Does my organization need to be a registered charity to apply for funding from the Alberta Law Foundation?
No, applicants do not need to be registered charities. Applicants have to be incorporated as a non-profit entity or be a First Nation or Band Council. An applicant may be a subdivision of an incorporated entity, or operate as an unincorporated association as long as it has a board of directors or equivalent supervisory body.
Does a proposed project have to benefit more than one community to meet the Foundation’s requirement to “ensure Albertans can access the legal information and support they need”?
A project can benefit either a single community or several – what matters is that the proposed project is benefiting people in Alberta.
Yes. Organizations based outside Alberta can apply to the Foundation for a grant if the proposed project will benefit the people of Alberta, and the program or project has the support of the local law foundation in your home province.
We have a project idea, but we are not sure whether it aligns with the Alberta Law Foundation mandate. Can we speak to someone?
The Foundation takes an expansive view of its mandated funding areas. Eligible proposals may target a wide range of issues within the legal context. To speak to someone at the Foundation about your idea, contact a member of the Grants Team.
No, the Alberta Law Foundation Board of Directors makes funding decisions based on the needs of Albertans, and as a result, does not have fixed allocations to any particular object.
New Project Grants are intended for activity up to one year, although there can potentially be some flexibility around this. Depending on the scope of work, the stage of development of the project, organizational capacity, and other available funding, a longer term may be considered.
No, but applicants must be able to demonstrate a persuasive business case for the funding requested.
Depending on the scope of the project and the progress demonstrated during the initial grant period, a funded organization may apply to renew a project grant, at the discretion of the Foundation Board.
Eligible Activities and Expenses
My organization is not exclusively a legal service provider, but we have a program or a project idea that may be considered to relate to the law or access to justice. Can we still apply for Alberta Law Foundation funding?
Yes. Alberta Law Foundation funding may be used to cover costs related to a program or project that involves activities related to the law or the justice system.
The Alberta Law Foundation will not fund activities that have the provision of social services as the primary object.
“Native Peoples Legal Programs” may include initiatives in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action relevant to the Foundation’s mandate, research to reform the laws and the administration of justice affecting Indigenous people; public legal education and information designed for or directed toward Indigenous audiences; or direct legal advice and support services provided to Indigenous individuals.
“Student Legal Aid Programs” include programs whereby legal information and assistance is provided by students from the Faculty of Law at a university in Alberta, under the supervision of a licensed Alberta lawyer.
“Programs of Like Nature” include, but are not limited to, programs providing legal advice, information and referral offered by Community Legal Clinics; court-based legal information and advice programs coordinated by Pro Bono Law Alberta and provided by volunteer lawyers; court support programs providing one-on-one information and support regarding court processes and procedures, forms completion, administrative claims and processes.
Alberta Law Foundation grants may cover the direct costs of a program or project, as well as a reasonable portion of the administration or overhead costs related to the program or project. There must be a supportable rationale for the manner in which administration and overhead costs are allocated to a program or project to be funded by the Foundation.
The Alberta Law Foundation will not provide funding for the purchase of real estate, or for capital equipment purchases if leasing is feasible and more economical. Funding may be used for the purchase or lease of a vehicle only if the use of the vehicle is integral to the delivery of a program or project funded by the Foundation.
Grants will not be provided to fund sponsorships, gifts, donations, political lobbies, fellowships, sabbatical leave support, endowments, building funds, international projects or the cost of funding applications to third parties.
In addition, the Foundation does not fund meals, beverages, and other hospitality expenses, unless required to meet program objectives, e.g. community engagement related to a funded program or project, or the cost of sending delegates to conferences unless for the professional development of staff or volunteers involved in the delivery of programs or projects funded by the Foundation.
To see a complete list of activities that the Foundation will not fund, see our Funding Policies.
After Submitting Your Application
Once your Draft Application is submitted, it will be assigned to a Grants Coordinator for assessment. Foundation staff will provide feedback on your draft application with the goal of helping to strengthen the application prior to the Board review. This feedback can include requests for additional information or clarifications.
Once you receive the feedback on the draft, you will be responsible for making any changes to the application and submitting the final version prior to the deadline for the Final Application. It is the responsibility of the applicant to respond to all inquiries by Foundation staff in a timely manner.
Final grant decisions are made by the Alberta Law Foundation Board of Directors at their meeting. Grant decisions will be communicated to applicants within 2-3 days after the board meeting.
Factors that the Foundation will consider in assessing an application include:
- Clearly meeting one or more of the Foundation’s objectives;
- Evidence of need for the program or service – why it is a priority;
- Nature and identity of the beneficiary or beneficiaries of the services; size of target group, if applicable;
- Capacity/expertise of the applicant to complete the project or deliver the program;
- Lack of duplication of existing services;
- Well-articulated intended outcomes, identifiable outputs, deliverables; project logic model if applicable; realistic work plan; evaluation process; impact;
- Value/Cost Effectiveness/Efficiency (budget and value for money relative to expected results);
- Level of collaboration and community support (strategic partnerships);
- Amount, extent and source of co-funding/sustainability plan;
- Leverage of volunteer or pro bono lawyer time.
You will be asked to review and sign a Grant Agreement, which may have special conditions attached for your particular grant. The Grant Agreement will set out the grant payment schedule and reporting requirements.
If your grant is approved, a payment schedule is developed taking into consideration the information provided in the workplan submitted as part of the grant application. In general, payments are made in advance, on a quarterly basis. A portion of the grant may be held until the project is completed.
Grant funds that are not spent on the approved project or program during the grant period must be returned to the Foundation.
All grantees are required to submit progress reports approximately every six months during the grant term and a final report after completion of the grant term. Reports include a narrative about the activities, outputs and outcomes, as well as a budget-to-actual financial report. In addition, the Foundation requires all grantees to report the annual organization financial results in the form of Audited Financial Statements or an agreed-upon equivalent if Audited Financial Statements are not available.
Program or project changes and potential budget adjustment requests must be made in writing prior to implementation and a written response will be received from the Foundation. Requests for such adjustments can be made through the Grant Portal.