Feasibility Study

STATEMENT OF INTENT

Since 1971, the South Carolina Bar Foundation has awarded more than $50 million to various law-related organizations throughout South Carolina. The SC Bar Foundation is a philanthropic non-profit organization in SC that provides financial support to civil legal aid, administration of justice, and law-related education programs.  The mission of the SC Bar Foundation is to promote justice by funding legal access and education. Ultimately, the SC Bar Foundation plays a key role in having a significant impact on life in South Carolina especially for those in need.

While the SC Bar Foundation has been successful in the last 48 years to grow the vision and mission of the organization and support many worthy non-profits, since the downturn in 2009, individual funding, including IOLTA, has also taken a downturn and the percentage of donations from individually licensed attorneys continues to be low. There are many generous donors to the SC Bar Foundation but the gap to fill is wide.

The SC Bar Foundation’s Board and staff have determined that a major fundraising campaign should be launched to build the capital and reserve necessary to continue to support the grantee organizations. Although funds from IOLTA support the SC Bar Foundation’s mission, interest rates have stayed low and are threatening to go lower. This means less funding. The need still far outweighs the capacity of legal services programs funded by the Foundation. Working together, we can do more to meet the legal needs of the state’s most vulnerable populations. The goal of the campaign would be two-fold: to raise the funds needed to support the solicitation of capital and reserve but also to increase the number of donors and percentage of donations from individual attorneys throughout the state.

Donors to the SC Bar Foundation are not only contributing to the Foundation but supporting the grantee organizations.  If the SC Bar Foundation can support these organizations at higher levels, then the grantee organizations can focus more on their work and mission rather than raising money. 

The SC Bar Foundation wants to work with the community and members to bring about positive change for the state. To do so, we need our programs and grantee partners granted funding, in perpetuity.