December 2018 Bar Bulletin
By Andrew Prazuch
The end of the year is a time when many worthy causes seek donations to support their work. From Salvation Army Santas to Giving Trees to United Way workplace appeals, I think most of us are hard pressed to not receive an “ask” from a worthy cause.
For those of you who are considering such an appeal, I want to remind you of a cause that may not be as seasonal as the ones I just mentioned, but is nonetheless one that relies in particular on the generosity of lawyers and judges: the King County Bar Foundation.
Some might be tempted to respond, “I’ve already paid my KCBA dues, why should I send more money to the King County Bar?”So, I thought I’d use this space to offer some clarification and encouragement.
While member dues are the biggest source of revenue used to carry out the programs of the King County Bar Association, they represent about one-third of our total budget. To carry out all our priorities and programs, we need additional sources of funding. These include education program and lawyer referral fees, as well as publication sales.
But those sources of money aren’t enough to fund the public-facing programs we provide to help our entire King County community. Our largest public program is our pro bono civil legal aid services for the indigent. Some 1,000 volunteer lawyers serve 10,000 clients each year. Our other critical program is the minority law student scholarship grant we make each year to the University of Washington and Seattle University schools of law — a $140,000 pool of money is awarded each year. (Please see page 20.)
Without the additional funds that we can generate through voluntary donations to the King County Bar Foundation, our public programs would be but a shadow of what we currently accomplish. And I can assure you that we leverage the heck out of those donations. For every dollar we spend on pro bono work, for example, we are generating three dollars in legal services. I think most investment managers would say that’s a pretty decent rate of return for donors.
So. how can you help in this “year-end” season? First, if you’re already a KCBF donor, thank you. If you have some extra funds in your charitable “budget,” KCBF can always put an additional donation to good use. Perhaps you might reach into your wallet one more time for us?
If you haven’t made a contribution to the King County Bar Foundation recently, or perhaps ever before, could this be the right time for you to make a donation? Whether it’s a gift of $25, $50, $100, $200, $500 or more, every dollar is put to work in our charitable programs. It’s easy to do this online at www.kcbf.org/donate.
Finally, for those in search of a great gift idea for someone on your holiday shopping list who is hard to buy for, a donation to the King County Bar Foundation in that person’s name is a terrific present. Just indicate in the online comment field or in the memo portion of your check whom you would like to honor and we’ll contact you to make sure that the notification of the gift also goes to that person.
Your support ensures access to the justice system for those in poverty and promotes diversity in the legal profession. Please give today.
Andrew Prazuch is KCBA’s executive director.He can be reached by email (email@example.com) or phone (206-267-7061).