This year marks my first as a Co-Chair for the Generous Associates Campaign. I initially became involved in the Campaign more than four years ago when a departing colleague asked me to take over as Reed Smith’s Generous Associates Campaign firm coordinator. During that first Campaign, I learned the importance of the Co-Chairs. Faced with the daunting task of nagging my colleagues and bosses to donate money, my assigned Co-Chair provided the moral support I needed. He reminded me of the critical importance of Legal Aid in making justice real for those who most need it in the Washington community. Also, he helped brainstorm new ideas for fundraising and provided useful talking points to appeal to my colleagues.
Aided by the enthusiasm of my Co-Chair and the generosity and support of my Reed Smith colleagues, I went door-to-door in my office and pleaded for contributions. I implemented new fundraising ideas, like “Jeans Days for Justice” (office members may wear jeans on casual Friday for a small contribution to the Campaign), creative partner and firm matches, and more visibility for the Campaign around the office (colored flyers for the office doors of Campaign contributors). The support of my Co-Chair helped re-invigorate Reed Smith’s Campaign efforts. We increased our contributions significantly from previous years, and have become a leader in our firm category each subsequent Campaign.
I was honored to be invited to join as a Co-Chair for this year’s Campaign. Participating in the Campaign over the past four years has been extremely gratifying. In reminding us that there is a long way to go before achieving equal justice, the Campaign and its coordinators push us to be better citizens and lawyers. I hope to bring the same enthusiasm to my duties as Co-Chair as I did to my years as a firm coordinator and to help firm coordinators achieve their goals. Having been a coordinator, I know fundraising can be difficult, but as we learn every year, our colleagues are inherently generous.
Daniel Z. Herbst is an Associate at the law firm of Reed Smith LLP and serves as a Co-Chair of the 2010 Generous Associates Campaign.