Giving

Programs

We focus on organizations serving disadvantaged children or providing free legal services.

The Morrison & Foerster Foundation enables the people of Morrison & Foerster and the Foundation’s board of directors to focus their charitable giving on nonprofit organizations serving the communities where they live and work. Funds are distributed at the discretion of the Foundation’s board, which includes partners from each of the firm’s geographic regions.

In 2021, we directed nearly three-quarters of our $3.9 million in charitable donations to organizations serving disadvantaged youth, fighting discrimination, or providing free legal services to people in need. We supported programs to diversify the legal profession and to create the next generation of public interest lawyers. We also gave to organizations focused on access to quality health care and housing, as well as the arts. And we continued our long-standing sponsorship of an undergraduate scholarship program for children of Morrison & Foerster staff members.

Additionally, in early 2021, we announced our Hope in the New Year special matching campaign to further our collective goal to one day live in a world free of systemic racism and to support the low-income communities hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. This initiative led to a combined total of $150,000 in donations by the Foundation and individuals at the firm to help promote racial justice and alleviate the disparate effects of the pandemic.

Racial Justice

The Morrison & Foerster Foundation stands against racial injustice and shares the firm’s commitment to promoting equity, diversity, and inclusion. With an emphasis on legal aid and disadvantaged youth, much of our annual giving has consistently supported nonprofit organizations whose programs have a strong racial justice or racial equity mission, including those supporting refugee, immigrant, and migrant populations. In 2021, we also made special donations and offered additional matching opportunities benefiting charities working to advance racial equity and justice, especially in support of Black Americans and Asian Americans, to protect voting rights, and to respond to the widespread health, education, and economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly as it impacted communities of color.

Special Project Grants

At the Morrison & Foerster foundation, we imagine a healthy society in which children are safer and supported, and people of all backgrounds have equal access to justice.

In addition to our annual giving, we set aside a portion of the Foundation’s budget most years in order to fund a series of occasional special grants in amounts much larger than we could otherwise contribute. Over the years, we have funded four sets of these large grants, all nominated by Morrison & Foerster personnel, and all addressing some of the critical unmet needs of disadvantaged children and youth in our communities.

Our total giving through our Special Project Grants Program now stands at $5.1 million. This funding has supported initiatives such as creating a college access program in public high schools in Oakland, California; developing the special family support needed for older child adoption in New York City; and launching a program to provide free legal services to families in need of early childhood intervention and early special education services in Washington, D.C.

We completed the distribution of our most recent set of multiyear special project grants – in honor of the Foundation’s 30th anniversary – in 2018. In 2019-21, we continued the tradition of setting aside funds for a new set of special project grants, to be announced at a future date.

Criteria + Management

Funding Criteria

The Foundation considers funding requests only if sponsored by Morrison & Foerster lawyers or staff. We are not accepting other unsolicited grant proposals at this time.

The Morrison & Foerster Foundation gives only to nonprofit organizations with IRC § 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status with programs that, in the view of the Foundation's board of directors, are aligned with the Foundation’s focus and can, in the board’s opinion, best serve the community’s charitable needs. Contributions are not made to individuals; to fraternal, religious, or political organizations; to groups that discriminate on the basis of race, religion, political affiliation, sexual orientation, or gender identity; or to organizations that serve only a particular religious or political group. The Foundation does not purchase tickets to charitable fundraising events.

Board of Directors

The Foundation’s board of directors includes partners from the firm’s offices around the world.

Donations

The Morrison & Foerster Foundation is a California nonprofit public benefit corporation which has been granted tax-exempt status under Internal Revenue Code § 501(c)(3). Our federal tax identification number is 94-3006979.

Legal Notice

The Morrison & Foerster Foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt public charity, federal tax ID no. 94-3006979. Financial information about the Foundation can be obtained by writing to The Morrison & Foerster Foundation at 425 Market Street, 32nd Floor, San Francisco, CA 94105-2482. In addition, several states where the Foundation is required to file financial information each year require the following disclosures: Colorado: Colorado residents may obtain copies of registration and financial documents from the office of the Secretary of State, (303) 894-2200 #2 or http://www.sos.state.co.us/Massachusetts: A copy of the latest annual report can be obtained from the Foundation, or from the Non-Profit Organizations/Public Charities Division of the Attorney General's Office at Charities@state.ma.us or http://www.charities.ago.state.ma.us/charities/New York: A copy of the latest annual report can be obtained from the Foundation, or from the Charities Bureau of the Office of the Attorney General at 28 Liberty Street, New York, NY 10005, (212) 416-8686, or http://www.charitiesnys.comREGISTRATION IN THE ABOVE STATES DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION OF THE MORRISON & FOERSTER FOUNDATION BY THE STATES.

* Our 2021 Annual Report is not yet available.

** Our numbers are shown on a cash basis and are unaudited because of the timing of the Foundation’s annual independent audit.