An anonymous donor has made another generous contribution to support the civil legal needs of low-income people living on the west side of Michigan. The $50,000 gift accompanied the lawyer’s dues invoice, the same vehicle used by the donor in 2002 to make his first contribution of $100,000. Both gifts supported the endowment fund, helping to assure that civil legal services will continue to be available for those who need them most.
State Bar President Thomas W. Cranmer praised the donor for his very generous support of the endowment fund. "I encourage all Michigan lawyers to follow his lead in making a meaningful contribution to the Access to Justice (ATJ) Fund, as the year-end campaign gets underway," Cranmer said.
Michael Chielens, executive director of Legal Aid of Western Michigan, the program designated by the donor to benefit from the gift, echoed Cranmer’s sentiment. “Law firms and lawyers in western Michigan established the lead in supporting legal aid,” Chielens said. “To have this kind of support for our ATJ Fund endowment is another milestone for Western, and for the Access to Justice Fund.”
Gifts to the ATJ Fund can be designated for the operations of any one of the forty non-profit legal service programs that participate in the centralized fundraising campaign. Twenty programs also accept endowment gifts, which can be eligible for Michigan’s community foundation tax credit.