Another Great Year
for the Foundation
by Kaveh Kashef
2016-2017 OCBF President
As we approach the spring and summer seasons, our fiscal year is coming to a close and the Oakland County Bar Foundation (The Foundation) May LACHES article is typically used as an opportunity for the president to give thanks and to recap the year’s successes. Thanks to the support of many, it has been another great year for The Foundation.
This year has not only been a successful year financially – we have exceeded all of our financial goals – it also has been a formative year that will help set the stage for The Foundation’s growth and development from being considered not only the premier law-based foundation in Michigan, but a premier organization in the nonprofit community as a whole.
An important component of The Foundation’s success is its strong relationship with the OCBA. Through the efforts of Eric Pelton, Jim Parks and Gerry Gleeson, The Foundation negotiated a new agreement with the OCBA that will ensure a continued, mutually beneficial and synergistic relationship for years to come.
The Signature Event was another fantastic event where members and friends of the Oakland County legal community gathered to enjoy each other’s company and the wonderful atmosphere at Oakland Hills Country Club. Tickets were, again, sold out and our list of sponsors is ever-growing.
A continued theme for the year has been a desire to expand The Foundation’s fundraising perspective from the Fellows Program and Signature Event in the spring to a 12-month perspective. Through the efforts of our executive director, Terri Ticknor Gilbert, The Foundation was selected by Hour Detroit magazine to be one of 60 local nonprofit organizations to participate in its Give Detroit Challenge. It was a fundraising campaign launched by Hour Detroit where organizations in southeastern Michigan competed to raise the most money for their organizations. Through the generosity of many, The Foundation received $3,700 in donations.
We embarked on our third year of Giving Tuesday, where people made donations on the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving. Every year, we have exceeded our fundraising from the prior year and this year was no different, having received $675 in donations.
This year, we exceeded $2 million in funded grants since 2002 and set the audacious goal of passing the $4 million threshold in half that time. We have learned of new programs and organizations to support such as HAVEN, JARC, Patriot Week and the Warriors Trust Fund, and have expanded our outreach in the community.
We continue to focus on the development of our Legacy Program and building our endowment to our $1 million goal. This year, we received significant support of the program and our first large bequest of $50,000 from the estate of Edward Kuhn, brother and uncle of Hon. Richard Kuhn Sr. and Hon. Richard Kuhn Jr., respectively.
As the president of The Foundation this year, many people have approached me thanking me for the work we have done. However, the attention to the president is misplaced in this regard. The real thanks go to the tireless efforts of our executive director and the staff of The Foundation and the OCBA. The strategic vision and decisions of The Foundation are made based on the wise counsel of The Foundation’s board of trustees and emeritus trustees, and the executive board. Most important, credit must be given to the individuals and companies that support our mission of funding legal aid and education programs, and facilitating and enhancing access to justice for underserved people and communities across Oakland County and southeast Michigan. Together, we have successfully stewarded The Foundation through an exciting and catalytic year.