York County Bar Foundation
The York County Bar Foundation’s competitive grantmaking program provides grants to charitable organizations and governmental entities for programs and services which focuses on these priorities:
- Provision of assistance for legal services to the poor,
- Understanding of the legal system in the community,
- Improving respect for the law and legal system.
In early 2007, the Foundation convened the Grants Task Force to develop a plan to address priorities of the Foundation/ Association Strategic Plan to allocate resources (financial and human) that would increase the impact and visibility of charitable activities by the Bar Foundation / Association and the legal community. In coming months the Task Force met with community resource people (including YorkCounts and Metro York leadership), researched existing community programs / potential partners and considered “best practices” for grant making including impact and sustainability.
In June 2007 the Foundation and Association boards endorsed the Task Force’s recommendations to focus on the following strategic initiatives:
· Understanding of / respect for the law, with special attention to youth
· Diversity, including encouraging minorities to pursue law-related careers, increasing minority professionals and paraprofessionals in local law firms and building a diverse community of people living in harmony with one another.
These are in addition to continued financial and volunteer support for legal
services to disadvantaged citizens, primarily MidPenn Legal Services.
The Foundation Board also endorsed the Task Force recommendation to reserve approximately 2/3 of the Foundation grants budget for special initiatives, with the balance available for funding competitive grants applications related to the Foundation’s broader interests. Subsequently, the following grants were awarded through the competitive grants program:
· $1000 to Leave A Legacy to encourage charitable giving through bequests and planned gifts
· $4000 to PA Immigration Resource Center for legal services for indigent non-citizens
· $400 to York County Literacy Council to purchase citizenship materials for adult literacy program
· $1500 to Y.O.U.T.H. Program, Inc. to support program working with at-risk youth in a rural setting
In early September 2007 the Foundation authorized engaging Lise Levin, consultant, to work with the Task Force and appropriate committees in the coming months to develop a plan to address the Strategic Plan priorities re: increased community impact and visibility. The results of the first phase of the work – to assess members’ interests and current activities –confirmed that committees are very supportive of the strategic initiatives and much current activity falls within these areas. It also confirmed the need for the next phase of the work in the coming months – developing a template to evaluate opportunities / measure success, creating the structure to coordinate activities under a unified plan (including budgeting), developing an internal and external communications plan.
If you are interested in applying for a grant, please contact us.