About the Foundation


The Barbara McDowell and Gerald S. Hartman Foundation aims to improve the economic well-being and social conditions of disadvantaged persons and groups in the United States through the making of grants to organizations that undertake systemic litigation with the funds they receive and by coordinating direct, pro-bono litigation through our High Impact Project.

To learn more about how you can help create social justice through legal action, go to our Donate page.

Barbara McDowell was an exceptional advocate for social justice reforms with a decorated legal career. Following her untimely death from brain cancer at the age of 56, Barbara’s husband, Jerry Hartman, established the foundation in her name to honor and continue her extraordinary work.

Since its inception in 2009, the McDowell Foundation has distributed over $1,150,000 in grants to 45 organizations nationwide and participated in nearly 20 cases as part of its High Impact Litigation Project.

The Foundation’s grantmaking and High Impact Litigation Project have benefited diverse constituent populations by focusing upon a variety of social justice causes.