Giving away money thoughtfully is not an easy task. The Oklahoma Bar Foundation Board of Trustees is comprised of a group of attorneys from all across the State that bring an incredible amount of talent, experience and knowledge to the table. From within that group, the Grants and Awards Committee is charged with the grant offering, review of grant requests, and being good stewards of the money at every step of the award process.
After many hours of reviewing written grant applications, the Committee spends an entire day conducting applicant interviews to help with final grant determinations. Grant award amounts are projected based on annual revenue projections and these projections are firmed up just prior to a full vote of the Board of Trustees; grant amounts are closely tied to current economic conditions at the time of the awards. Two annual grant cycles are conducted. The first offering of the year is the OBF Court Grants for much needed courthouse improvements, most are for technology needs that will ultimately enhance access to justice. The second is the main OBF Grant offering extended to other law-related organizations that missions closely align with that of the Foundation. More than 70,000 Oklahomans in need were served through the OBF awards program last year.
The grant process doesn’t end here. A formal grant agreement is entered into with each of the programs and written quarterly progress reports are submitted for review. Grantee Site Visits were added during 2010, allowing for more personal contact. Site Visits have energized both OBF Trustees and our grantees.
OBF Regular Grant Cycle
Every year the Oklahoma Bar Foundation provides grants to carry out its mission: to promote justice, fund critical legal services and advance public awareness of the law. Grants to charitable and non-profit organizations working within the Foundation’s mission enable the Foundation to help in the provision of access to justice to tens of thousands of Oklahoma’s children, low income families and vulnerable adults, and also help to educate and inform all Oklahomans about the law. Through charitable grants, the Foundation provides:
- legal assistance for the poor and elderly
- safe haven for the abused
- protection and legal assistance for children
- public law-related education programs
- law student scholarships
- access to justice
The deadline for grant applications for the 2015 Regular Grant Cycle is May 19, 2015.
Grant applicants must be tax-exempt organizations and must agree to provide quarterly reports and comply with other requirements set forth in OBF’s grant contract and application specifications.
The deadline for the next calendar year grant applications will be announced in January of that same year, and a new current year OBF Grant Application packet will be available shortly thereafter. Grants are awarded once per calendar year.
OBF Grant Application Forms (sample only when past the annual deadline date)
OBF Court Grants
The Foundation holds in trust a Court Grant Fund managed through a separate grant cycle. Oklahoma district courts and appellate courts may apply annually for grant funds to assist with courtroom technology and other similar needs relating to the administration of justice. To access our court grant information, please contact us at (405) 416-7070. The deadline for Court grant applications for the 2015 OBF Court Grant Cycle was April 14, 2015.
The Foundation may make “emergency” out-of-cycle grant awards on a periodic basis throughout the year, not to exceed $2,000 per grant recipient per calendar year. The total aggregate out-of-cycle grants in any year will normally not exceed $20,000. Out-of-cycle grants are made for highly meritorious emergency needs requiring funding before the next regular grant cycle.