2022 IOLTA Grants

To:                   Potential applicants for IOLTA grant funds

From:               Barri Bernstein, Executive Director

Date:                August 11, 2021

RE:                   2022 IOLTA Grant Application Process

Application materials for a 2022 IOLTA (Interest On Lawyers’ Trust Accounts) grant are available below. Completed applications must be submitted in hardcopy, by USPS, with a visible postmark dated no later than September 9, 2021.

***Applications WILL be accepted from organizations NEW to the IOLTA program (those that have not applied in the past), as well as current and past recipients.***


Several changes have been made to the grant program for 2022:

  1. IOLTA awards are made possible from the interest earned on lawyers’ pooled trust checking accounts. The dollar amount available to grant will vary from year to year, based on several ungovernable factors. The Foundation is optimistic that the total grant amount for 2022 will increase significantly over the 2021 total. This anticipated increase will be allocated through a combination of new grant awards and an adjustment of grant award amounts to successful applicants. Keep this in mind as a determination is made whether to apply and, if so, the amount of funds to request.
  2. Narrative answers to application questions are now subject to a character count (which will be performed by the document).
  3. All materials are provided in PDF format, including an editable PDF for each of the four application formats.


For 2022, the following list of issues should be considered by every applicant:

Applicants more likely to be DENIED a grant award are those that:

  1. Depict a community with little use of the service offered, no matter how well-organized and well thought out the potential service might be.
  2. Show a poorly structured governing board (few members, numerous members employed in the same industry).
  3. Show thin financial resources (IOLTA funds proposed as the sole source of funding, or lack of indication of efforts to secure other support).
  4. Request an amount of funds that far exceeds prior IOLTA grant awards to similar organizations and organizations within the same category (see the list of 2021 awards on this site as a guide).

Applications more likely to RECEIVE a grant award are those that:

  1. Provide a concise, well-written narrative (all applications should be proofread before submission by someone other than the grant writer).
  2. Show a history of success in the field of interest.
  3. Show IOLTA funds are not the sole source of support.
  4. Meet all the requirements of the format and submission process and any informational requests made by members of the Grant Review Committee.


Four application formats, keyed to the type of services offered by the organization, are available:

An organization must select and download the materials, described below, that most closely fits the services the organization proposes to offer. Grant writers uncertain about the parameters of IOLTA funding or unsure which format to select are urged to call Foundation staff at 800/634.2516 or 615/242.1531.
The application materials are all provided in PDF format, with the application provided as an editable PDF form. NOTE: this is a CHANGE from the prior format and application configuration.

I – Improve the Administration of Justice

Organizations tangential to the legal system which seek to have direct, secondary, or eventual beneficial impact on legal processes (generally do not employ lawyers).
Download PDF

II – Provide Legal Services (LSC–Funded Model)

Organizations partially funded by the Legal Services Corporation which employ staff lawyers to provide free civil legal assistance to the indigent and which coordinate the services of lawyers who provide pro bono service to the indigent.
Download PDF

III – Provide Legal Services (Staff Attorney Model)

Organizations which employ staff lawyers to provide free civil legal assistance to the indigent.
Download PDF

IV – Provide Legal Services (Pro Bono Model)

Organizations which coordinate the services of lawyers who provide pro bono service to the indigent.
Download PDF