Supporting government programs & legal aid with federal pass-through funding
Federal pass-through funds account for about one-third of state government funding and more than half of state government funding for health care and public assistance. States administer these federal funds based on local priorities. Many opportunities to financially support civil legal aid flow from states’ powers to administer these funding sources.
This module walks through a wide array of information about state-administered federal funding streams that can support civil legal aid:
- The Grants Matrix provides an overview of the block, formula, and open-ended reimbursement grants that can support legal aid programs, including helpful tips and related resources. We prepared a cheat sheet version so you can better target grants in the Grants Matrix by issue-area or demographic.
- The Grant Forecasting Guide helps users find forecasted federal grants and related information about future prospective postings, identify prior grantees, and consider a range of strategies for using the information to prepare for possible applications.
- In-depth FAQs documents have been prepared for several funding streams, including the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Victim Assistance Formula Grant program and the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant. These FAQs explain the connection between these funds and legal aid, provide examples of how states and programs have used these funds, and helpful resources and next steps for policymakers and legal aid providers seeking to leverage their limited resources.
To hear about updates and new tools or to provide feedback, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like individualized technical assistance on a specific grant or funding for your practice, contact NLADA’s civil legal services team at email@example.com. Be sure to sign up for email alerts when open and forecasted grant opportunities that can fund legal services are announced through NLADA’s LegalAidResources.org, which hosts information for over 250 programs that can support civil legal aid.
For technical assistance regarding federal pass through funds contained in the JGP Grants Matrix contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Grants Matrix: Overview of State-Administered Federal Funds
This matrix is intended as an introduction to the possibilities for partnering with state and local governments to address the need for civil legal aid. It provides an overview of those state-administered federal funds that can support legal aid and examples of how states have used these funds to advance their goals. It also gives helpful tips, like examples of funded legal aid, how to find your state’s administrator, and where to find state-specific plans and reports.
Funding-By-Issue Cheat Sheet
In order to ease your way into the lengthy Grants Matrix, we offer this birds-eye view of the populations served and issues commonly addressed by legal aid providers and the non-exhaustive list of state-administered federal funds that can support legal aid solutions.
FAQs About Legal Aid and Federal Pass-Through Funds
These in-depth FAQs explain the connection between funding opportunities and legal aid, provide examples of how states and programs have used these funds, and helpful resources and next steps for policymakers and legal aid providers seeking to leverage their limited resources. These documents are often updated with the latest information, and our collection of FAQs will continue to grow.
FAQs about Legal Aid and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
FAQs about Legal Aid and Victim of Crime Act (VOCA) Victim Assistance Formula Grant
Self-Represented Litigation Network’s Resource Guide to Title IV-D Funding
Family Justice Initiative’s (FJI) Question and Answers: Federal IV-E reimbursement for high-quality legal representation for children and parents
Grants Forecasting Guide
Some agencies make it easy to learn about “forecasted” grants, or potential funding opportunities. Grant-making agencies, pending budgetary and discretionary spending approvals and federal agency program decisions, often offer previews of their planned funding opportunities. This guide walks you through how to find forecasted grants, open grants, and past grantees as well as questions you might consider asking previous grantees about their experience.
This guide is designed to help you:
- Learn about the grant making process and how agencies make and publicize grants;
- Find past grantees to help you design your project; and
- Prepare for grants that are not yet open.
To read about the evidence base connecting legal aid to each of the issue areas in the Cheat Sheet, see The Justice in Government Project’s research briefs.
- All of these funds have limits based on immigrant status or issue. For example: WIOA funds can be used for migrant and seasonal workers; and VOCA can only support immigrants with civil legal issues that are directly related to their victimization.
- All Grants Matrix funding sources can be used for Native Americans — some have “set aside” funds for Native Americans. For example: 1 percent of AmeriCorps funds are set aside for eligible federally recognized Indian tribes and tribal organizations; and Congress has a 3 percent set-aside of Crime Victims Fund receipts to improve services for victims of crime in tribal communities.