The BFF Legal Services Program originated from a query about the role of and definition of “safety net” organizations. Following the financial crisis of 2007-2008, the founders of BFF began to explore the various different types of non-profits that were called to action to help those most impacted by the Great Recession. Alongside medical clinics, food banks and shelters, legal services representatives worked tirelessly to help their clients.
From this origin, BFF began to explore the role of legal services both as a “safety net provider” and as a poverty alleviation tool. Based on a metric created by the Robin Hood Foundation and on impact report submitted by over a dozen different types of organizations, it became apparent to us that legal aid is, dollar for dollar, more effective than all other anti-poverty interventions. Time and time again when we read the Social Return on Investment reports (SROIs) from our grantees, we are both amazed and impressed with their outcomes.