Late in the fall of 1964 a group of Philadelphia Bar leaders convened to found the Philadelphia Bar Foundation. The new organization represented the charitable impulses of the Philadelphia legal community, and still does. In its almost 50 years of existence, the Bar Foundation has funded dozens of legal services organizations that use the law to address some of our society’s most pressing issues. Over $10.5 million has been granted to uphold the promise of justice and equality for all Philadelphians, especially those struggling with poverty, abuse and discrimination.
The Bar Foundation is the steward of an endowment that currently totals more than six million dollars. This restricted pool of money represents years of support from members of the Andrew Hamilton Circle, the Hamilton Circle Life Fellows and the Advocates of the Justice, committed individuals—attorneys and non-attorneys alike—who have made long-term pledges to the fundamental principle that everyone should have access to legal services to help them assert their rights. The goal of this restricted fund is to be a stable source of income for the annual grants made by the Bar Foundation each year.
The efforts of the Bar Foundation to support the work of the justice system in service to the public interest not only benefit the community at large, but also the legal profession itself. Each time a vulnerable member of our community gets help from the work of an attorney, the legal profession grows in stature.
The Philadelphia Bar Foundation By the Numbers:
- $11,000,000 in annual grants given
- Over 500 Individual donors annually
- More than 400 members of multi-year giving circles who have pledged to give each year for 3, 10 or 25 years to build the Bar Foundation’s endowment in excess of $7,000,000
- Thirty four years of hosting the Philadelphia legal community’s premier charitable event, The Andrew Hamilton Gala, netting more than $850,000 from law firms and individuals to support legal services; 25 year of running successful Golf Classic fundraisers