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Grants to Illinois Nonprofits to Provide Legal Dispute Resolution Services to State Residents

Mediation Services Grant

Illinois Equal Justice Foundation (IEJF)

Agency: Foundation

GrantWatch ID #144782

Grant Description

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Grants to Illinois nonprofit organizations that provide dispute resolution services to state residents as an alternative to the traditional legal process. Funding is intended to provide access to free, efficient, and fair conflict resolution services for those who might not otherwise have such access.

Grants to support mediation services will be made to dispute resolution centers, which are not-for-profit organizations that offer free mediation services to the public that are provided by trained volunteers.

The IEJF will consider support for:

  • New Dispute Resolution Centers: To increase the availability of mediation services throughout Illinois, the IEJF will consider applications for “start-up” grants to new dispute resolution centers – including those that have begun operation and those that will begin offering services during the grant period – that can demonstrate the ability to provide mediation services in accordance with these guidelines.
  • Existing Dispute Resolution Centers: The IEJF will consider applications for operating support from existing dispute resolution centers. These operating expenses include staff salaries and benefits, as well as other costs directly related to providing mediation services.

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Additional Eligibility Criteria:

In the Mediation Services category, the IEJF will only consider applications from Illinois-based not-for-profit organizations that:
- Provide free mediation services to disputants.
- Provide mediation services using volunteers who have received at least 30 hours of training as mediators.
- Have operating procedures in place that demonstrate compliance with Section 5 of the Illinois Not-for-Profit Dispute Resolution Center Act (710 ILCS 20/5), including operating an ongoing peer review program for mediators; scheduling mediations within 30 days of the commencement of a case; maintaining records on mediated cases; advising parties of the objectives of mediation, their roles, and the mediator’s role; and considering disputes resolved when there is a written agreement.

- Funds appropriated by the Illinois General Assembly, including funds distributed by the IEJF, may not be spent on a sectarian purpose.
- Said funds may not be used for the purpose of lobbying; encouraging political activities, labor or anti-labor activities, boycotts, picketing, strikes or demonstrations; or investigative or legal compliance activities related to a pending dispute.
- A recipient may not use funds received under the Illinois Equal Justice Act to file an individual action or class action under the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act or other labor laws.
- No more than 10% of grants awarded by the IEJF can be used for overhead costs. Failure to abide by this may jeopardize future funding from the IEJF.

Pre-Application Information:

- July 8, 2022: Applications are available at
- August 15, 2022: Completed applications & proposals due
- September/October 2022: Grant review & site visits
- December 2022: Board decisions announced

Grant payments will be disbursed in December, April, and June. Payments are dependent on receipt of funds from the state.

General guidelines:

Term of Contract:

The grant period will be September 1, 2022 – August 31, 2023.

Contact Information:

Apply online:

If you have any questions, please direct them to Program Officer Tyrina Newkirk at

Illinois Equal Justice Foundation
180 North Stetson, Suite 820
Chicago, Illinois 60601

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