Member Spotlight

Ohio State Bar Foundation

Mar 1, 2021

The Ohio State Bar Foundation (OSBF), a 501(c)(3) grantmaking organization, is the largest Bar Foundation in the United States, awarding grants that support programs addressing specific legal needs that align with the OSBF’s mission and honoring the accomplishments of the legal community.

Ohio State Bar Foundation

As the charitable arm of the Ohio State Bar Association (OSBA), the OSBF works with the Association’s member attorneys, Ohio nonprofit and for-profit organizations, and other Ohioans to advance the state’s laws to build a better justice system.

The OSBF awards more than $750,000 annually to these nonprofits who, in turn, work to better the legal systems in their communities. Since 1992, the Foundation has awarded more than $12.5 million to dozens of law-related philanthropic organizations and projects across Ohio. Over time, grants have supported the creation of legal materials and new websites, funded campaigns, clinics, conferences, trainings, and presentations.

Racial Justice Initiative

In August 2020, the OSBF announced its new Racial Justice Initiative (RJI), which provides up to $500,000 in new grant funding to focus on advancing racial justice in Ohio. This initiative aims to support projects that specifically identify, address and challenge systemic racism, which hinders the pursuit of justice and public understanding of the rule of law for historically marginalized communities of color in Ohio.

The OSBF encourages proposals which promote racial justice that:

  • Identify and address systemic biases
  • Provide stable, replicable framework to eliminate systemic racism
  • Educate the public or other external stakeholders
  • Collaborate with legal systems such as courts, law enforcement, corrections, and others
  • And/or eliminate legal barriers for BIPOC collectively

The OSBF accomplishes its important work through its more than 1,000 Fellows, who are member attorneys of the Foundation. They represent an elite group of Ohio lawyers who give their time, talent, and treasure so that the OSBF can give more and do more.

In addition, the OSBF also honors excellence through its well-recognized annual Awards program, celebrating people and organizations who are dedicated to making a difference in the law, their communities, and the state of Ohio.