ON THE MOVE: Legal Aid Gets Some Big Donations For New HQ
The Atlanta Legal Aid Society has scored big gifts from King & Spalding, Sutherland Asbill & Brennan and the Barnes Law Group—a total of $500,000—toward the capital campaign for its future home at 54 Ellis St. N.E.
The nonprofit announced a $250,000 gift from King & Spalding, a $100,000 gift from Sutherland and a $150,000 pledge from Roy Barnes' firm at a fundraising event last week.
Retired Sutherland partner Randolph Thrower and his family made another major contribution, $100,000, last month.
That brings the total raised to about $1.5 million, said Philip Holladay, a partner at King & Spalding who is co-chairing the campaign with Mark Wasserman, Sutherland's managing partner.
Their target is $5.35 million to cover the $3 million purchase price and renovation costs for the historic red-brick building, built in 1910 as an Elks Club lodge, which Atlanta Legal Aid purchased last spring. Two adjacent buildings on the one-acre parcel are structurally unsound and will be torn down to make room for a parking lot.
Atlanta Legal Aid bought the property after several years of searching because it has outgrown its building at 151 Spring St. N.W., its home for 34 years, which would have needed extensive renovation. It plans to move in at the end of 2014.
The new headquarters will double Atlanta Legal Aid's space, to 35,600 usable square feet, giving it room to expand programming, use more volunteers, add legal clinics and "know your rights" programs for the public. There is neither room nor on-site parking for these at the current location.
With these major law firm donations in hand, Holladay said, he and the other fundraisers are ready to start asking other firms for contributions.
King & Spalding typically does not contribute as a firm to capital campaigns for nonprofits, Holladay said. "This is different. The role that Atlanta Legal Aid plays in metro Atlanta in providing legal services to the poor makes this a responsibility for all lawyers and firms," he said.
"We felt it was appropriate to vary from the norm, given the organization and the cause," Holladay said of the donation from King & Spalding's partnership.