Frank A. Novak, Harter Secrest & Emery LLP; William Q. Lowe, Harris Beach PPLC; and Arline L. Santiago, ESL general counsel, will co-chair this year’s Campaign for Justice. The first meeting of the new CFJ cabinet was held Sept. 3, where the campaign goal was set at $280,000.
In 2014, the CFJ goal was $275,000, with $283,606 pledged, and $277,226 collected. The annual fundraising campaign supports three legal service agencies: Volunteer Legal Services Project, LawNY and the Legal Aid Society of Rochester.
In addition to setting the dollar goal, cabinet members confirmed the desire to repeat two of the “firsts” that were implemented in 2014: 1) The law firm challenge to continue to build relationships with the attorneys under 40; and 2) the Justice Society reception in recognition of high donors.
Pledges typically come from individuals, law firms, in-house counsel, law firms outside Rochester that do business here, and legal community vendors.
Last year’s Law Firm Challenge was chaired by Jeremy Cooney, drawing in dozens of new donors from the younger generation of attorneys. Bill Lowe will take the lead of this subcommittee for 2015, hoping to see an increase over the inaugural effort, which brought in just over $13,000 from new donors under the age of 40.
Kelley Ross Brown, Woods Oviatt Gilman, is heading up this year’s vendor effort but reminds everyone she is the point person to coordinate and track information. She encourages those with strong vendor ties pitch in to ask for contributions.
“It’s all about relationships,” Brown said. “The ‘ask’ needs to come from those with the connections.”
Novak will be the lead for law firm pledges, with ESL Senior VP Arline Santiago overseeing the general counsel campaign, with help from Maureen Mulholland (Monro Muffler Brake) who co-chaired the 2014 CFJ and headed this campaign subcommittee last year.
A phonathon subcommittee to oversee individual pledges often made via telephone calls will be headed by David Tennant, Nixon Peabody LLP and Michael Schnittmann, retired from Lacy Katzen LLP. They will create some standardized follow-up procedures to improve on missed phone requests.
Tom Richards and Carolyn Nussbaum will share responsibility for a number of special pledge categories and Maureen Mulholland is in charge of donor recognition and the high giver reception.