Advocates for Legal Equal Access

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Nonprofit Law Firm Business Plan

Strategy and Implementation Summary

Advocates for Legal Equal Access will rely on Al's marketing and fundraising to raise awareness of Advocates and to solicit donations as the primary income income stream.  Al will leverage his extensive network of legal and corporate contacts to raise funds for Advocates.  Al will also use his contacts to solicit donations of time from fellow attorneys to help out with the case load.

5.1 Competitive Edge

Advocates for Legal Equal Access' competitive edge is their effectiveness as fundraisers.  The legal aid market is always in demand as there are far more customers as there are service providers.  For this reason it is important to be able to fund your organization. Advocates founder, Al Rand, has developed an extensive network of colleagues after practicing for ten years at a large Portland law firm.  Al will be able to use his network to develop donations from the firms and their individual members. 

Another component of the Advocates' competitive edge is Al's marketing skills.  These will be used to set up programs with the large firms to give their attorneys credit toward pro bono requirements as well as to their yearly hourly requirements, encouraging more donations of time from the attorneys. 

5.2 Marketing Strategy

Advocates for Legal Equal Access' marketing strategy will be based on marketing themselves to different law firms as well as to different corporations. The law firms will be targeted for cash donations as well donations of attorney's time. The corporations will be targeted for fiscal donations. 

Al will use his marketing skills learned in his MBA studies to market Advocates as an organization that offers public interest support for the greater Portland community. Approximately 40% of Al's time will be spent fundraising/marketing. A lot of this time will be spent traveling around and meeting with the different leaders of the organizations and convincing them that Advocates is a well run organization, deserving of the company's support. Because Al comes from ten years of law practice in a well respected firm, he generates a lot of legitimacy or visibility in the Portland community. For corporations or law firms that are donating time or money to the Advocates, they are reassured that they will gain from their donation because of the visibility that they will get from their donation, the better "bang for the buck" efficiency of delivery of services of the Advocates, and the positive feeling of their financial civic virtue.

The attorneys sought will be convinced to donate their time to Advocates because it is a particularly efficient organization and the time donation will be of greater value (meaning more people will be served) than the same time donation to another cause.

5.3 Fundraising Strategy

This topic was covered in the previous marketing sections since these two activities are so intertwined in nonprofit organizations.

5.3.1 Funding Forecast

It is forecasted that initial funding will be slow for the first few months.  Al will be making an initial donation for the start-up costs.  After month four as the organization is truly up and running and has gained visibility in the community, the donations will begin to flow in at a more regular rate.  This applies to both fiscal donations as well as attorneys' donations of their time to take over case loads.

Funding Forecast
Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Funding
Law Firms $29,546 $38,954 $38,985
Corporations $29,445 $37,455 $41,888
Total Funding $58,991 $76,409 $80,873
Direct Cost of Funding Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Law Firms $0 $0 $0
Corporations $0 $0 $0
Subtotal Cost of Funding $0 $0 $0

5.4 Milestones

Advocates for Legal Equal Access will have several milestones early on:

  1. Business plan completion.  This will be done as a roadmap for the organization.  This will be an indispensable tool for the ongoing performance and improvement of the company.
  2. Set up the office.
  3. Official release of the website.
  4. The first case won.
  5. Donations exceeding $50,000.
Milestones
Milestone Start Date End Date Budget Manager Department
Business plan completion 1/1/2001 2/1/2001 $0 ABC Marketing
Set up the office 1/1/2001 2/1/2001 $0 ABC Department
Official release of the website 1/1/2001 2/1/2001 $0 ABC Department
The first case won 1/1/2001 4/1/2001 $0 ABC Department
Donations exceeding $50,000 1/1/2001 11/30/2001 $0 ABC Department
Totals $0