The Florida Bar Foundation Fact Sheet
Mission: To provide greater access to justice through grant programs and initiatives that:
- Expand and improve representation and advocacy for low-income persons in civil legal matters
- Improve the fair and effective administration of justice; and
- Promote service to the public by members of the legal profession by making public service an
integral component of the law school experience.
IOTA: Authorized by the Florida Supreme Court to administer the Interest on Trust Accounts Program; 2019-20 IOTA revenue was $15.2 million.
Established: 1956 to foster law-related public interest programs; a 501(c)(3) public charity.
Total Charitable Activities in FY 2019-20: $12.1 million ($11.5 million in grants and $614,750 in program-related expenses)
Total Investments Since 1982: $526.2 million ($512.8 million in grants and $13.4 million in program-related expenses).
2020-21 Management and General and Fundraising budget: $2.1 million, a 3.2% reduction from the FY 2019-20 budget. 13.5 FTE staff
Legal Aid cases handled by grantees in calendar year 2019: 99,375. The Florida Bar Foundation is the only funder linking more than 40 legal services programs in Florida.
Children’s Legal Services grants awarded in FY 2020: $1,113,075 for 11 projects. 100% of donations to Children’s Legal Services (CLS) on The Florida Bar Fee statement go to CLS grants.
Economic Impact: A 2016 study found that civil legal assistance generated $7 of economic impact for every $1 spent on legal aid by federal, state and local governments, The Florida Bar Foundation, grants from community foundations and charitable donations. It also created 2,243 jobs outside of legal aid.
Improving Florida’s Justice System: The Foundation’s Improvements in the Administration of Justice (AOJ)
Grant Program has historically provided funding in four areas:
• Improvement in the operation and management of the court system
• Improvement and reform of the criminal, civil and juvenile justice systems
• Public education and understanding about the law, including law-related education
• Promotion and support for public interest legal representation.
The Foundation currently funds the Innocence Project of Florida, which exonerates wrongly convicted people, Florida’s Children First, which works to improve the child welfare system, and Legal Aid Service of Broward County’s restorative justice project for foster youth.
Technology and Pro Bono: FloridaProBonoMatters.org, created and funded by the Foundation, currently hosts more than 275 pro bono cases from 34 legal aid organizations, and more than 500 interest forms were submitted by lawyers in FY 2019-20. The site displays pro bono opportunities statewide. Its spinoff, the Florida Pro Bono Law School Challenge, matched law students and lawyers on 200 unique cases.
FloridaNameChange.org, a free service to help Floridians update their legal name and gender marker, had 17,856 requests for documents in FY 2019-20.
Turning18.org helps foster children and those with developmental disabilities prepare for becoming legal adults.
Fundraising: In 2019-20, 4,866 individuals, organizations and corporations contributed 6,100 gifts to the Foundation totalling $890,204. Our core supporters are our Fellows, those who pledge $1,000 to become lifetime members of the Foundation. The Foundation also offers planned giving options and receives cy pres awards from state and federal cases.