A Small Investment in the Future

Your Single Contribution Helps 38 Law Related Charitable Programs

by Nancy Norsworthy

The Oklahoma Bar Foundation is a shining example of the commitment of Oklahoma lawyers to the profession and to the people of Oklahoma. OBF is the third oldest state bar foundation in the Nation, something all Oklahoma lawyers can take pride in. Since its inception in 1946, the OBF has awarded more than $10 million. During the 2012 grant cycle, with your help we plan to add $500,400 to that total. This amazing record of professional and community support is possible because of the continuing generosity and commitment of Fellows and other donors, like you.

Fellows are lifetime members of the Oklahoma Bar Foundation; core supporters who believe in the value of justice and the importance of the OBF’s leadership and charitable work. OBF remains committed to the support of programs and organizations that are enhancing the rule of law, the administration of justice and our legal system; providing critically needed legal assistance to the poor and underserved; providing safe haven for the abused; and educating the public and school children on the rule of law and system of justice. This year OBF is partnering with 38 law-related charitable groups to provide services all across Oklahoma on your behalf.

While all OBA members in good standing are also OBF members, members contribute nothing to OBF. When you pay your OBA dues you are not making a contribution to OBF unless you specifically make a voluntary OBF contribution on your dues statement. Fellows of the OBF provide support to the Foundation by agreeing to make annual contributions of $100 for ten years. Sustaining Fellows have contributed $1,000 and continue to make a $100 annual gift. Benefactor Fellows have paid $1,000 and continue to make a $300 annual gift at the highest giving level. OBF Fellowship is but a small investment in the future.

How important are Fellows? While none of us can predict the future vagaries of the market or even the short-term economic picture, OBF Fellows provide the one consistent steady revenue source for grant awards. The down economy continues to contribute to increasing numbers of Oklahomans eligible for assistance making OBF grant awards even more important. During 2011 OBF received $348,130 in interest from the trust accounts of Oklahoma lawyers and received $121,300 in Fellows contributions. OBF was able to increase the 2011 grant award total by 10% through a generous cy pres award and a total of $600,197 in grants and scholarships were awarded in 2011.

Your single Fellows contribution will help tens of thousands of Oklahomans. The Oklahoma Bar Foundation is uniquely qualified to handle and distribute funds through our outstanding Grants & Awards process, which provides an added level of oversight for your money. All of this is done on behalf of all Oklahoma lawyers and Your participation is key to the success of grant programs.

Oklahomans are among the most empathetic and generous donors in the Nation and Oklahoma attorneys can help to lead the way through membership in the OBF Fellows Program.

Nancy Norsworthy is executive director of the Oklahoma Bar Foundation and can be reached at nancyn@okbar.org or (405) 416-7070.