by Vidhya Prabhakaran, Davis Wright Tremaine, JDC Board Member
Too often, attorneys in San Francisco see the impressive generosity of their firms and believe that making their own individual donation would be meaningless. And as a result, these otherwise incredibly generous attorneys never make a donation to the Justice & Diversity Center (JDC).
The irony! First, JDC’s mission to advance fairness and equality by providing pro bono legal services to low-income people and educational programs that foster diversity in the legal profession is one that resonates with individual attorneys in a profound this-is-why-I-went-to-law-school kind of way. Second, small donations to support the JDC multiply into huge community impact! You would think individual attorneys, not just their firms, would be lining up to support the JDC!
So to overcome the belief that donations of $20, $50 or $100 have no impact, I looked for a fun way for individuals to give to JDC and watch their donations bundled together to make the large impact that they were looking to be a part of.
I decided to enlist my son. He’s only eight months old and a ball of cuteness. I hope that he will feel passionately about giving back to his community, and that he will understand the important role that he can play in galvanizing others to also give back to their community. So I figured why not start him off now?
We set out to try and raise $2500 by building a holiday picture tree on my office door (a twist on the old school fundraising thermometer). For every $50 we raised, a cute picture of my son Jaidin would be added to the tree and the donor would be recognized as part of The Jaidin Fan Club alongside the tree. A few of my creative fellow Davis Wright Tremaine attorneys gave us a new twist – for any donation of $50 or more, the donor could add a picture of their own loved one (child, pet, significant other, celebrity crush, whatever) to the tree!
Thanks to over 30 individual donations the fundraising drive raised well over $10,000 for the JDC and its programs.
Particularly significant donations were made by my former colleague, Joe Wiedman, and BASF Board Member Quyen Ta and her husband Demian, an attorney at Chevron. The Ta’s donation was also matched by Chevron.
Every single person who donated can feel proud of the huge collective impact of their donations.
And I have this awesome holiday picture tree on my door that includes pictures of Denzel Washington, guinea pigs, and, of course, my son.
For more information on giving to the Justice & Diversity Center, contact Development Director Troy Arnold at firstname.lastname@example.org.