Foundation board approves new grant program, policies

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The Florida Bar Foundation’s board of directors approved a new grant program and two new policies at its December 2022 board meeting. The grant program will provide funds to support training qualified legal service providers. The board also approved an amended Foundation Master Investment Policy Statement to include an IOTA Collections Account as well as a Gift Administration Policy for non-IOTA gifts.

Hon. Suzanne Van Wyk

Hon. Suzanne Van Wyk

“The Foundation is grateful for the hard work of our committees and board members who spend months and sometimes years researching and drafting policies that will support and further the aims of our organization,” Judge Suzanne Van Wyk, the Foundation’s president, says. “Our new policies and the training program are most certainly valuable additions.”

The Foundation’s new Training Grant Program will provide applicants periodic opportunities to apply for funding to train qualified legal service providers to better enable them to provide services to meet the legal needs of people in Florida. Grant applications will be accepted on a rolling, as-needed basis and funded on a quarterly basis. Trainings must be provided by qualified grantee organizations and funds must be used to develop and deliver trainings on topics useful to providers in the areas of shelter; health and safety; protective and corrective security; and/or family, community and legal stability. Although there are no minimum or maximum amounts established, the grants are designed to be limited in nature and are expected to range from $10,000 to $30,000.

The amended investment policy establishes an IOTA Collections Account to invest IOTA collections received by the Foundation pursuant to Rule 5.1-1(g) Interest on Trust Accounts Program, Florida Rules Regulating the Florida Bar. Investment objectives for the IOTA Collections Account will be to preserve the IOTA collections, maintain liquidity and provide income for the benefit of the IOTA Program. The IOTA account will be kept separate from other Foundation investment accounts and allow for all IOTA funds collected within a fiscal year to be distributed no later than 6 months after such fiscal year. In addition, the IOTA Collections Account has new cash receipts every month and those will be invested at least monthly.

The new Gift Administration Policy establishes transparent policies and procedures regarding the use of gifts received by the Foundation, addresses donor interests and contributes to the financial sustainability of the Foundation by retaining a small portion of gifts to pay administrative and operating expenses. The policy does not apply to IOTA funds collected by the Foundation or in-kind gifts made to the Foundation.