Grants for Legal Services Nonprofits, Private Attorneys, and Small Law Firms in the United States

Grants for Legal Services Nonprofits, Private Attorneys, and Small Law Firms in the United States

About Our Grant Program

The Impact Fund awards recoverable grants to legal services nonprofits, private attorneys, and small law firms who seek to advance justice in the areas of civil and human rights, environmental justice, and poverty law.

Since being founded in 1992, the Impact Fund has made more than 700 recoverable grants totaling more than $8 million for impact litigation. We award grants four times per year, most within the range of US$10,000 to US$50,000.

Grant Program Criteria

The Impact Fund makes recoverable grants to lawyers, small law firms, and nonprofit organizations involved in impact litigation. We fund civil rights, human rights, anti-poverty, and environmental justice cases that will affect a marginalized group.

Most of our grants are for class actions, but we also fund multi-plaintiff and environmental justice cases that aim to significantly affect a larger system or lead to significant law reform. Impact Fund grants may be used for out-of-pocket litigation expenses such as expert fees and discovery costs, but not for attorneys’ fees, staff, or other overhead.

Additional Considerations

How far along is your case?

We prefer to fund cases that have been filed or are about to be filed. You get extra credit if you’ve passed a motion to dismiss.

Are you looking to fund attorneys’ fees?

Our grants do not fund attorney or staff time or organizational overhead. See our application questions for a list of our most commonly funded litigation expenses.

Is your case set up for success?

No one can guarantee a victory. That's why we look for a coherent strategy and a legal team with sufficient experience and resources to give the case the best chance of success.

Have you collaborated with anyone else?

Legal work can be all-encompassing. But taking the time to talk with others who have litigated (or are currently litigating) similar cases can make a huge difference in the long run.

Do you need the money?

You probably wouldn't be reading this if you didn't need financial support, but just in case: We prioritize requests from applicants who need funding to keep their case moving forward.

Have the expenses already been paid?

Our grants can only be used for expenses that have not yet been paid. Raising funds for litigation costs can feel like a juggling act, we know. We’re available to talk by phone if you need help determining when to apply.

Have you estimated what your case will cost?
Litigation costs can be hard to predict, but we’ve found there is value in planning. Once you run the numbers, you might move securing co-counsel to the top of your list. (We can help.)

Have we funded your case before?

Occasionally we will fund a case more than once. In these situations, the case has lasted several years and has a new set of challenges and expenses.

Are you an attorney, or is an attorney representing you in the lawsuit?

Cases brought by non-lawyers who are representing themselves (also known as pro se litigants) are not eligible for Impact Fund grants.

Are you willing to repay your grant if you recover attorney’s fees or costs?

To ensure our fund’s sustainability, we require repayment of the original grant, plus 7% simple interest, on cases that achieve a fee or cost recovery. If a case does not recover fees or costs, then nothing is owed.

How to Apply

For more information and job application details, see; Grants for Legal Services Nonprofits, Private Attorneys, and Small Law Firms in the United States

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