Letter From The President Of The New York Bar Foundation

2005-03-01 01:00

To The Readers Of The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel:

The New York Bar Foundation has hired Rosanne Van Heertum to be The Foundation's first full-time employee. Despite its new payroll obligation, The Foundation's cost-effectiveness and frugality will continue. The members of The Foundation's Board of Directors personally donated a total of $137,000 during 2004 to pay the expenses of Rosanne and a part-time secretary until they become self-sustaining. This article discusses the events which underlie the extraordinary generosity and leadership of The Foundation's Board.

The Strategic Plan

Over the past year, The Foundation has undertaken a study of development potential and strategies. It was the view of almost all who were interviewed that The Foundation could and should do more than it is now doing. The study resulted in the creation of a three-year strategic fundraising plan which was unanimously adopted by The Foundation's Board of Directors.

The New Director Of Development

The Foundation's Board voted to engage a full-time Director of Development to assist The Foundation in increasing its fundraising activities as well as a part-time secretary. The issue immediately presented was how The Foundation would pay for these new expenses. In this connection, The Foundation is known for its cost-effectiveness. As its Annual Reports readily demonstrate, The Foundation's expenses are minimal in relation to its revenues and assets. The result of this frugality is that contributions to The Foundation are used almost entirely for grants to benefit worthy recipients, not for overhead or administrative expenses.

The Board determined to seek donations to pay for the expenses of these two new employees until they became self-sustaining. After estimating the annual costs which The Foundation would incur for these two employees and the period of time until they are self-sustaining, The Board established a goal of $100,000 as the amount the Board would seek to raise for this purpose.

The Board's Fundraising Initiative

The strategic plan adopted by the Board called for the Board to raise some of this sum from Board members. Jim Ayers of Albany and Jonathan Blattmachr of New York City served as Co-Chairs of the task force which implemented this fundraising initiative.

As noted above, the members of the Board donated a total of $137,000 to The Foundation during 2004. This amount substantially exceeds the goal which the Board established (as well as my most optimistic expectations).

This has been a magnificent group effort by a committed Board which believes in what The Foundation is doing. All Board members agreed to participate. The largest donation was $10,000 and the average donation was approximately $5,000. The success of this initiative should inspire all of us with confidence that The Foundation can achieve the other fundraising goals which the Board has adopted.

The Members Of The Foundation's Board

I will report to you again soon on The Foundation's progress in achieving these goals. In the meantime, I would like to thank and salute The Foundation's Board of Directors, who are listed below, for this significant accomplishment: James B. Ayers, the Hon. Richard J. Bartlett, Jonathan G. Blattmachr, John P. Bracken, Patricia K. Bucklin, Cristine Cioffi, Charles E. Dorkey III, Emily F. Franchina, Maryann Saccomando Freedman, Emlyn I. Griffith, John H. Gross, Paul Michael Hassett, Frank M. Headley, Jr., John R. Horan, John J. Kenney, Steven C. Krane, Glenn Lau-Kee, Bernice K. Leber, Susan B. Lindenauer, Kay C. Murray, RobertL. Ostertag, Carla M. Palumbo, Richard Raysman, Thomas O. Rice, M. Catherine Richardson, Sanford J. Schlesinger, Lorraine Power Tharp, the Hon. Randolph F. Treece, and Lucia B. Whisenand.

Sincerely,

Robert L. Haig