Finding funds to support Indiana legal aid

Whitewater Valley is like many legal aid providers across the state. These offices tended to rely on one main source of funding to cover the bulk of their budgets but in recent years, those sources have cut back and curtailed the donations and gifts.

News Story (Indiana)

Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana Lawyer
September 7, 2016

Organizations mentioned/involved: Indianapolis Legal Aid Society (ILAS), Indiana Legal Services (ILS)


Now the providers are looking for alternative supporters in the public as well as private sectors. Legal aid offices are not only competing against each other for donations but, as they approach foundations and private citizens outside the legal profession, they are trying to get attention in a pool brimming with other kinds of charities.

“It all boils down to money,” said Indianapolis Legal Aid Society general counsel John Floreancig. “Money allows us to have the staff to do the work and also helps create the infrastructure that helps the lawyer volunteers. If you don’t have the money, you can’t help poor people.”

In its home county, Whitewater Valley is one of 60 nonprofits seeking contributions. Edington differentiates his organization from the pack by hosting an annual race, golf outing, and recognition luncheon. Together these events raise an estimated $18,000 each year, which is more than a fourth of the office’s annual budget of $65,000.