The Important Work of our Nonprofit Partners


By Meredith S. Auten, Acting President of the Philadelphia Bar Foundation

The Philadelphia Bar Foundation’s Grants Committee recently wrapped up its annual interviews with the Executive Directors of our 36 nonprofit partners. These interviews are always incredibly inspiring and humbling. Philadelphia is so fortunate have such a vast community of dedicated individuals and nonprofit organizations committed to making a change in the City, the state, and around the country. 

To give you an idea of the impact these organizations have had on our community in the past year, here is a just a glimpse of the work of some of our nonprofit partners:

  • The Education Law Center and the Public Interest Law Center are gearing up to fight for fair funding for Pennsylvania schools in the State Supreme Court. 
  • HIAS Pennsylvania and Nationalities Service Center have been working to resettle Afghan refugees arriving in Philadelphia.
  • Consumer Bankruptcy Assistance Project formed a partnership with Peace Under Pressure to help survivors of domestic violence feel empowered with regard to their finances.
  • The Juvenile Law Center and Youth Sentencing & Reentry Project, along with other youth organizations and advocates, formed the Care, Not Control Coalition to end youth incarceration in Pennsylvania. 
  • Philadelphia Legal Assistance launched a website to help Pennsylvanians navigate the state’s new unemployment claims website.
  • The Public Interest Law Center, CeasefirePA, and the City of Philadelphia, along with pro bono partners and a coalition of medical professionals, filed a lawsuit challenging Pennsylvania’s Firearm Preemption Laws. 
  • The United States Department of Justice lauded Philadelphia’s Eviction Diversion Program, adopted by the City in partnership with a coalition of our nonprofit partners including Community Legal Services and Good Shepherd Mediation Program, as a national model.
  • Public Interest Law Center successfully reversed a restriction by the Small Business Administration that prevented business owners with criminal records from receiving Paycheck Protection Program loans. 

The facts speak for themselves – these organizations are making life-changing impacts on the Philadelphia community every day. The Bar Foundation is proud to be a source of unrestricted funding for these organizations. The unrestricted grants that the Bar Foundation provides allow our nonprofit partners to pursue an array of strategies in order to best serve the direct needs of their clients and develop winning and innovative impact litigation tactics. In addition, such flexibility allows legal aid leaders to respond to changing circumstances and pressing needs. 

If you would like to learn more about the Bar Foundation’s grantmaking or about our nonprofit partners, or want to contribute to fund our unrestricted grants, please visit our website.

A big thank you to our nonprofit partners for living the motto of equal access to justice!