Attorney M. Ann Anderson (second from right), a volunteer member of the North Carolina Bar Foundation’s Endowment Committee, meets with the staff of the Children's Law Center of Central North Carolina.

EndowmentTicker February 2019 9

Site visits let members see the impact of NCBF Endowment Funds “one child at a time.”

That’s how staff at the Children’s Law Center of Central North Carolina prefer to think about their work. Measuring success, however, means meticulously tracking the case outcomes of the 227 children involved in high-conflict custody and domestic violence cases in central North Carolina in the past six months.

Attorney M. Ann Anderson, a volunteer member of the North Carolina Bar Foundation’s Endowment Committee, recently had an opportunity to review outcome data from the Children’s Law Center, ask questions and reflect on how North Carolina Bar Foundation Endowment funding impacts the lives of those children. Anderson is one of more than a dozen NCBF Endowment Committee members conducting site visits to endowment grantees across the state this winter.

“While I had read the CLC’s reports and reviewed other information before our visit, actually speaking with Iris and Susan, touring their offices, and meeting a volunteer helped bring the organization to life for me.”
M. Ann Anderson

Members of the NCBF Endowment Committee regularly engage in grantee site visits as a mechanism for understanding challenges, building relationships, and sharing the successes of the organizations that receive NCBF Endowment grants.

During Anderson’s site visit with the Children’s Law Center, CLC Executive Director Iris Sunshine explained that support from the NCBF Endowment is instrumental to ensuring program effectiveness and proven outcomes. The CLC’s partnership with the NCBF Endowment, enhances its credibility and boosts its success in securing donors and volunteers. NCBF Endowment funds help diversify funding streams for programs that rely on increasingly competitive grant funds.

Legal Aid of North Carolina, another NCBF Endowment grantee, relies on donor support of the Endowment’s LANC Fund to fund programs and staff that provide critical legal services to indigent North Carolinians statewide. Nick Fountain, NCBF Endowment Committee member, conducted a site visit of LANC’s Eviction Diversion Program. With the support of a $20,000 grant, LANC started the Eviction Division Program to reduce homelessness in a measurable way. The achievements of that program have allowed LANC to leverage over $300,000 in support from other sources, including municipalities eager to reduce evictions and ease the burden on local emergency services.

“In sum, the multiplier effect of the money, plus the very positive pro bono recruitment numbers, combined with the significant interest in [expanding to] other cities in North Carolina, make this LANC program a winner.”
Nick Fountain

NCBF Endowment Committee site visits are meant to accomplish several things:

  • Strengthen the relationships NCBF has with current grantees in the hopes that the NCBF can share their stories and communicate the impact to stakeholders and the public;
  • Gain insights into the work being done by Endowment grantees to bolster NCBF Fund development efforts; and
  • Help fulfill the Endowment Committee’s oversight responsibilities, in conjunction with review of grantee status reports.

During site visits, members asked NCBF Endowment grantees about needs they have beyond financial resources. CLC Executive Director Iris Sunshine expressed sincere gratitude for financial support and said the CLC also needs pro bono attorneys interested in volunteer opportunities. Pro bono volunteers and help distributing program information topped NCBF Endowment grantees’ list of non-financial requests this year.

Getting a first-hand look at a program that is offering a valuable service in the community can be a very satisfying experience.
“Visiting the Children’s Law Center made me fully aware of how the NCBF is contributing to the success of very worthwhile organizations,” Anderson said. “The visit also reinforced that all gifts, regardless of size, can make a difference in ways that are greater than the size of the gift.”

Learn more about the NC Bar Foundation’s Endowment and how you can donate to help support organizations like the Children’s Law Center and Legal Aid of North Carolina.