At the DC Bar Foundation, we are fortunate to have loyal donors and volunteers who make our mission possible through their generosity. This month, we spoke with Maria Kirby, Vice President of Government Relations for the Walt Disney Company. Maria is a loyal donor to the Foundation and a member of our 77 Society who generously prioritizes her employer’s donation matching programs. Donation matching at your place of employment is an excellent option to explore if you want to maximize the impact of your gift to the DC Bar Foundation. Below, Maria shares what supporting the DC Bar Foundation means to her.
How and when did you learn about the DC Bar Foundation?
I’d been looking for direct service volunteer opportunities with Bread for the City a few years ago and learned about the DCBF’s work in engaging Anacostia residents directly to strengthen access to legal services during the height of the pandemic. I've been incredibly impressed with DCBF's innovative and tireless efforts to satisfy their mission under challenging circumstances —“that District residents have equal access to justice, regardless of wealth, knowledge, or power.”
What part of the Foundation’s work excites you most?
Constantly addressing immediate needs can make system-wide change seem impossible. DCBF’s recent focus on funding upstream needs will hopefully allow community-based organizations to get to residents before they reach crisis levels and surround them with services. It may also help prevent burnout among frontline legal services providers who also need support in serving clients and communities.
You recently made a donation to the Foundation and asked your employer to match it. What was involved with getting your employer to match your gift?
I’m glad to work for a company that helps expand the reach of employee donations! I think our process is similar to that of other places. We ensure that organizations satisfy our internal eligibility guidelines and also have a few administrative steps that have to be completed, e.g. verifying donation amount. It wasn’t time-consuming at all and I encourage all DCBF supporters to check with their employers to see if a matching gift is available. It makes such a difference!