Posted on June 20, 2010

Testimony from Andy Schneggenburger

The Atlanta Housing Association of Neighborhood-based Developers (AHAND) has been very fortunate to have maintained a strong working relationship with the Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta. AHAND is a dues-paying membership association of non-profit community development corporations and affordable housing developers working to revitalize Atlanta and metro area neighborhoods.

AHAND’s program areas include education and advocacy on policy issues impacting our members and their work, and capacity-building to continuously help our members do what they do better. Both of these program areas benefit significantly from the Pro Bono Partnership’s services, particularly the workshop series of our capacity-building program. While the menu of outstanding workshops already provided by the Pro Bono Partnership for non-profit organizations already benefits AHAND and our member organizations, AHAND has also worked with Rachel and her staff to implement a series of workshops over the last few years targeted specifically for our member organizations and issues directly related to community development. These quarterly seminars have always been of the highest quality, and we look forward to continuing this service to our members.

The Pro Bono Partnership has also been an invaluable legal resource for AHAND directly. Recent assistance has included the drafting of a fiscal sponsorship agreement, and other guidance relating to AHAND organizational management. Having access to the knowledge and expertise that the Pro Bono Partnership provides either directly or indirectly is truly irreplaceable.

While the content quality of these services has always been top-notch, the responsiveness, accessibility and professional attention to detail of Pro Bono Partnership staff has likewise been of the highest quality. The Pro Bono Partnership is a resource for the non-profit community in Atlanta that has been a joy and a relief to work with. The importance and value of the services it provides cannot be overstated. AHAND would like to sincerely thank all those who make the Pro Bono Partnership possible.

Andy Schneggenburger
Executive Director
Atlanta Housing Association of Neighborhood-based Developers

Testimony from Rick D. McMurtry

I am so proud of my involvement with Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta. I first heard about PBP-Atl in 2006, and since then I’ve had the chance to work with many different non-profit and charitable organizations, which has not only fulfilled my interest in helping others but also given me a chance to expand my work beyond the normal routine and exposure to new professional experiences. Prior to working with PBP-Atl, my philanthropic efforts were pretty much limited to writing checks and non-legal volunteer efforts. PBP-Atl’s focus on in-house attorneys and providing us with resources to take on pro bono projects, such as breaking matters up into discrete projects or pairing in-house attorneys with law firms, allowed me to resume working on pro bono matters.

My first client with PBP-Atl was the Enchanted Closet, a non-profit organization that helps to outfit high school girls from low-income families with clothing for special events and professional experiences, such as prom dresses or business suits. As great a cause as this is, I honestly picked the project because it sounded like a good test case for dipping my toes back into the pro bono world, i.e., one that would not take too much of my time. Not only did I find that the project did not take too much time, but I was so gratified by the experience and the appreciation of my client that I decided to take on more projects. After that first project years ago, I’ve volunteered to work with organizations that benefit the blind, senior citizens, abused and neglected children, refugees, environmental housing, and other good and worthy causes that I’m so honored to have had a small hand in helping out.

Many of my colleagues at Turner Broadcasting System now also volunteer with PBP-Atl. In fact, Turner was honored as PBP-Atl’s Corporation of the Year in 2006 thanks to the many volunteers from Turner, including both attorneys and other legal professionals. All of our volunteers have benefited from exposure to new practices areas and additional responsibility that they may not otherwise receive. One example included the opportunity for two of my paralegals and a legal assistant to help me prepare and deliver a presentation to small and minority-owned businesses through Goodwill Industries. That opportunity not only helped all of us hone our public speaking skills, but also gave my colleagues a chance to show off their knowledge and dig a little deeper into issues that they don’t deal with every day. I am thankful to PBP-Atl for its part in helping to revitalize the pro bono spirit in me and many of my colleagues at Turner.

Rick D. McMurtry
Assistant General Counsel
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.

Testimony from Marvin Bryant

The Atlanta Micro Fund (www.atlantamicrofund.com) is a nonprofit organization that provides small business micro loans and business management coaching to low and moderate income entrepreneurs throughout metropolitan Atlanta. The AMF is a U.S. Small Business Administration micro loan intermediary and certified community development financial institution (CDFI).

The relationship between Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta and the AMF began during November 2005 when the AMF sought assistance with separating from its parent organization. Over the past four years, Pro Bono Atlanta has assisted the AMF with finding legal counsel to: 1.) review its loan documentation to insure that those documents do not violate any state or federal laws; 2.) develop a privacy policy for its website; and 3.) develop volunteer and client agreements.

Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta is extremely valuable to nonprofits that do not possess the resources to hire quality legal counsel. Having this agency supporting us allows me to rest a little more peacefully at night.

Marvin Bryant
Executive Director
Atlanta Micro Fund