General Support grants are critical in supporting nonprofits who serve our neighbors. Grantees often share how much they appreciate our General Support grants, which can be used to cover operating expenses for organizations providing free civil legal services in the District.
While these grants are small compared to our Access to Justice or Civil Legal Counsel Projects Program awards, they fill critical expense gaps that are otherwise difficult to fund – from rent and utilities, to technology maintenance, or even new office furniture. As we all know, these are vital, practical needs without which organizations cannot sustain their good work.
Funds for our General Support grants come from private fundraising, and the Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts (IOLTA) program.
Last year, we awarded a first-time General Support grant to a new organization connecting with their community through outreach in local churches. Because this was their first General Support grant from the Foundation, they were thrilled at the possibilities this new funding provided:
“Now we will be able to send staff to a conference they’ve been eager to attend, which we wouldn’t have been able to approve this year. We know that paying for operational expenses doesn’t sound as exciting as providing direct services – but it makes a huge difference to us in our ability to provide those services well.”
We value our partnerships with our grantees and count on their feedback. This year, the DC Bar Foundation reduced midyear reporting requirements, making it even easier for grantees to focus on the real work: providing clients with the critical services that make a difference in their lives.