray operating expenses. Of the $183,795 granted by the Foundation during fiscal year 2008-09, grants to the four LACBA projects totaled $137,545 (74.8 percent).

The Foundation also provides much-needed funds to numerous other highly respected projects serving Los Angeles County that have helped families, children, men, and women throughout the 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.)

Served by a 41-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 second round of possible decreases in charitable donations just when services are most needed. Your contribution is more important than ever for 2009-10.

During last year’s fund drive, the Foundation raised approximately $272,000 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 25 organizations, increase the size of its endowment fund, and cover its operating expenses. However, grant requests for the same period totaled almost $490,000.

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.

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. Make an electronic donation using your credit card by going to www.lacbf.org and clicking on the DONATE NOW button.

4. Consider a tribute donation “in honor of” Foundation Administrator Linda Stude, who is retiring in December after 22+ years of service. During her tenure, Linda worked with many volunteer board members and scores of law-related non-profits seeking funding from the Foundation. Due in large part to her diligence and ability to motivate donors and volunteers alike, the Foundation has distributed grants totaling more than $6.2 million since the 1988 grant year. Please indicate “In Honor of Linda Stude” near the top of the contribution form and mail it with your check to LACBF, PO Box 55020, Los Angeles, CA 90055-2020. You may also make a tribute donation online via credit card by visiting www.lacbf.org and clicking on DONATE NOW.

5. Call Foundation Executive Director Ivan Price 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.lacbf.org or e-mail iprice@lacba.org.
 




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