From VT Bar Foundation:
The Vermont Bar Foundation offers grants to organizations that help low-income Vermonters gain access to the justice system and provide public education relating to the law.
The Foundation’s funds come primarily from its Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts (IOLTA) Program, a successful partnership between Vermont lawyers and the banking and credit union communities. The Foundation disburses funds through two grant programs.
THE NON-COMPETITIVE GRANTS PROGRAM
The Non-Competitive Grants Program provides funds annually to grantee organizations. There is no application process for these grants. Since its inception, the Foundation has awarded the bulk of its funds to Vermont Legal Aid, which provides direct legal services at no charge to disadvantaged Vermonters. More recently, the Foundation has expanded non-competitive grant recipients to include Vermont Law School’s Legal Clinic, Vermont Bar Association’s Legal Access Coordinator and Have Justice-Will Travel.
THE HON. JOHN A. DOOLEY COMPETITIVE GRANTS PROGRAM
The Competitive Grants Program is comprised of grantees chosen through an annual application process. The organizations chosen for the Competitive Grants provide direct legal services to low-income Vermont residents and educate Vermonters about the law. The Board of Directors of the Vermont Bar Foundation will be accepting grant applications from Vermont not-for-profit entities.
2022 SOCIAL JUSTICE GRANTS PROGRAM
In January 2022 the Vermont Bar Foundation will pilot a Social Justice Grants initiative in addition to our existing competitive grants program. This initiative aims to support projects that specifically identify, address and challenge systemic racism and prejudice which hinder the administration of justice for historically marginalized communities of color in Vermont.
Proposals submitted for the Social Justice Grants program must have a strong connection to our mission. Advancing the understanding of the actual effects of the law within our society and improving the administration of justice are central to the Vermont Bar Foundation’s purpose and funding decisions for all grant programs.
Additionally, the VBF encourages proposals for the Social Justice Grants program to:
- Identify and address systemic biases in the justice system;
- Educate the public or other external stakeholders on racial justice issues affecting our legal system;
- Collaborate with Vermont courts and other providers of civil legal services to work towards institutional change for racial justice;
- And/or provide innovative solutions for eliminating legal barriers for BIPOC collectively.
At this time, the Vermont Bar Foundation must discourage against proposals aimed at improving internal organizational issues surrounding social and racial justice issues, such as implementing diversity, equity and inclusion programs or performing internal equitability assessments. While these tools provide meaningful insight and guide organizations toward equitable practices, VBF grant funding is limited and focused more on public-facing access to justice issues.
APPLICATION DATES (for all competitive grants) –
- Letter of Intent: Interested applicants should submit a letter of intent by January 21, 2022
- Applicant conference call: This is required for all first-time applicants. It is optional for repeat applicants. January 28, 2022 from Noon to 1:00p.m.
- Application due date: Completed applications are due no later than 4:00p.m. on March 7, 2022