The New York Bar Foundation

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  • Deadlines
    • Don't miss the Law Firms Advancing Justice Campaign

      You are invited to participate in the Law Firms Advancing Justice Campaign!  Be a firm recognized by colleagues and clients for making a difference in the lives of others by practicing and promoting the rule of law.

      Participating firms will be listed on the new donor wall being created at the Bar Center, Albany NY.  Click here to sign up!

      Thank you to Hughes, Hubbard & Reed, LLP; Farrell Fritz P.C.; and Phillips Nizer LLP for being the first firms to participate!

  • Grants

    The New York Bar Foundation NEW Online Grant Application

    In an effort to streamline our process, we’ve migrated to an on-line system, offering you the opportunity to draft, save and submit your application at your convenience. Our system allows you to upload the documents that are necessary to submit your application with ease. All you need to do is create an account for your organization, and apply!

    2020 Grant Applications will be accepted August 1, 2019 through September 15, 2019.

    ** Please note, no paper applications will be accepted.

    Our mission and criteria for applications has not changed. The deadline to submit an application for a grant to be used during 2020 is September 15, 2019.

     The New York Bar Foundation solicits charitable contributions and provides funding to enhance the rule of law and the system of justice in New York. Grants are awarded in these four areas:

    • Facilitating the delivery of legal services
    • Improving the justice system and the law
    • Enhancing professional competence and ethics
    • Increasing public understanding of the law


    • Our new online application is available here.
    • Guidelines are available here.
    • Grantee reporting form here.
  • Ways to Give

    Your gift matters.

    Your gifts to The New York Bar Foundation make an important difference in helping to support charitable and educational law-related endeavors throughout New York State. Charitable contributions to The New York Bar Foundation are tax deductible, as allowed by law. Listed below are some of the ways that you can give:

    Click here to make a credit card donation online.

    A gift of cash is the easiest way to give to The Foundation. Make your check payable to THE NEW YORK BAR FOUNDATION and mail to:

    The New York Bar Foundation
     One Elk Street
     Albany, NY 12207

    Or call Foundation headquarters at 518/487-5651 to give your gift through your credit card. You may give an unrestricted gift to be used for general purposes or you may direct your gift to one or more of our Restricted Funds. Please click here to go to our Restricted Funds page for further information.

    Charitable contributions of cash are fully income tax deductible up to a maximum of 50% of your annual adjusted gross income, with a five-year carryover of any unused deduction.

    Learn more about Planned Giving here.

    The New York Bar Foundation is grateful to those members of the New York State Bar Association who contribute to The Foundation by including their gift when paying annual membership dues. All members of the New York State Bar Association are encouraged to include a charitable contribution to The Foundation when paying your membership renewal dues each year. Your voluntary tax-deductible charitable contributions help The Foundation to award grants throughout New York State to fund charitable and educational law-related programs that facilitate the delivery of legal services, improve the justice system and the law, increase public understanding of the law, and enhance professional competence and ethics.


    You can give a charitable contribution to The New York Bar Foundation as a fitting and lasting tribute to a deceased loved one or colleague. The family of the deceased will receive an acknowledgement of your gift, although the amount of your contribution will not be specified. 

    All lawyers, in whose name contributions are made, will be listed in a Foundation Memorial Book maintained at the New York State Bar Center in Albany. In addition, the names of deceased members, in whose memory bequests or contributions in the amount of $1,000 or more are made, will be permanently inscribed on a bronze plaque mounted in Memorial Hall facing the lovely courtyard at the Bar Center. 

    Such gifts will also be acknowledged in the Foundation’s Annual Report.  

    Upcoming Birthday?  Graduation?  Wedding?  Firm Anniversary?

    Oftentimes there are occasions when you would like to do “something special” to celebrate a special occasion for a loved one or colleague. Making a contribution to The New York Bar Foundation in honor of a friend, colleague or loved one on a special occasion is a fitting way to acknowledge the occasion and to support law-related charitable and educational programs. Examples of such occasions might include: the anniversary of a firm, the promotion of a colleague, receiving a special professional honor or passing the bar exam.

    The honoree will receive an acknowledgement of your gift, although the amount of your contribution will not be specified. In addition, such gifts will be acknowledged in The Foundation’s Annual Report.  


    Corporate or Firm Matching Gifts are an important way for you to maximize personal contributions to The New York Bar Foundation and will increase the impact of your gift. By taking advantage of a company’s Matching Gift Program, you may be able to double or even triple the amount of your contribution. 

    How to get your gift matched 
     Each company has its own guidelines for employees, spouses and retirees but most Matching Gift procedures are very simple and usually include the following steps:

    1.Request a Matching Gift Program form from the Human Resources Department or other appropriate department at your company or firm.

    2.Complete and submit the form to The New York Bar Foundation along with your gift. 
    3.The Foundation verifies your gift and sends the form to the proper institution. 
    4.The institution issues a Matching Gift contribution to The New York Bar Foundation.

    Completed forms should be sent with your check to:
    The New York Bar Foundation 
     One Elk Street
     Albany, NY 12207 

  • Why Give?

    When attorneys participate in The Foundation's philanthropic programs, we all play a key role in ultimately having a significant impact on life in New York State.

    The New York Bar Foundation is a philanthropic organization that provides financial support to law-related programs, scholarships and educational activities throughout New York State.

    For its current three-year strategic plan, launched in June 2018 to coincide with the term of its incoming president, Lesley Rosenthal, the Foundation selected the Rule of Law as its guiding theme.

    The rule of law is a powerful concept that can bring people together in these fractious times.  The basic idea is that governments guided by the Rule of Law provide a level playing field, evenhandedly applying a well-publicized set of laws, allowing fundamental rights to flourish, and providing other preconditions for justice to be done.

    As part of its planning process, the board of directors of the Foundation set a goal to improve rule of law adherence in New York State and sought to measure progress toward that goal.  The board determined to focus on improving access to civil justice, an area of significant concern and need, according to the World Justice Project’s Rule of Law Index. The Foundation determined to locate and refer to data gathered in the state to help guide its path.  By better understanding the most urgent unmet civil legal needs, the Foundation could apply its resources where they would do the greatest good. 

    In 2010, then-Chief Judge Jonathan Lippmann established the Task Force to Expand Access to Civil Legal Services in New York, since renamed the Permanent Commission on Access to Justice. The Commission aims to help ensure low-income New Yorkers access to legal representation in civil matters, in part by evaluating the needs of New Yorkers throughout all four Judiciary Departments of the state.  Heeding the various studies, court data, and listening sessions compiled and analyzed by the Permanent Commission, the Foundation’s grantmaking can prioritizing funding for legal services programs assisting with the essentials of life, namely:

    • child support;
    • consumer debt;
    • housing (including evictions, foreclosures, and homelessness);
    • family matters (including domestic violence, children, and family stability);
    • access to health care;
    • access to education; and
    • subsistence income (including wages, disability and other benefits).

    Beyond the scope of the Commission’s focus, the Foundation is also determined to reach rural areas not included in the Commission’s community listening sessions, as well as non-litigation civil matters. For its 2017 fiscal year, IOLA reported that its grantees addressing such matters most frequently closed cases related to housing, family law, immigration, and income maintenance.

    By concentrating on the essentials of life for which the vast majority of New Yorkers are still without representation, the Foundation can maximize its impact, helping make access to justice a reality for all New Yorkers and, thereby, enhancing understanding of and respect for the rule of law.

    Click here to view the Rule of Law Report