Public Interest Fundraising

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PublicInterest5
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Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2012 2:23 pm

Public Interest Fundraising

Postby PublicInterest5 » Wed Jan 18, 2012 1:18 am

Does anyone's law school have an organization that fundraises for, and provides, scholarships or fellowships for students to do public interest work over the summer? If so, what type of activities, drives, traditions, parties, events...etc. do they organize to raise money? Are any of them particularly fun, memorable, or successful? My school is starting to put one of these together and we are interested in brainstorming the types of fundraisers that work at other schools. Any information would be really helpful and appreciated. Thanks!

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stewie27
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Re: Public Interest Fundraising

Postby stewie27 » Wed Jan 18, 2012 1:30 am

Duke has one, called PILF. They provide stipends for students working public interest/gov jobs over the summer who have worked at least 20 hours helping to raise money. They do a race in the fall, an auction in the spring (alumni/parents/local businesses participate), and lots of things over the year (bake sales, duke merch sales, etc). If you haven't already done this, you could google this for many schools, (ex. Duke PILF) and a lot of places have webpages where they list things they do.

PublicInterest5
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Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2012 2:23 pm

Re: Public Interest Fundraising

Postby PublicInterest5 » Wed Jan 18, 2012 1:57 am

Thank you for the help. I attempted to search for the information on my own to no avail. Unfortunately, after searching other school websites, I realized every organization has different name. Thus, there is no streamlined way to find analogous websites. Hence, I turned here as a way to reach many different schools and, instead of relying on impersonal website info, to get some personal anecdotes about what students enjoy and what might make them give. The more ideas we can accumulate, the better able we will be to provide raise money and financial support and an incentive to do public interest work during law school. Maybe the ideas listed here will help other school's come up with new and exciting things to do also. Thank you in advance.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: Public Interest Fundraising

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Wed Jan 18, 2012 2:45 am

Auctions, where you sell off donated goods and services from local businesses, are popular.

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Flips88
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Re: Public Interest Fundraising

Postby Flips88 » Wed Jan 18, 2012 3:21 am

Northwestern has SFPIF (Student-funder Public Interest Fellowships). They do an auction, an alumni dinner, barrister's ball, halloween bar review, pub trivia, etc.

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observationalist
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Re: Public Interest Fundraising

Postby observationalist » Wed Jan 18, 2012 10:23 am

Start calling up the presidents of different school's student orgs and see who's taken the time to set up a network of groups from different schools. If you're going to put in the effort of brainstorming you might as well find an outlet to share what you learn with other programs.

I co-founded Law Students for Social Justice at Vanderbilt, which is run under their Social Justice Program. We held pub crawls to raise money for summer stipends and to send people to the annual Reblaw conference up at Yale. Vandy also has the law school's Legal Aid Society, which is in charge of the auction that goes to funding summer stipends. In addition to auctioning off donated items, we'd get a bunch of professors to agree to each treat a group of students to an activity. Students then bid on the activities during the live auction portion. The activities ranged from dinners to a full-bar poker night at a professor's house to a trip to a shooting range with one of the deans and some judges in town. All of the proceeds went to the summer program. To maximize the funds raised, LAS would also get commitments from the dean and other professors to match a portion of the funds. Convincing faculty to donate a small portion of their fairly large salaries so that students can get a foot in a door somewhere is great for morale... I definitely suggest getting your student bar association involved in pushing for that.

For the post-grad stipend programs (of which I was one of the recipients in my year), I believe Dean Guthrie got commitments from alumni earmarked specifically for creating and maintaining that program. I don't know whether professors match any of the alumni funds but it would be worth checking with his office.

Definitely contact the Legal Aid Societies, Social Justice/Public Interest groups, etc. at a bunch of schools and tell them you're looking for advice. A collaborative (or maybe competitive) approach where groups can see what other schools are managing to raise would really help everyone. G'luck.

LSATNightmares
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Re: Public Interest Fundraising

Postby LSATNightmares » Wed Jan 18, 2012 10:00 pm

BU has one called the Public Interest Project. They give out $4,000 for public-interest related summer work (not judicial internships). The biggest fundraising activity is an auction in the spring where they auction off things like dinners with professors. They also do bake sales, happy hours, donate-your-Westlaw/LexisNexis points, a basketball competition against BC, and I forget what else. This has nothing to do with fundraising, but we had a canned-immunity day with cold calling in our Torts class where if you brought in two canned goods, the professor couldn't cold call you. To be viable, any student interested in a grant has to do a number of hours for the group (as well as get a couple of auction items). Check out:

http://bupip.org/

09042014
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Re: Public Interest Fundraising

Postby 09042014 » Wed Jan 18, 2012 10:11 pm

Do an auction in the Fall when all the 3L's have SA money.




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