How to Apply

CY 2023 Annual Grant Cycle
The Lawyers Trust Fund is now accepting applications for grants for CY 2023 (January 1, 2023 through December 31, 2023). Applications are due on September 19, 2022, and grant awards will be announced in mid-December 2022.

LTF Eligibility Guidelines
To be eligible for grant funding from LTF, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Be an Illinois non-profit organization that is tax-exempt under 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
  • Serve Illinois residents who cannot afford to hire private legal counsel, which is generally defined as having incomes below 150% of the federal poverty guidelines.
  • Provide services without charge to the client. [Note: This does not mean applicants cannot charge sliding-scale fees to clients with incomes above 150% of the federal poverty guidelines, nor does it mean that grantees cannot require clients to pay court costs or related expenses that cannot be waived. However, LTF funds can only be used to support free services.]
  • Employ at least one (1) paid, full-time equivalent staff attorney who has been licensed to practice for a minimum of three years at the time the application is due.  However, emerging organizations or legal aid programs based in under-resourced communities (with a special emphasis on those led and/or governed by members of historically marginalized groups) may seek a waiver of this requirement from LTF through the process described in the instructions section of this document. Waiver decisions will be granted based on multiple factors, as well as the overall availability of funds, and will be made at the sole discretion of the LTF board of directors. For LTF’s purposes, an “emerging organization or legal aid program” is generally defined as a non-profit organization or legal aid program of a non-profit organization created within three years of the application due date and/or with an annual budget of under $300,000 as of the application due date.

For more information about LTF’s grantmaking and the process for applying for a grant, please read the Grant Guidelines & Instructions for CY 2023 Applications. If you have any questions about LTF’s grant guidelines and priorities, please contact Executive Director Mark Marquardt at 312-938-2133 or via email, or Deputy Director for Grants and Policy David Holtermann at 312-938-3076 or via email.

How to Apply for a Grant
After reading the grant guidelines and instructions, applicants will need to complete an application through LTF’s online grants portal. First-time users will need to establish an account on the portal. Once the account is established, users can preview the application.

Information Sessions and Technical Assistance

  • General Grant Application Information Sessions: LTF will host two Zoom webinars for an orientation to the grant application and process for 2023. These sessions will explain key changes for 2023. Both current grantees and new applicants are welcome to participate, but participation is optional.
      • Sessions are scheduled for August 1 at 2:00pm and August 9 at 10:00am. The two sessions will have the same information, so you need only attend one.
      • Please register for either session
      • Please register for either session in advance by contacting us via email
      • You will receive an email with instructions for joining the session early on the day of the session.
  • New Applicant Information Session: LTF also will host a Zoom webinar information session for organizations not currently receiving an LTF grant. This session will explain LTF’s grant guidelines, eligibility criteria, and factors in grant awards. Participation is optional.
      • The session is scheduled for August 3 at 10:00 a.m
      • Please register in advance by contacting us via email

If you have technical questions about completing the application and supplying the requested data, please contact Deputy Director for Grants and Policy David Holtermann at 312-938-3076 or via email.; or Counsel for Strategic Initiatives Hanna Kaufman at 312-938-3006 or via email.

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