As The Florida Bar Foundation’s new annual giving manager, Alicia Hodge has taken on a familiar role — that of raising money to improve the lives of Florida’s underserved residents.
Prior to joining the Foundation in November, Hodge spent eight years helping develop philanthropic and community support for The Guadalupe Center of Immokalee, a nonprofit that provides education and social support for impoverished families in Collier County.
As she researched the Bar Foundation, Hodge was drawn to its mission to provide greater access to justice for similarly disadvantaged populations.
“Legal proceedings are complicated and out of reach financially for the poor and disadvantaged,” Hodge said. “One of the most important functions of The Florida Bar Foundation is to fund legal aid. Through our grants, many people who would not otherwise have access to civil legal assistance are now getting help.”
In her new position, Hodge will oversee donor development, annual gifts to the Foundation, and the Foundation’s Fellows program.
Foundation Fellows are life members of The Florida Bar Foundation who contribute $1,000 over five years to the Foundation. Government, nonprofit, and young lawyers have the option of extending the $1,000 pledge over a 10-year period.
Hodge is initially facilitating Fellows campaigns in Lee and Collier counties to tell lawyers about the Foundation and gain potential supporters. She will also work with various law firms, as well as additional communities, throughout the state to recruit individual lawyers to become Fellows.
While principal support for the Foundation’s charitable activities comes from the Interest on Trust Accounts (IOTA) Program implemented by the Florida Supreme Court, IOTA funds are often cyclical, which is why it’s vital to generate financial support apart from IOTA funding, said Sarasota attorney John Patterson, Foundation second vice president and chair of the Foundation’s Development Committee.
“Alicia fully understands the mission of the Foundation and its importance, and how critical adequate funding is to its fulfillment,” Patterson said. “She is poised, intelligent, and enthusiastic, and I look forward to working with her in taking our annual giving programs to a new level.”