LSC – Pro Bono Innovation Fund (2014)

Letter of Intent Submission Deadline: February 23, 2015 by 5:00 p.m., Eastern Time

Description:  The purpose of the Pro Bono Innovation Fund is to develop and enhance pro bono programs that serve larger numbers of low-income clients and that improve the quality and effectiveness of the services clients receive by using pro bono volunteers. Projects should be innovative (new, replicable models and approaches to pro bono delivery) or replicate prior successful models. The Pro Bono Innovation Fund is designed to address issues identified in the 2012 report of LSC’s Pro Bono Task Force. The report provides a summary of findings that illustrates the current crisis in legal services and suggests ways that pro bono.

Funding Title: Legal Services Corporation Pro Bono Innovation Fund

Agency Name: Legal Services Corporation

Funding Instrument Type: Grant

Express Language for Legal Aid: Yes

Target Population: Current LSC grantees

Cost Sharing or Matching Requirement: No

How to Apply: Submit Online At:

Current Closing Date for Applications: Letter of Intent Submission Deadline: February 23, 2015 by 5:00 p.m. ET

Estimated Total Program Funding: $3,800,000

Award Ceiling: None

Award Floor: LSC recommends a minimum of $50,000

Eligible Applicants: To be eligible for Pro Bono Innovation Fund grants, applicants must be current grantees of LSC grants for Basic Field-General, Basic Field-Migrant, or Basic Field-Native American funding. Organizations and entities that are not current LSC grantees are not eligible to apply directly to LSC for Pro Bono Innovation Fund grants. Collaborations between LSC grantees and partner organizations are strongly encouraged to enhance projects, strengthen pro bono delivery systems, and avoid duplication of services.

Priority Consideration: LSC will continue to welcome applications in a wide variety of areas without targeting its FY 2015 grant making to specific areas of interest. Consistent with the key goals of the Pro Bono Innovation Fund, however, applicants are encouraged to consider developing projects that propose to replicate effective models of pro bono delivery or propose novel solutions to persistent challenges in their current pro bono system. Such challenges and solutions may include, but are not limited to:

  • Addressing duplicative or fractured pro bono efforts by forming partnerships with pro bono and community stakeholders or adding new partners to existing collaborations (e.g., working with state and local pro bono committees, specialty and minority bar associations, aligning with state Access to Justice Commission initiatives, and complementing selfrepresented litigant efforts).
  • Developing strategies to bring pro bono services to the locations and communities where clients reside or are accessing services (e.g., medicallegal partnerships, mobile or remote services for rural populations, or adopting a neighborhood), particularly for hard to reach populations.
  • Developing quality controls and setting goals for timely, effective pro bono work. This can include technology solutions and/or innovative ways to provide more mentoring, training, and support for volunteers (e.g., designating experienced volunteers to mentor newer pro bono attorneys, developing process improvements to share resources through common data portals, and sharing case updates and files with shared case management systems).
  • Streamlining the process of matching, supporting, and training pro bono volunteers.

Policy and Regulations on Use of Funds:

Current/Past Funding Recipients: 2014

Link to Full Announcement:

Contact Information:

For more information about current Pro Bono Innovation Fund projects, please contact Mytrang Nguyen, Program Counsel, (202) 295-1564 or

If you have a general question or questions about the Pro Bono Innovation Fund application process, please email

For technical questions or issues with the LSC Grants online application system, please send an email to

Categories: Express Language for Legal Aid, Legal Services Corporation, Non-profit Organizations

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