How to Apply

LTF 2022 Annual Grant Cycle

The Lawyers Trust Fund is now accepting applications for grants for CY 2022 (January 1, 2022 through December 31, 2022). LTF is now using one, consolidated process for making grants. This is the only process for seeking a legal aid grant from LTF for 2022. Applications are due on September 20, 2021, and grant awards will be announced in mid-December 2021.

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 Annual Grant Cycle Guidelines & Instructions for CY 2022. 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.

Organizations that want to request a pre-application waiver of the one-attorney requirement must do so no later than August 9. Please read the instructions for requesting a waiver on pages 8-9 of the Grant Guidelines & Instructions.

Information Sessions and Technical Assistance

  • General Grant Application Information Sessions: LTF will host two Zoom webinars during July for an orientation to the grant application and process for 2022. These sessions will explain key changes for 2022. Both current grantees and new applicants are welcome to participate, but participation is optional.
    • Sessions are scheduled for July 21 at 10:00am and July 29 at 2:00pm. The two sessions will have the same information, so you need only attend one.
  • New Applicant Information Sessions: LTF will host two additional Zoom webinars specifically for prospective applicants who are not current LTF grantees. These sessions will explain LTF’s grant guidelines, eligibility criteria, and factors in grant awards. Participation in either of these sessions is optional.
    • Sessions are scheduled for July 20 at 2:00pm and August 4 at 10:00am. The two sessions will have the same information, so you need only attend one.

Please register for either session 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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