Frequently Asked Questions
About FFLA and the Fellows Program
Question: How much does it cost to become a Fellow?
Answer: Fellows contribute $1,000 to The Florida Bar Foundation Endowment Trust to become permanent members of FFLA. Payments may be made in one lump sum or in installments of $200 a year over five years.
Question: Are my gifts tax deductible?
Answer: Yes, FFLA is a 501(c)(3) organization, and all gifts to FFLA are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law.
Question: Can I use my Fellows gift to satisfy my pro bono requirement?
Answer: No, because the Court’s pro bono plan suggests that attorneys either give twenty hours of their time to clients in need or provide payment in lieu of such service directly to a provider of legal aid. If you choose to “buy out” your pro bono aspirational goal, we would ask that you provide those funds directly to a local legal aid program.
Question: Should I support FFLA instead of my local legal aid program?
Answer: We hope that you will be able to do both, but if you must make a choice, please continue to support your local program.
Question: Can a law firm be a Fellow?
Answer: No, only individuals can become Fellows. However, the individual’s check can come from their personal account or the firm’s account.
Question: What forms of payment does FFLA accept?
Answer: We accept checks as well as Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover.
Question: How will my donation be used by FFLA?
Answer: Funds received from Fellows are added to The Florida Bar Foundation’s endowment. You can give an unrestricted gift where the earnings can be used in the area of greatest need.
Question: What is the relationship between FFLA and The Florida Bar Foundation Endowment Trust?
Answer: The Florida Bar Foundation Endowment Trust is a 501(c)(3) Supporting Organization that exists for the sole purpose of managing and distributing endowment income to FFLA. Its trustees are appointed by the board of FFLA.
Question: FFLA already receives funds from IOTA, so why do they need charitable gifts from attorneys?
Answer: IOTA funds, even in the best of times, have not provided more than 20% of total funding needed for legal aid in Florida. Gifts will supplement IOTA funds so FFLA can fund even more of the need. Gifts from attorneys will help build FFLA’s endowment as some insurance against the possibility that IOTA funds might one day be unavailable. Furthermore, gifts from attorneys will demonstrate again the commitment of the Bar community in support of access to justice for Florida’s poor.
Question: How much of FFLA’s money is used for administrative expenses?
Answer: View our latest financial information, including FFLA’s expenditures used to pay administrative costs.
Question: I already support my local legal aid program, so why should I also support FFLA?
Answer: We are grateful that you support your local legal aid program, and we encourage you to continue that important support. The reason you should also support FFLA is that, in addition to funding civil legal aid, 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. Through its leadership, FFLA creates greater access to civil legal aid and to the justice system for low- and moderate-income Floridians. In that way, your gift to FFLA can have statewide impact.
Question: What do I get by becoming a Fellow?
Answer: All Fellows become lifetime members of FFLA. Fellows are listed in FFLA’s annual report, on our website, and in the program of our annual dinner (held each summer in conjunction with the Bar’s annual meeting). Most importantly, you get the satisfaction of knowing you are helping to secure the future leadership and funding for legal aid in Florida.
Question: As a Fellow, what will I be expected to do for FFLA?
Answer: It is hoped that as a Fellow you will become a regular and ardent supporter of FFLA’s mission both vocally and financially. We also hope you will encourage your friends and colleagues who are not yet Fellows to consider Fellows membership.
Question: I already provide pro bono services, so why should I give?
Answer: FFLA is grateful to all who provide pro bono services. Nevertheless, we still encourage you to make a Fellows commitment to FFLA because even with the pro bono services provided, there is a great deal more service which must be provided and paid for in Florida.
Question: What is the difference between The Florida Bar and FFLA?
Answer: The Florida Bar is the regulatory body for the practice of law in Florida. FFLA is a separate philanthropic organization which seeks to expand and improve representation of low-income persons in civil legal matters, improve the fair and effective administration of justice, and promote service to the public by members of the legal profession by making public service an integral component of the law school experience.
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