PLATINUM2023

FFLA

Funding Florida Legal Aid

aka The Florida Bar Foundation, Inc.   |   Maitland, FL   |  www.TheFloridaBarFoundation.org

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Mission

The Florida Bar Foundation's new name is FFLA. To increase access to the justice system for people of limited means, FFLA funds legal services, develops innovative tools and programs, and supports legal aid providers and the courts. Through strategic grantmaking, FFLA funds civil legal aid and projects to improve the administration of justice and increase the effectiveness and efficiency of the legal aid delivery system. In addition to providing funds directly to Florida legal aid organizations, FFLA engages in catalytic philanthropy by investing in training, technology, technical assistance, assessment and capacity-building for the legal aid delivery system and works to develop and expand innovative pro bono initiatives.

Notes from the nonprofit

In regards to Board Practices, a comprehensive, formal orientation for new board members is conducted annually where roles, responsibilities and expectations are discussed. All board members are invited. Copies of the exemplar slides and reference book are provided to every member and are available upon request. In regards to Board Practices concerning a written evaluation of the executive director, an evaluation has been conducted in an executive session in the past year but was not reduced to writing.

Ruling year info

1962

Executive Director

Dominic C. MacKenzie

Main address

175 Lookout Place Suite 100

Maitland, FL 32751 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

The Florida Bar Foundation

EIN

59-1004604

NTEE code info

Philanthropy / Charity / Voluntarism Promotion (General) (T50)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Today in Florida, thousands of low-income individuals and families are trying to deal with difficult legal problems alone. For them, access to justice often is elusive, or worse, unattainable. Civil legal aid removes barriers to stable and productive lives and when the lives of our most vulnerable neighbors are improved, all Floridians benefit. FFLA works to expand and improve representation and advocacy on behalf of low-income persons in civil legal matters, improve the fair and effective administration of justice and promote public service among lawyers by making it an integral component of the law school experience.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Community Based Civil Legal Services

Supported primarily by IOTA funds, FFLAs Community Based Civil Legal Services (formerly Legal Assistance for the Poor) grants are awarded to a network of about 35 local, not-for-profit legal aid programs. Together, this network provides at least basic access to the justice system for individuals and families residing in every county in Florida. Grants support a broad range of legal assistance for low-income Floridians, including family law, housing, individual rights, consumer, and income maintenance. Funding levels for general support grants are based on the number of poor persons in the county who meet financial eligibility guidelines. Community Based Civil Legal Services grants also support legal assistance for specific client services and to serve specific client groups.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Families

Through public service and summer fellowships for law students, FFLA helps cultivate the next generation of public interest and pro bono attorneys.

Population(s) Served
Students
Economically disadvantaged people

FFLA, formerly The Florida Bar Foundation, funds projects designed to make the court system operate more efficiently and effectively, reform the civil, criminal and juvenile justice system, and educate the public about the law and the importance of public interest legal representation.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Families

Recognizing that children have special legal needs, and that those needs were going largely unmet, FFLA (formerly The Florida Bar Foundation) began funding special annual grants for legal assistance to children in the early 1990s. FFLA's priorities for its Children's Legal Services grants include representation of foster youth and access to special education, medical, developmental and mental health services that are required under law. Gifts from attorneys to FFLA from the Children's Legal Services campaign on the annual Florida Bar fee statement help support these grants.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Economically disadvantaged people

The Foundation supports a Loan Repayment Assitance Program (LRAP) for lawyers employed at Florida legal aid and legal services organizations. The LRAP program goals are to enhance the recuitment and retention of legal aid and legal services staff attorneys at organizations that receive general support funding fromThe Florida Bar Foundation; and to help those staff attorneys reduce their student loan debt. The Foundation's LRAP provides benefits of $5,000 per year in the form of a loan.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of overall donors

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Community Based Civil Legal Services

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

These numbers are calendar year.

Average number of dollars received per donor

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Economically disadvantaged people

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Average number of dollars received per donor for annual campaign.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

LEGAL AID MAKES GOOD ECONOMIC SENSE: Stabilizing families. Helping workers remain productive. Reducing the burden on government services. Nearly 17 percent of Floridians live in poverty, including 24 percent almost one in four of the state's children. Meanwhile, more than 27 percent of Floridians are asset poor, meaning they lack sufficient net worth to subsist at the poverty level for three months in the absence of income. This is not surprising given that about a third of Florida jobs are low-wage, meaning that even a full-time worker does not earn enough to keep a family of four above the poverty level. Many low-wage jobs lack health-care benefits or paid sick leave, leaving families one medical or financial setback away from foreclosure or eviction. From national studies we know that one in four low-income Floridians can expect to have a civil legal problem in any given year, and these problems often spill over into the workplace. Without access to legal assistance, Floridians struggle under the weight of issues such as domestic violence, divorce, and the denial of federally guaranteed education or health-care services for special needs children. These and other challenges with civil legal solutions can disrupt families' lives, increase worker absenteeism and stress, and lead to higher use of government services such as law enforcement and health and human-services programs. By keeping Floridians in their homes, securing their livelihoods and protecting their rights to health-care, veterans' and other benefits, legal aid not only helps break the cycle of poverty, but also provides a significant return on investment for taxpayers and businesses, whose employees are more productive when they are not facing often-complex legal issues on their own.

Three strategic directions will guide FFLA's investments of time, energy and funds for the next five years: I. Maximize the impact and effectiveness of civil legal assistance provided to low and moderate income individuals and communities in Florida. II. Expand the role of FFLA as an expert and facilitator of effective civil legal assistance for low and moderate income individuals and communities in Florida. III. Serve as a catalyst for broad-based, systemic change and innovative solutions to reduce and eliminate the justice gap in Florida's civil justice system.

In addition to providing funds directly to Florida legal aid organizations, FFLA engages in catalytic philanthropy by investing in training, technology, technical assistance, assessment and capacity-building for the legal aid delivery system and works to develop and expand innovative pro bono initiatives.

Investments in assessment, training, technology, and technical assistance
Helping Florida's grantees build capacity and operate efficiently and effectively
Adding in the goals of our Administration of Justice grantees
Investment of pro bono initiatives in Florida
Strategic grant making

A recent study showed that every dollar spent on civil legal services for the state's low-income residents yields more than $7 in economic impacts.

Commissioned by The Florida Bar Foundation, the study found that 33 Florida nonprofit civil legal aid organizations produced $600 million in economic impact with $83 million in total funding from sources including the Foundation, the Legal Services Corporation, local governments, donors and others in 2015.

Florida businesses are estimated to have experienced $274.8 million in increased income in 2015. Investment in civil legal aid also is estimated to have generated 2,243 new jobs. Not only does civil legal aid put dollars directly into the economy, it also saves money for the government, businesses, nonprofits, clients and others in a variety of ways. The study found that:

$2.9 million in costs for emergency shelter were avoided for low-income families who, with the assistance of legal aid advocates, were able to avoid eviction or gain time to seek alternative housing;
$50.6 million in foreclosure costs were avoided by low-income homeowners, lenders, neighbors and local governments;
$6.9 million in costs associated with domestic violence were avoided

The study points out that civil legal aid also helps ease the burden on Florida's court system by helping people who are self-represented navigate the system and helping the public understand legal processes. Civil legal aid organizations also support and leverage the pro bono work of private attorneys. In 2015, volunteer attorneys in
Florida completed nearly 12,000 pro bono cases through legal aid and pro bono programs, donating 79,000 hours of time valued at more than $9.5 million.

Results of the study suggest that every additional $100,000 in funding enables legal aid organizations to generate $719,000 in economic benefits. The analysis was conducted by The Resource for Great Programs, a research firm with more than 20 years' experience conducting similar economic impact studies.

Disaster Relief:
The Florida Bar Foundation has awarded $881,000 in disaster grants to 15 legal aid organizations around the state to help them address the civil legal needs of Floridians affected by Hurricane Irma, as well as Puerto Ricans who have evacuated to Florida as a result of Hurricane Maria.

Outcome Measures:
The Foundation worked closely with its legal aid grantees to develop outcome measures and incorporate them into LegalServer, the case management system the Foundation invested in for its grantees and continues to help support. The outcomes information collected will help the Foundation and its grantees make more strategic decisions in the future as well as build a compelling case for financial support for civil legal aid. This work will continue on thru 2017-2018.

Catalyst for change:
The Foundation hosted a statewide Legal Aid Summit to introduce nearly 200 legal aid staff to design thinking for access-to-justice problem-solving under the guidance of Stanford Center for Legal Design Director Margaret Hagan and emerging legal aid leaders from around Florida. That fall the Foundation also secured a pro bono business process improvement partnership for Florida Rural Legal Services (FRLS) with a multi-national corporation. The Toyota Production System Support Center, Inc. team spent a year working with FRLS to analyze and streamline their intake process prior to and during the installation of centralized telephone intake systems technology that had been funded by the Legal Services Corporation.

Strategic Investments:
The Florida Bar Foundation makes strategic investments to build the capacity of its grantees and of Florida's civil justice system. This includes planning and hosting statewide training and conferences, as well as covering expenses for legal aid staff to attend national events such as the Legal Services Corporation's Innovations in Technology Conference, the Equal Justice Conference, the National Legal Aid and Defender Association's annual conference and others.

Special Projects:
Special projects which continue thru 2018 - included all pre-launch and start-up activities for the Florida Justice Technology Center, which was established with a Florida Bar Foundation Improvements in the Administration of Justice grant. Along with the Foundation, this new center has been instrumental in the development of the Florida Legal Access Gateway, the signature project of the Florida Commission on Access to Civil Justice.

Settlement funds provided to the Foundation by Attorney General Pam Bondi's office covered the cost of the Clay County pilot for this new online legal triage system, which uses expert systems technology to guide users to the legal resources best suited to their needs.

Financials

FFLA
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

FFLA

Board of directors
as of 12/18/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Murray Silverstein

Stinson LLP

Term: 2023 - 2024

Edwin Scales, III

Third District Court of Appeal

Murray Silverstein

Stinson LLP

Roberto Pardo

Law Office of Roberto R. Pardo

Suzanne Van Wyk

Florida Div. of Administrative Hearings

George W. Tinsley, Sr.

Tinsley Family Concessions

Maria C. Gonzalez

Gonzalez Law, P.A.

John F. Harkness

The Florida Bar, retired

Raymond P. Reid

Pajcic & Pajcic

Ashley Sybesma

The Smith Law Firm

James E. C. Perry

Retired Florida Supreme Court Justice

Hon. Peggy Quince

Retired, Florida Supreme Court

Min Cho

1337 Capital

Hon. Hugh Carithers

Retired judge

Steven Salzer

PSCU

Brian Currie

Currie Law Firm

Jody Hudgins

Delegate for Florida Bar President F. Scott Westheimer

Joshua T. Chilson

Delegate for Florida Bar Immediate Past President Gary Lesser

Jeffrey T. Kuntz

Fourth District Court of Appeal

Michael R. Tein

Florida Legal Services President

Vincent F. Cuomo

Pursuit Wealth Management

James P. Schwarz

Compass Development and Governance Group

Sarita Courtney Baigorri

Courtney Law Firm

Ian M. Comisky

Fox Rothschild LLP

Robert W. Murphy

Murphy Law Firm

Hon. Stefanie C. Moon

17th Judicial Circuit of Florida

A. Dax Bello

Delegate for Florida Bar President-elect Roland Sanchez-Medina Jr.

Laura Boeckman

City of Jacksonville, Office of General Counsel

Katie Fackler

Baptist Health System

Ayana Barrow

Acceptance Insurance Company

Joseph Kadow

Kyle W. Robisch

Bradley, Arant, Boult, Cummings LLP

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 8/30/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 10/19/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.