October 2012 Bar Bulletin
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From the Desk of the Executive Director

Our Bar Foundation: Raising Money for Pro Bono & Diversity

By Andrew Prazuch

Last month in this column I reviewed how the King County Bar Association raises and spends its financial resources in support of our mission of justice, professionalism and service. One source of funds that may have surprised you was the King County Bar Foundation, our sister organization, which provides 27% of our overall funding each year. After membership dues, it's the next largest source of funds. Given that importance, I thought I'd give you some more details about KCBF.

The Foundation was created in 1987 as an Internal Revenue Service-designated, charitable nonprofit corporation. It is governed by an appointed board of 23 trustees who have the fiduciary responsibility for raising voluntary donations to support the Association's pro bono and diversity programming.

Donations to KCBF, which are tax deductible, are granted to KCBA to help underwrite the costs of our pro bono and diversity efforts, which benefit the general public. In addition to the KCBA grant, KCBF grants $62,500 annually to both the University of Washington and Seattle University schools of law for minority law student scholarships.

Each year we raise $1 million through our foundation. A third of that amount comes from an annual grant received from the Legal Foundation of Washington. LFW annual revenues come from a combination of IOLTA funds, Washington State Office of Civil Legal Aid funds, and proceeds from the statewide Campaign for Equal Justice (and occasional special funding sources).

The next third of our KCBF revenue comes from our annual Breakfast with Champions fundraising event, held each spring and now the largest annual gathering (1,000-plus attendees) of attorneys in the Pacific Northwest. We invite a prominent keynote speaker each year to help attract a large number of potential donors. You may remember our 2011 speaker, Jeffrey Toobin from CNN, and our 2012 speaker, Mara Liasson from NPR. The 2013 event is coming up on Tuesday, March 19, with the keynote speaker to be announced soon.

The final portion of KCBF revenue comes from a variety of sources, including a share of proceeds from the annual joint King County law firm campaign. KCBF partners on the campaign with LAW Fund, KCBA dues checkoff donations, and a giving circle program that encourages bar supporters to make larger individual gifts over several years.

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