Since its formation in 1987, the North Carolina Bar Foundation Endowment has provided over $6 million in grant funding to high-impact public service and pro bono programs and projects across the state, including legal aid organizations, civic education programs, community service initiatives, and programs that enhance professionalism. Endowment support is generated through the creation of Endowment Funds and Memorial Gifts, as well as Platt D. Walker Society planned giving commitments.
North Carolina Bar Association members secure their legacies and honor their colleagues through the creation of North Carolina Bar Foundation Endowment Funds, which directly support annual endowment grants that are awarded to programs and projects that further the mission, vision and values of the NCBF.
Endowment Funds honor individual North Carolina lawyers and judges, living or deceased, whose careers have exemplified the Foundation’s values of access to justice, service through the profession, civic education and professionalism. Honorees must be members of the North Carolina Bar Association in good standing with the North Carolina State Bar.
Gifts in creation of an Endowment Fund will be accepted in accordance with the NC Bar Foundation’s Gift Acceptance Policy. Planned gifts (“legacy gifts”) may not be used to establish an Endowment Fund of a living honoree. A planned gift may be designated to an existing Endowment Fund that has been previously established through cash gifts and pledges. A planned gift may be directed to establish an Endowment Fund in honor of an attorney or judge upon the gift’s realization.
The NCBF offers three types of Funds through which a lawyer or judge may be recognized and honored: Justice Funds, Lawyer Impact Funds and Liberty Funds.
A Justice Fund is a named Endowment Fund established with a minimum of $50,000 in commitments intended to bolster the Foundation’s unrestricted endowment, which makes annual awards to programmatic purposes in line with the Foundation’s mission, vision and values, subject to the approval of the NCBF Executive and Volunteer Leadership. A Justice Fund is established with a gift from a single contributor or with significant gifts made by a group of colleagues, friends or family members in recognition and celebration of the honoree. NCBF development staff will support Fund development by assisting in the identification and cultivation of 10 – 15 lead donors to ensure that the minimum of $50,000 is secured.
A Justice Fund honoree is recognized at a Fund dedication event that may be held once the Foundation has received at least 50% of the Fund’s minimum commitment in cash gifts; the balance of the fund may be established through pledges paying out over no more than five years. The Fund honoree will be commemorated with a copper-etched portrait hung at the North Carolina Bar Center.
Lawyer Impact Funds are named Endowment Funds established with a minimum gift of $25,000 restricted to legal services programs that promote the Foundation’s values of access to justice, pro bono service, civic education and/or professionalism.
Lawyer Impact Funds are established with a commitment from a single contributor in recognition of the alignment of their philanthropic interests with the Foundation’s core values. Lawyer Impact Fund commitments may be fulfilled over five years.
Lawyer Impact Funds are recognized annually at a dedication event as part of the North Carolina Bar Association Annual Meeting in June, as well as commemorated in a display at the NC Bar Center.
Liberty Funds are named Endowment Funds established with a minimum unrestricted gift of $10,000 to the Endowment. A Liberty Fund is a named fund that is established with a gift from a single contributor in recognition and celebration of the honoree. NCBF development staff will support Liberty Fund development by assisting in the identification and cultivation of honorees.
A Liberty Fund is established once the Foundation has received at least 50% of the Fund’s minimum commitment in cash gifts; the balance of the fund may be committed through pledges paying out over no more than two years. Liberty Fund honorees are recognized annually at a Liberty Fund dedication event. Liberty Fund honorees will be commemorated by a glass-etched portrait on the wall in the Bar Center gardens.
With the approval of the Gift Acceptance Committee, the Foundation may accept a gift conditioned on a restricted use. Approval of a restricted fund would take into consideration the size of the gift as well as the proposed restricted purpose. Except in extraordinary circumstances, a restricted fund should create enough income off the fund’s corpus in order to fully fund the restricted purpose as well as the administrative costs of maintaining the restricted fund.