Frequently Asked Questions
Applications must be received via the online grant application portal no later than midnight January 31, 2019.
TLIF is in the first phase of a two-phase, granting program. The first phase will support a maximum of 20 organizations with grant awards between $50,000 - $100,000 to pilot innovative approaches that provide vulnerable populations with civil legal aid over a 12 – 18-month period. Initiatives may serve any area(s) of the state of Tennessee and may offer services that improve access to and successful resolutions within the field of civil legal aid. This program is NOT designed to simply increase the number of clients served; its intent is to change the underlying system that creates disparities in civil legal support (examples may include: advocacy, education, access barriers, community awareness, new service tools and techniques). Applicants are NOT required to currently provide civil legal aid services to apply or to be part of a program partnership.
Successful grant recipients will be held to rigorous grant reporting and outcome documentation during and following the 12 – 18-month grant period. Pilots that demonstrate high efficacy and impact will be eligible for continued funding in phase two (years 2- 5). All successful grant recipients will be expected to share their models and practices in the field.
Examples (not an exhaustive list) of the types of issues that might qualify include:
- Barriers to productivity (fines, fees, judgments)
- Education access (childcare, convictions, logistics, transportation, safety)
- Employment access and equity (childcare, convictions, logistics, transportation, safety)
- Post incarceration transition
- Healthcare access
- Disability rights access
- Drug crisis related issues (urban/rural)
- Housing/tenancy access and equity
Civil legal aid includes legal advocacy and legal information to help address the non-criminal problems people face. The delivery of the service may take many forms, including:
- Direct services by legal aid attorneys and pro bono volunteers such as representation in a court proceeding, and/or advice to help identify legal issues and possible solutions.
- Organizations which identify and address systemic issues faced by large numbers of people and help to identify solutions to large scale problems.
- Self-help and community education delivered via workshops, telephone, online information or online chat assistance, medical/legal partnerships, and downloadable court forms - all of which help people understand rights and responsibilities, when legal assistance may be needed and where to find it.
TLIF applicants may include organizations and partnerships (nonprofit or multi-sector) which meet the following criteria:
- exempt from taxation under Section 501(c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code, as amended; OR
- participate in a partnership in which the lead organization and fiscal agent meets the exemption criteria (although additional partner organizations may include nonprofit, corporation, governmental and/or faith-based); OR
- agrees to use the TLIF grant only for purposes that are charitable or educational within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code, as amended and meets the conditions of use under which the application is approved; AND
- an equal employment opportunity employer which does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, marital status, color, national origin, sex, age or disability; AND
- uses project funds exclusively in the state of Tennessee, regardless of the state(s) in which the organization or partner organizations are licensed to conduct business.
Applications will not be accepted from individuals.
Applications will not be accepted from organizations or partnerships (nonprofit or multi-sector) that engage in the following activities:
- political campaigns; OR
- organizations designed primarily for lobbying; OR
- religious organizations where proselytizing is a part of the service provided.
The following definitions apply:
the initiative for which the organization or partnership seeks funding
Any legally incorporated entity that applies for funding, either singly or as part of a partnership (note: it is NOT required that an organization(s) applying for TLIF support be a current provider of civil legal aid services)
The primary project contact for all communication between the TLIF coordinator and the applicant, and the organization that will serve as fiscal and fiduciary agent for the project
Any organization that participates in a joint application with other entities in applying for funding. If partners exist, one must be the “lead organization.”
Individuals or families for whom access to civil legal services are limited, based on their personal circumstances. Examples of potentially vulnerable circumstances include: economically and/or educationally disadvantaged, geographically isolated, racial or ethnic minority, elderly, or otherwise unable to protect him/herself against significant harm or serious exploitation
Preference will be given to applications that demonstrate any successful combination of the following:
- ability to reach one or more vulnerable populations in the state of Tennessee, including those with limited geographic access, limited financial opportunity, and/or racial/ethnic/age barriers to civil legal services and civil legal education;
- collaboration between cross-sector partners to combine assets, access, and expertise in meaningful ways
- programs demonstrating innovative approaches to systemic problems blocking access to or successful use of civil legal aid
- programs with the potential to be expanded or replicated in other communities and for the benefit of other vulnerable populations