College Columns May 2018 - Page 6

as President of the College, and likewise Jim Baillie, who has so ably led our grant-making pro bono committee for four years.

I know all Fellows join me in thanking Mark and Jim for their wonderful service. They are impossible acts to follow!

There is ample evidence of the fruits of their efforts, and those of so many who served with them on the Foundation board and as Circuit Campaign Chairs. In calendar year 2017, total donations to the Foundation eclipsed $300,000 for the second consecutive year, exceeding our (concededly conservative) goal by more than five percent. And this in a very challenging year, as there were so many other (and some unpredictable) demands on our Fellows' charitable dollars.

There nonetheless is work we can and must do to improve our fundraising results. Our average gift level, from those who contribute, continues to improve. But there remain some Circuits (you know who you are!) where participation levels, measured as a percentage of the total number of Fellows actually making donations to the Foundation, remain far too low.

Our Circuit Campaign Chairs will be working tirelessly to improve even further on every front, including the number of Fellows who meet our "One Billable Hour" donation goal and, better yet, are willing to join our Four Figure Club.

As Mark emphasized in his last Column, we also are focused keenly on other means of (financially) bolstering the Foundation's charitable mission. This is the mission of our Development Committee, which remains hard at

work on various initiatives, including ensuring that our Fellows consider making gifts through their retirement funds (as required withdrawals might become due); seeking available and appropriate grants from creditor trusts, as well as corporate foundations; and encouraging non-cash contributions (via securities or elsewise) from those who would prefer to support the Foundation in that manner.

I of course encourage, and implore, all of you to continue to do what you can to support the Foundation.

And that's more than enough on the fundraising part of my new assignment. The incredibly hard work is deciding how to spend the money we are blessed to raise.

A good friend to all, Janet Bostwick has taken the reins from Jim as chair of the pro bono committee. This has become an increasingly challenging assignment. Each year, the number of grant applications far exceeds the funds we have on hand to distribute. The task, as a result, is to cull many worthy applications down to those we can, and should, support. Jim's committee admirably shouldered that difficult task, as will Janet's.

I look forward so much to working with all of our Fellows to promote and accomplish the good mission of the Foundation. And with advanced apologies, expect me to make a complete pest of myself. We need your support!

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The Foundation has had a wonderful year – in fact, a wonderful several years. That is due to the efforts of so many, but first and foremost our retiring Chair, Mark Bloom, who has moved on to his new leadership role

Looking Back –

and Looking Forward

Paul E. Harner, Ballard Spahr LLP

Chair, ACB Foundation