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Community Grants

Grants to USA Nonprofits that Offer Legal
Services to Underserved Communities

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Columbia Law School - Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF)

Deadline Date:



Request a Grant Writer

Grants ranging from $5,000 to $10,000 to USA nonprofit organizations for legal services that benefit needy communities. Funding is intended for a wide range of new and creative projects that would not be possible without financial assistance. A small preference is given for projects that involve Columbia law students or alumni, or for activities that have the potential to include such involvement in the future. Overhead and indirect costs may be included in the request.

The PILF is committed to supporting public interest activities, including but not limited to: reforming the criminal and civil justice systems, eradicating discrimination, expanding educational and economic opportunities, improving living standards, and increasing citizen access to legal forums.

Proposals should be innovative, well conceived, and practical to implement. Special consideration will be given to projects:
- Addressing issues or aiding groups that currently receive inadequate attention or representation by individuals, organizations, or government bodies;
- That are discrete and will be completed in a measurable time-frame; or
- Proposed by graduates of Columbia Law School

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 185410

Number of Grants:

This year, PILF will award two to four grants.

Estimated Size of Grant:

PILF will award grants ranging from $5,000 to $10,000.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

All organizations performing work that benefits the public interest through the mechanism of law are eligible.

PILF does not fund:
- Organizations seeking general funding for standard operating expenses;
- Private practice on behalf of particular clients or any other profit-seeking activity; or
- Activities that replicate recognized governmental functions or which duplicate projects that are principally supported by governmental and other public funds.

Pre-Application Information:

Applications must be received by Saturday, March 16, 2019.

The application evaluation process proceeds in two stages. In the first stage, applications are read by student volunteers and then rated according to the criteria. Based on these ratings, 8-12 finalist applications are chosen. Once the finalists have been chosen, stage two of the selection process begins. At this point, the grant reading committee reads and rates each application before convening at a final meeting, at which point the final funding decisions are made.

PILF will send an email to all applicants to let them know that their application has been received; however, this email will not provide information regarding whether or not all the required materials have been sent. Applicants will then be notified in April as to whether or not they have been selected. Selected applicants will at that time also be told how much they have been awarded.

Contact Information:

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

All applications must be emailed to Kristin Johnson, VP of Community Grants for PILF at in PDF format.

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming