Unified Giving: Progress for Legal Aid Support


President's Monthly Column - June 2018

By Thomas A. Brophy, president emeritus at Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin, P.C., and president of the Philadelphia Bar Foundation.

Throughout the year, the Philadelphia Bar Foundation engages in an intense effort to discover ways to maximize the delivery of civil legal aid to those in need. As I have discussed before in this column, we are currently approaching law firm fundraising with a new donation structure in mind – a Unified Approach to Giving.

This approach requests an annual commitment from law firms of a one-time gift that provides support to the Foundation for the whole year. There are many reasons why this is beneficial, and we hope that all Philadelphia law firms, large and small, will support us in this model.

At this point in 2018, six months into the year, the Foundation is proud to announce that we have received more than $200,000 in pledges from our Unified Giving partners. We are extremely thankful for those who have participated in this effort to-date:

• Ballard Spahr LLP
• Blank Rome LLP
• Boni, Zack & Snyder LLC
• Cozen O'Connor
• Dechert LLP
• Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP
• Duane Morris LLP
• Duffy + Partners
• Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg & Jeck, P.C.
• Feldman Shepherd Wohlgelernter Tanner Weinstock Dodig LLP
• Fox Rothschild LLP
• Gay & Chacker
• Hangley Aronchick Segal Pudlin & Schiller
• Kline & Specter, PC
• Kohn Swift & Graf, P.C.
• Marks, O'Neill, O'Brien, Doherty & Kelly, P.C.
• Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin, P.C.
• Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
• Pepper Hamilton LLP
• Raynes Lawn Hehmeyer
• Saltz, Mongeluzzi, Barrett & Bendesky, P.C.
• Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP
• White and Williams LLP
• Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP

During this transition year as we move into to the Unified Approach to Giving, which is a departure from an event-based fundraising model, we will be holding our 30th Annual Golf and Tennis Classic on Monday, June 11 at the Union League Golf Club at Torresdale. It is shaping up to be a terrific event with some new features, including an afternoon golf clinic. Most of the firms that have contributed to Unified Giving have been especially generous in supporting this golf and tennis event as part of their pledge.

Many firms have also specified financial support for our 2018 Access to Justice event as part of their pledge. This year’s event will be held on Thursday, Nov. 8, and we will have more details soon.

Our community’s involvement and support in these events is appreciated and I look forward to joining you there.

The Unified Approach to Giving does not influence individual contributions, which are a substantial part of the Philadelphia Bar Foundation’s revenue through the year. Every individual donor who gives a gift to the Foundation is valued. There are many worthy organizations to donate to in Philadelphia, and we appreciate each gift we receive in every amount.

And so, with a great start should come a great finish. We will continue to make additional efforts to increase the amount of Unified Giving pledges received to provide unrestricted grants to our nonprofit partners who serve low-income individuals and families in Philadelphia with the civil legal assistance needed to address crucial problems affecting their lives.

The Philadelphia Bar Foundation is grateful for all the support we receive, every year, and especially as we move forward in this new partnership model with our supporters. Thank you for your service to us and to our nonprofit partners.