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Family Law Access to Justice Fund (ATJF)

Grants to Canada Nonprofits and Universities
to Support the Legal Needs of the Underserved

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Law Foundation of Ontario

Deadline Date:

10/02/17 - Major Grants


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Grants starting at $15,000 to Canada nonprofits, universities, and community colleges for projects addressing the legal needs of children and youth, public legal education, and refugees. Applicants are encouraged to contact program staff before applying.

Preference will be given to applications that address one (or more) of the following:

- Constitute novel or “breakthrough” innovations that could dramatically improve access to justice or outcomes for families
- Use technology to reach people more effectively
- Pilot programs that have a reasonable chance of finding ongoing funding (while the Foundation does not generally provide funding to government or legal aid agencies, it is interested in ideas that have the support of those system partners)
- Will provide meaningful insights into outcomes in family law matters, particularly applied research that will provide insights into what is working and where improvements could be made. Any research proposal must demonstrate concrete benefit to community members.

Grants made from the ATJF are to be used to support public access to justice. While the phrase “access to justice” cannot have a single meaning, it is closely linked to the promotion of equity, fairness, and the elimination of barriers to justice (whether physical, psychological, financial, linguistic or social). It can include access by low-income or marginalized persons to information and services.

Preference will be given to proposals that involve collaboration between two or more organizations. The Foundation is happy to accept proposals that respond to needs in one or more than one province and/or territory.

The Foundation is particularly interested in applications that address needs including, but not limited to:

- Supports for self-represented litigants
- Complex family law needs that intersect with other areas of law (e.g. refugee, immigration, criminal law, and child protection)
- Areas where no or very limited public funding is available for services (e.g. divorce)
- Child protection, including efforts to respond to the over-representation of certain populations, including Indigenous families, Black families, and Latin and Hispanic families
- Ensuring access to relevant help for all families, including LGBTQ families
- Poverty reduction strategies and links to family law
- Public legal education and information (PLEI) that assists the public in taking steps to identify, address, and resolve their family law disputes (Please note that the Foundation is unlikely to fund the development of PLEI unless the application demonstrates that the proposed PLEI adds to and does not duplicate existing PLEI in the jurisdiction)

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 167584

Estimated Size of Grant:

Small Grants: Up to $15,000
Major Grants: $15,000 - $250,000

Term of Contract:

Applications can be for short-term or multi-year projects.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Applications need to be made by a non-profit organization, a university, or a community college. The Foundation will consider applications from Indigenous governmental organizations.

To be eligible to apply to the ATJF, your proposal must support access to justice and:

- Address the legal needs of or relate to the groups or areas listed above,
- Fit within the Foundation’s mandate and be consistent with the Foundation’s vision and mission, and
- Be from a not-for-profit venture.

The proposed program or project may be local, regional, provincial or national in scope.

The Foundation will not fund work for a commercial venture or government-run project or program. The Foundation will not fund costs directly related to lobbying, advocating, or promoting a particular position on a legal or public policy issue.

Pre-Application Information:

All applicants (especially first-time applicants) are encouraged to contact LFO staff for advice on the application process.

Small Grants:
The deadline is Friday, June 30, 2017.

Major Grants:
There is a two-stage application process for large grants.

Stage 1: Letter of Intent
Letters of Intent must be received electronically by October 2, 2017 by 5:00 pm EST. Foundation staff will contact you to advise whether your proposal has been accepted to proceed to the full application stage. Approval of the Letter of Intent stage is not a guarantee that you will receive funding. Applications will be reviewed and presented to the Foundation’s Board of Trustees and decisions will be communicated as they are made.

Stage 2: Full Application – By invitation only.


Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Submit the application form electronically to

Aliyah Bhayani, Grants Officer
416-598-1550 x 309

Kathryn Hunter, ATJF Grants Officer
416-598-1550 ext. 318

Law Foundation of Ontario
20 Queen Street West, Suite 3002, Box 19
Toronto, Ontario M5H 3R3

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

Canada: Alberta   British Columbia   Manitoba   New Brunswick   Newfoundland and Labrador   Northwest Territories   Nova Scotia   Nunavut   Ontario   Prince Edward Island   Quebec   Saskatchewan   Yukon