Find Nonprofit and Small Business Grants

Advance Search

Only Available for Paid Subscribers
Clear Filters
Search Filters

Grants to New York Nonprofits to Provide Free Legal Services to Low-Income and Underrepresented Clients

FY 2024 and 2025 IOLA Grant


GrantWatch ID#

Funding Source
Interest on Lawyer Account (IOLA) Fund of the State of New York
Funding or PIN Number: IOL01-IOL24-2025
Array ( )

Geographic Focus
USA: New York CityNew York

Important Dates
Conference Date: 08/16/22
Deadline: 09/21/22 12:00 PM ET Save

Grant Description
Grants to New York nonprofit organizations to provide free high-quality legal services to low-income clients and underrepresented groups. Interested applicants are required to pre-register prior to applying. Funding is intended to support programs such as alternative dispute resolution programs, pro bono services, technical assistance programs, specialized legal services, and staff attorney programs. The purpose of the program is to ensure civil legal representation to disadvantaged clients and to improve the administration of justice throughout the state.

The IOLA Fund (IOLA) supports a variety of programs to ensure the delivery of a full range of civil legal services to low income New Yorkers through a comprehensive, well-coordinated statewide system. Such programs include, but are not limited to: Staff attorney programs, pro bono programs, specialized legal services programs, multi-service programs, alternative dispute resolution programs and support and technical assistance programs for the legal services delivery system.

To accomplish its mission, the IOLA Fund administers two grant programs:

1. Civil Legal Services (CLS) Grant Program

The Civil Legal Services Program funds organizations that provide direct civil legal services in multiple areas of poverty law (for example, housing, family, public benefits) to poor persons residing in a particular geographic areas. Legal services are provided free of charge. The most common categories of cases handled by CLS programs are family, housing, income maintenance, consumer, health and employment. CLS grant awards are for general operating support. 

By statute, the Fund allocates no less than 75% of its total annual funding to the CLS grant program and bases those awards on the poverty population according to the latest available figures from the U.S. Census Bureau.

2. Administration of Justice (AOJ) Grant Program

Awards are made to providers of legal services to underserved groups and other groups with special needs. In addition to legal services, the AOJ awards support training, program innovations, alternative dispute resolution programs, volunteer lawyer programs and technology improvements to enhance service delivery. The Program funds organizations that fall in one of the following four categories: The organization provides legal services principally through the pro bono model; the organization provides direct civil legal services to a particular demographic group such as domestic violence victims, the disabled, the elderly, homeless persons, immigrants and others; the organization provides training, technical assistance or other supportive services to civil legal services providers; the organization provides legal or support services through the innovative use of technology.

The IOLA Fund generally gives priority to programs that already receive IOLA grant funds. However, the Trustees encourage applications from other programs engaged in the provision of civil legal services if the need, client population, or geographic area that it serves is not addressed by existing programs. The Trustees also encourage applications from innovative programs that help expand access to equal justice for poor persons.


  • Others (see text field entitled "Additional Eligibility Criteria" for clarification)

Additional Eligibility Criteria
Organizations qualified to receive IOLA grants must meet all of the following:
- Be nonprofit entities, tax-exempt under section 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code;
- Operate within New York State;
- Have an audit mechanism that provides accountability for IOLA funds;
- Agree to satisfy, on a timely basis, all of IOLA’s reporting requirements, including the submission of certified financial statements; and
- Provide legal services as a CLS or AOJ provider.


- Civil Legal Services (CLS) – Provide direct civil legal services in multiple substantive areas without charge to low income persons within particular geographical areas in New York State. By statute, CLS awards are based on the poverty population in New York State according to the “latest available figures” from the US Census Bureau. Applicants should refer to “Poverty Population and IOLA Unit Map” included with this application and posted on the Fund’s website.

- Administration of Justice (AOJ) – Provides services that seek to:
(a) Enhance civil legal services to low income persons through innovative and cost-effective means;
(b) Provide direct civil legal services either to groups of clients currently underserved by legal services (such as the elderly or disabled), or in an area of representation (whether substantive or geographical) that cannot be or is not effectively served by individual qualified legal services providers;
(c) Provide legal, management or operational training, or legal, management, support service, or technical assistance, or direct legal assistance, informational advocacy or litigation support to qualified legal services providers; or
(d) Otherwise promote the improvement of the administration of justice.

Please note: IOLA will determine whether the applying entity is to be considered a CLS or AOJ applicant, pursuant to Section 7000.12 of the Trustees Regulations, as well as based on the application and all supporting documents submitted by an applicant.

Subject to certain exceptions and circumstances, persons eligible to receive legal services with IOLA funds are limited to those whose incomes do not exceed 125% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.

IOLA funds may not be used for any of the following purposes:
(1) Legal assistance with respect to any criminal proceeding or any action in the nature of habeas corpus collaterally attacking a criminal conviction
(2) Political purposes
(3) Endowment campaign support

Pre-Proposal Conference
Applicants are invited to attend IOLA’s Pre-Bid Conference on Tuesday, August 16, 2022, at 10:00 am. IOLA staff will provide a brief overview of the application requirements and answer questions from attendees. All questions and answers addressed during the Conference will be made available to all potential bidders after the Conference is conducted via the IOLA website.

The Conference will be held via Zoom. Attendance at the Pre-Bid Conference is optional. Pre-registration is required.

To register:

Pre-Application Information
- Conference Date/Time August 16, 2022 11:00 AM
- Questions Due Date Monday, September 12, 2022
- Questions and Answers Posting Date September 14, 2022 12:00 AM
- Applications Due (Date / Time) September 21, 2022 / 12:00 PM ET
- Anticipated Award Date Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Applicants are strongly urged to submit applications at least 48 hours in advance of the deadline to allow for uploading documents to the Grants Gateway.

New York requires not-for-profit vendors to register in the Grants Gateway. Prequalification is a required condition to apply for a grant. (If you are not Prequalified at that time and date, your application will not be considered.) Additional information, including online tutorials, can be found on the Grants Management website ( Specific questions about the prequalification process can be directed to IOLA staff or the Grants Reform Team at GrantsGateway.

Any and all questions regarding the application process must be submitted via email and be received by the Fund on or before 4:00 PM, September 12, 2022. Oral questions will not be accepted or answered. Questions received after the deadline may not be answered. IOLA will post on its website a final and comprehensive list of all questions and answers by September 14, 2022.

IOLA will accept only one application from each organization.

View the Opportunity on the New York State Grants Gateway site:


For additional grant-related resources, see the URL for Full Text below.

Additional Funding Information

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant
Total Program Funding:
New York State Finance Law 97-v requires the Trustees to allocate no less than 75% of the total grant funds available to qualified civil legal services (“CLS”) providers and no more than 25% of the total grant funds available to programs that improve the administration of justice (“AOJ”).

Term of Contract
IOLA’s next grant cycle will award funds for the twenty-five-month period beginning March 1, 2023 and ending March 31, 2025. The first month of the contract is a planning period, wherein no contract expenses may be incurred. Contract expenses can be incurred starting April 1, 2023.

Contact Information
To access the Grants Gateway online portal:

Email all questions regarding the application process to
(Subject line: IOLA Grant Application Question(s))

Forward all Grants Gateway questions to or 518-474-5595.

The Grants Reform help desk / hotline can be reached at the phone number above.

Colleen Fehringer

IOLA Fund of the State of New York
11 East 44th Street, Suite #1406
New York, NY 10017
(646) 865-1541

Grant News
Live Chat Chat Now