The Impact Fund provides grants to nonprofit legal firms, private attorneys, and/or small law firms working to advance social justice in the areas of civil and human rights, environmental justice, and poverty law.
Grants of up to $50,000 are awarded to lawyers, law firms, and nonprofit organizations involved in impact litigation. Grants are usually awarded for a particular case, but occasionally the fund will support a series of cases bound by a common strategy. Most grants are for class actions, but multi-plaintiff and environmental justice cases that aim to significantly affect a larger system are encouraged.
The fund prefers to fund cases that have been filed or are about to be filed and prioritizes requests from applicants who need funding to keep their case moving forward. On cases that achieve a fee or cost recovery, the fund requires repayment of the original grant, plus 7 percent simple interest. If a case does not recover fees or costs, then nothing is owed. Grants may be used for out-of-pocket litigation expenses such as expert fees and discovery costs, but not for attorney's fees, staff, or other overhead.
For the spring 2020 grant cycle, Letters of Interest must be received no later than January 14, 2020. Upon review, selected applicants will be invited to submit a full application by February 11, 2020.
See the fund's website for complete program guidelines and application instructions.