GRANTS PROGRAMS

The DC Bar Foundation awards grants to DC-based 501(c)3 non-profit organizations that provide free civil legal aid to low-income DC residents. DCBF has three annual grant programs – General Support, Access to Justice, and Civil Legal Counsel Projects Program Grants. Information on how to apply for our grants can be found by clicking on the grant programs below.

GENERAL SUPPORT GRANTS:

  • Awarded annually since 1978

  • Source of funding: private contributions and IOLTA revenue

  • Application opens: July

  • Application deadline: late August

  • Awards announced: mid-December

  • Grant year: January 1 to December 31

The General Support Grants Program, which began in 1978, the year after DCBF was founded, has provided over $30 million in critical operating support to DC legal service providers. General Support grants provide unrestricted funds support to help cover overhead costs, such as rent and client record databases, which are not always covered by other grants these organizations receive. These grants are funded by private contributions and revenue received through the IOLTA program.

ACCESS TO JUSTICE GRANTS PROGRAM:

  • Awarded annually since 2007

  • Source of funding: public funding from a grant from the District

  • Application opens: July

  • Application deadline: late August

  • Awards announced: mid-December

  • Grant year: January 1 to December 31

In 2007, DCBF began awarding grants under the Access to Justice Grants Program (ATJ Grants) when the Council of the District of Columbia designated DCBF as the administrator of these funds. ATJ Grants support organizations that provide legal assistance in three areas: (a) underserved areas in DC; (b) housing-related matters; and (c) to support a shared legal services interpreter bank. Since 2007, over $65 million has been awarded to provide critical legal assistance to DC’s poor and underserved.

CIVIL LEGAL COUNSEL PROJECTS PROGRAM:

  • Legislation passed in late June 2017

  • Source of funding: public funding from a grant from the District

  • Application opens: July

  • Application deadline: late August

  • Awards announced: mid-December

  • Grant year: January 1 to December 31

The Civil Legal Counsel Projects Program (CLCPP Grants) was established by the Council of the District of Columbia through the Expanding Access to Justice Amendment Act of 2017. The legislation designates the DC Bar Foundation to administer this grant program. Since 2018, over $15 million has been awarded to DC legal aid organizations providing representation in eviction defense proceedings for low-income District residents.