The Morrison & Foerster Foundation Celebrates 25th Anniversary With $1.5 Million in Grants to Youth Charities

11/01/2012

Paul T. Friedman

Press Release

SAN FRANCISCO – November 1, 2012 – The Morrison & Foerster Foundation, one of the oldest law firm charitable foundations, today announced the largest set of grants in its history in honor of its 25th anniversary. The charitable program awarded $1.5 million to youth charities across the United States designed to support programs serving disadvantaged young people in cities where the firm has offices.

“The mission of The Morrison & Foerster Foundation is to give back to our communities through focused charitable giving,” said Paul Friedman, a member of the firm executive committee who chairs the Foundation. “We are proud to celebrate our Silver Anniversary by doing what we set out to do when we started the Foundation 25 years ago: to make a difference in our communities. The recipients of our anniversary grants were nominated by people in our firm. That is what we are about.”

Established in 1986 with $16,000 in seed funding, the Foundation has awarded over $33 million to nonprofit organizations, primarily at the local level, throughout the course of the past quarter century. Last year, the firm awarded $3.4 million to charities worldwide. This year marks the third time the Foundation has designated a special giving project, following $1 million programs in 2003 and 2006. The anniversary grants are made possible by setting aside a portion of the Foundation’s annual budget over a period of several years.

The Foundation is primarily funded by Morrison & Foerster partners, with additional contributions from other law firm staff and supporters. One highlight from the Foundation’s 2011 giving was Japanese earthquake/tsunami relief – Morrison & Foerster is the largest international law firms in Japan. The immediate and long-term needs of so many in Japan prompted the Foundation’s board to launch a fundraising campaign, which raised $832,000 to support organizations seeking to help vulnerable victims of the earthquake/tsunami, such as children, the elderly, and disabled people.

This year The Morrison & Foerster Foundation will award anniversary grants totaling $1.25 million to the following organizations:

  • $277,500 to Children’s Law Center (http://www.childrenslawcenter.org) in Washington, D.C. to launch its Starting Life with a Solid Foundation Program to provide free legal services to families in need of early childhood intervention and early special education services in Washington, D.C.
  • $250,000 to iMentor (http://www.imentor.org) in New York, NY to help launch its College Ready Initiative at three New York City public high schools, to ensure that more students from low-income communities graduate from high school and become first-generation college students.
  • $250,000 to New Leaders (http://www.newleaders.org/locations/bay-area) in San Francisco, CA to train future leaders in public education through expansion of its Emerging Leaders Program for teachers, coaches, and assistant principals in Richmond, CA.
  • $225,000 to The Richstone Family Center (http://www.richstonefamily.org) in Hawthorne, CA to launch its Care-A-Van mobile unit to provide easily accessible no- and low-cost counseling, parenting support, and community education for vulnerable children and their families at school and community sites in southwest Los Angeles.
  • $165,000 to East Bay College Fund (http://www.eastbaycollegefund.org) in Oakland, CA to develop its College Access Program to serve students at three large Oakland high schools, and to provide a district-wide academic success and college guidance program for African-American young men.
  • $100,000 to Businesses United in Investing, Lending and Development (BUILD) (http://www.build.org/dc) in Washington, D.C. to support BUILD’s strategic growth and impact in the Washington, D.C. region by expanding the number of at-risk high school students who are currently served through its hands-on entrepreneurship training and college preparation programs at existing BUILD schools while adding new partner schools in the city.

In addition, the Foundation will give ten grants of $25,000 each, for a total of $250,000, to the following nonprofit organizations:

  • Advocates for Children of New York – New York, NY
  • East Meets West Foundation in Oakland, Calif. for its Scholarship Program to Enhance Literacy and Learning (SPELL) in Vietnam
  • Hathaway-Sycamores Child & Family Services – Los Angeles, CA
  • Helping Young People Excel (HYPE) – Los Angeles, CA
  • Legal Outreach – New York, NY
  • Monarch School Project – San Diego, CA
  • Ravenswood Education Foundation – East Palo Alto, CA
  • Room to Read in San Francisco, Calif. for its Asia programs
  • The Selma M. Levine School of Music – Washington, D.C.
  • Wind Youth Services – Sacramento, CA

About the Morrison & Foerster Foundation

The Morrison & Foerster Foundation was established in 1986 as a nonprofit organization to enable the people of Morrison & Foerster to focus their charitable giving on nonprofit organizations serving the communities in which they live and work. One of the oldest law firm-affiliated charitable foundations in the United States, the Foundation is funded chiefly by Morrison & Foerster partners and receives additional support from firm employees and others. Over the years, it has given $33 million in charitable contributions to nonprofit organizations, primarily at the local level. For more information please visit: http://www.mofo.com/about/community/foundation

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