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Fundraising for Your Statewide Website in Tough Economic Times 2009 Statewide Website Training Series, Co-sponsored by NTAP and Pro Bono Net September.

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Presentation on theme: "Fundraising for Your Statewide Website in Tough Economic Times 2009 Statewide Website Training Series, Co-sponsored by NTAP and Pro Bono Net September."— Presentation transcript:

1 Fundraising for Your Statewide Website in Tough Economic Times 2009 Statewide Website Training Series, Co-sponsored by NTAP and Pro Bono Net September 11, 2009

2 Panelists Liz Keith, Pro Bono Net David Bonebrake, LSNTAP Mark Marquardt, Lawyers Trust Fund of Illinois

3 Agenda Introduction: Best of Times and Worst of Times for Statewide Websites Ranting to the Choir – The Real Value of Internet Based Resources Liz's Section Fundraising Roundtable Discussion

4 Wow, that's cliche...



7 Technologies Available for New SWEB Initiatves Document Assembly CMS Integration Online Intake (or Access) Content Syndication Internet Representation Live Help Online Project Management


9 Ranting to the Choir A Few Thoughts on the Real Value of Internet-based Legal Aid Resources Mark Marquardt Lawyers Trust Fund of Illinois 1

10 LTF Support for Illinois Legal Aid Online Part of planning group/steering committee from the beginning (1999); Pledged $150,000 start-up grant in FY 01 LTF has contributed $3.3 million total $550,000 for ILAO in FY 10 Our 5 th largest grant (out of 30+) 6.4% of total grant funds 10

11 Two Sides of an Unhelpful Intellectual Coin Bedeviling Web-based Legal Aid Scarcity What are some cheap solutions we can throw at the problem? The Gold Standard What can we give people if we cant give them what they really need? 11

12 Other Perspectives… Legal Aid AttorneyILAO User By the way, many of the people that come to see us have already searched for information on your website and done very well on their own- in case you have not heard it enough - it gives people a good basis to start advocating for themselves, and they usually calls us because something unusual or complex is happening in their case. Keep up the good work. "This is a wonderful site! I went to Markham Courthouse and even though the people are very wonderful and helpful, they can only help so much. I was told that I had to re-type two packets of documents and between work, school and my children, this was just too much to get a divorce. Your site is a god-send and God bless you all for helping those of us who don't have a lot of income but will do whatever needs to be done for the safety of my children. God Bless You All!" 12

13 Web-based legal information is not a CONSOLATION PRIZE 13

14 MRMs Formula for Printing Money Ideas Conviction Empirical Data +Self-awareness 2 $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ 14

15 Convince Yourself First Is the information your site provides accurate and up to date? Is the information your site provides easy to find and easy to understand? Is your site the most comprehensive source of legal information in the state? Is your site the most cost-effective source of legal information in the state? Can you make a strong, clear, affirmative case about where your site fits into the legal aid delivery system in your state? 15

16 Know What You Can Know Are you conducting usability testing? Do you know where users are coming from? Do you know anything about the income, age and education levels of your users? Are there systems in place to collect & analyze user feedback? What do you know about whether/how people actually use your information (i.e., self-screening through self- representation). 16

17 Demonstrate Self-Awareness Can you articulate the distinct advantages of what you offer vis a vis other parts of the delivery system? Can you articulate the limitations of what you offer while recognizing that those limitations are a distinction rather than a flaw? 17

18 How Funders Think The [ILAO] site receives almost 60,000 visits per month. According to a survey of users, 96% of visitors live in Illinois, and over 70% were either low income or getting information for someone who was low income. If one makes a conservative estimate and assumes that the average visitor came to the site four times, this still means that 15,000 unique visitors are being helped each month. To serve the same number of people each year (180,000) using [an Illinois hotline program] would cost $6,840,000. By way of comparison, ILAOs total budget last year was only $912,220. The number of visitors increased 34% last year, and the cost-per-case math will only get better as traffic increases. 18

19 See Your Future, Be Your Future: Online Intake Access The real potential of web-based legal aid resources will only be fully recognized when they are fully integrated into the current delivery system – a starting point, not a fallback. What are you doing to make that a reality? 19

20 Office of the New York Attorney General awarded LawHelp/NY a significant one-time Consumer Cyber-Awareness grant to launch an Internet Fraud topic area on the LawHelp/NY site, as a response to the growing trend of Internet fraud and crimes. has also forged relationships with state legislators and their constituent services staff, leading to a new funding stream this year.

21 State Agencies State Attorney Generals offices have supported consumer-related content and outreach projects in several states State Service Commissions have awarded Americorps*VISTA grants to several programs for statewide website support activities Other examples?

22 Private Funders Outreach support LawHelpCA - Van Löben Sels /RembeRock Foundation support for LEAP (Language Expansion and Access Project) program Content development Colorado Legal Services - Rose Community Foundation support for Citizens ID content National Employment Law Project - Ira W. DeCamp Foundation grant to launch a new New York State unemployment insurance practice area for advocates.

23 Corporate Funders Iowa Legal Aid - support from a local financial institution to develop an online Used Car Buyers Toolkit ABA Commission on Domestic Violence – support from the Verizon Wireless HopeLine program national DV pro bono opportunity guide Law firms (cash and in-kind support) Other examples?

24 National Funders ABA mini-grants Montana Legal Services Association (MSLA) received a $10,000 grant from the ABA Child Custody and Adoption Pro Bono Project project to develop information packets for Montana attorneys who volunteer to represent children in custody and parenting plan actions. These were distributed via State Justice Institute American College of Trial Lawyers TIG Other examples?

25 Federal funding streams for legal aid If your program is considering applying for these streams, what role can your statewide website play in supporting the proposed services and activities? Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) in the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) VOCA grants - DV victims/crime victims VAWA / Stimulus grants

26 What are common themes in these examples? Mission-centric, not SWEB in isolation Focused, timely pitches Leveraging partnerships and collaborations Less emphasis on tech, more on content, outreach and impact

27 How can you cultivate new funding opportunities? Invest in stakeholders and partnerships Get funders to talk to other funders on your behalf Incorporate technology into your strategic and development planning Boost your PR and outreach efforts

28 Research resources Fundraising/Sustainability Resources in The Foundation Center and Philanthropy Grant News e-newsletter Chronicle of Philanthropy 90 Foundations that Tweet /20/foundations-that-tweet/

29 Thank You! Liz Keith - David Bonebrake - Mark Marquardt -

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