Ohio State Bar Foundation Announces Strategic Grant Program

January 09, 2018

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Jan. 9, 2018 – The Ohio State Bar Foundation (OSBF), a public charity committed to advancing the philanthropic interest of Ohio's lawyers to recognize excellence, improve the justice system and enhance public understanding of the law throughout Ohio, today announced the Call for Proposals for its new grant program focused on improving the civics knowledge of adults in Ohio.

OSBF has awarded more than $12 million in grants since 1992. Its new strategic grantmaking initiative, open to any non-profit organization in the U.S., seeks proposals offering ideas to reach Ohioans with the goal of helping them to better understand our democracy and the associated policies that affect them and their communities.

“If citizens don’t understand how their government works, they’re less likely to be engaged,” said Carol Seubert Marx, Attorney at Law and president of the OSBF Board of Trustees. “Through this strategic grant program, OSBF seeks to educate as many adults in Ohio as possible, arming them with the information they need to be better-informed citizens—and voters—and impact the direction the state and the country are moving in.”

Citing reasons such as the fact that many Americans can’t answer a question as basic as what the three branches of government are (only one in four, according to a poll by the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg Public Policy Center ), OSBF’s Board of Trustees chose this topic with the goal of better educating citizens so they’ll want to be more involved in their communities.

“The information is out there, so this may just be a matter of getting it into the hands of citizens,” Marx continued. “There’s been a lot of focus on the school-aged population, but there’s a dire need for adults to be better informed.”

Organizations may submit proposals that address adults’ civics knowledge while incorporating innovative ways to increase access to justice and improving the perception of the judiciary. The organization expects to award up to $100,000 per year, for an estimated total of $300,000 for a 36-month performance period, beginning May 1, 2018.

OSBF will accept proposals until Feb. 15, 2018. The submissions will be narrowed down and those selected will be asked to submit a Stage 2 application by March 30, 2018. The recipient(s) of the grant will be announced on Law Day, May 1, 2018. 

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