Mandate Areas

The Alberta Law Foundation has four mandate funding areas:

  • Legal Research and Law Reform
  • Law Libraries
  • Public Legal Information and Education
  • Legal Assistance for individuals facing barriers

For additional information on these funding areas, click here: What We Fund – Alberta Law Foundation

Eligibility

Eligible grant-seekers for the Youth Legal Initiatives Fund must be any of:

  • Non-profits
  • Indigenous communities and organizations

Grant-seeking organizations based outside Alberta must demonstrate substantial connections within the province. Additionally, their proposed programs or research projects must directly benefit young Albertans.

Grant-seekers do not need to be registered charities. Grant-seekers do not need to identify as specifically law-focused organizations as long as the proposed work relates to Canadian law or Indigenous law.

Yes, grant-seekers who are already recipients of Foundation grants are still eligible to apply for funding through the Youth Legal Initiatives Fund.

The basic requirement is that all applications must be related to Canadian law or Indigenous laws. Proposals that do not make clear connections to law will be ineligible. Successful proposals must also meet the Funds eligibility criteria.

Needs Assessments & Program Design Projects

  • In addition to standard Needs Assessment and Program Design Projects, grant-seekers may request funding for community gatherings that align with the purpose of the Youth Legal Initiatives Fund. Examples of gatherings that would be eligible for funding under this opportunity are:
    • A gathering of youth, young people, elders and knowledge keepers in a particular community to author an action plan for engaging youth and young people in traditional laws.
    • To develop community engagement sessions that will lead to the development of a youth restorative justice model that is informed by the community’s Indigenous laws and traditions.
    • To build a steering committee with legal experts, Elders, youth and young people to inform a specific youth legal initiative for a community.

Service Delivery and Research Projects

Under this fund, grant-seekers may request funding for community and land-based programs that align with the purpose of this fund. Examples of programs that would be eligible for funding under this opportunity are:

  • To establish a program connecting Elders with youth to learn the community’s Indigenous laws and language on the land through harvesting and processing.
  • To use Indigenous laws to create a conflict resolution circle in a community to resolve civil and family disputes with guidance of traditional community leadership.

Grant Application Process

Inquiry forms serve as the initial step in the application process. The form asks for organizational and program or project-specific information so that the Foundation may learn more about you as well as your proposed program or project.

By completing this form, you will provide a snapshot of your organization, program or project goals and how the proposed program or project aligns with the outcomes of the Youth Legal Initiatives Fund.

Stage 1

Grant-seekers will complete an inquiry form using the Foundation’s online grant portal. The inquiry form can be accessed using the links below:

If you have any questions about how to submit an inquiry form, please contact the Strategic Grants team.

After submitting the inquiry form, the Foundation may contact you to have a conversation to learn more about your proposal.

Stage 2

Foundation staff will review the information provided in the inquiry form as well as consider any additional information provided through conversation and decide if your proposal is a fit with the fund. If it is a fit, an application will be released to you and you will move to Stage 3.

If your proposal is not determined to be a fit with the fund, you will receive an email notification from the Foundation advising you of this, and any other additional steps that may be taken.

Stage 3

Stage 3 is an opportunity for the Foundation to learn more about your proposed project or program through the completion of a written application form through the Foundation’s online grant portal.

For grant applications under the Service Delivery and Research Project grant type, grant-seekers may request that Foundation staff review their application and provide comments to help strengthen the application. After comments are provided, grant-seekers will have an opportunity to make revisions to their application and re-submit it.

Stage 4

Once the application is submitted through the grant portal, it will be reviewed by the Foundation Board of Directors at their next meeting and a decision will be made.

Stage 5

Grant-seekers will be informed of the decision in the week following the board meeting and a grant agreement will be sent out for signatures if approved.

Needs Assessment & Program Design

Note: The Needs Assessment & Program Design application process does not include a draft application stage.

Service Delivery & Research Project

Note: The Service Delivery & Research Project application process may include an additional stage where Foundation staff provide feedback on the application. As part of this process, the grant-seeker will submit a grant application for review by Foundation staff. Foundation staff will provide comments and feedback in an effort to help strengthen the application. The grant-seeker can then make edits to their application prior to re-submission.

Grant Application Assessment Criteria

Needs Assessment & Program Design grant applications will be assessed by the Foundation’s Board of Directors using the following criteria. All proposed projects will be required to meet the criteria below:

  • Target Demographic: Projects targeting youth aged 26 and under.
  • Project Viability: The proposed project must have a well-defined workplan, budget and timeline, with achievable and measurable deliverables.
  • Budget Explanation: Organizations must demonstrate a persuasive business case for the amount of funding requested. The amount of funding requested should be proportionate to the proposed activities and timelines and the intended impact.
  • Ethical Considerations: Organizations must demonstrate that ethical considerations have been made for any research they plan to undertake, particularly when vulnerable populations are participating in the research.

Service Delivery and Research Projects grant applications will be assessed by the Foundation’s Board of Directors using the following criteria. All proposed projects will be required to meet the criteria below:

  • Target Demographic: Projects must target 26 years of age and under.
  • Project Rationale: Organizations must explain the potential impact of its proposed project on youth including how the project will impact or improve legal outcomes for youth.
  • Demonstrated Need: Organizations must clearly articulate the legal needs of youth that its proposed project intends to meet. This includes the specific problems or issues experienced by youth and how the current service gaps are negatively impacting them.
  • Project Viability: The proposed project must have a well-defined workplan, budget and timeline, with achievable and measurable deliverables.
  • Budget Explanation: Organizations must demonstrate a persuasive business case for the amount of funding requested. The amount of funding requested should be proportionate to the proposed activities and timelines and the intended impact.
  • Time Frame: Project work must be completed within 3 years after the date the grant is approved.
  • Approved Legal Service Provider Status: If the proposed project includes the hiring of a lawyer or use of volunteer lawyers to provide legal advice to clients, the grant-seeker must be, or must formally partner with, an Approved Legal Service Provider.

Proposed projects that consider the following criteria will be given priority consideration:

  • Demonstration of Connection and Collaboration in Alberta: Projects that demonstrate connection and collaboration in Alberta with other service organizations and/or communities. This is particularly important for organizations outside of Alberta that may wish to apply for this fund to run programs within Alberta.
  • Partnerships and Collaborative Networks: Projects that include building partnerships with schools, community centers, and other organizations to reach more youth in need of legal assistance or to inform legal research. In addition, projects that include the development of networks and alliances among social and legal service providers to enhance resources and expertise available to youth.
  • Diverse Service Offerings: Projects that include an expansion of services to cater to a variety of legal needs specific to youth, such as family law, education rights, employment issues, etc.
  • Crisis Intervention: Projects include timely intervention in crisis situations (e.g. domestic violence, homelessness) leading to immediate legal support for affected youth.
  • Youth Engagement and Participation: Projects that demonstrate a growth in youth involvement in shaping legal services and/or research through advisory panels or youth-led initiatives.
  • Cultural Competency and Diversity: Integration of culturally sensitive approaches within legal services and/or research, ensuring inclusivity for diverse youth populations.
A needs assessment funded by the Foundation should specifically address the questions below and consideration of these points should be demonstrated in a grant application:

  • What are the legal needs of the target demographic?
  • What are the legal services currently available to the community?
  • What are the legal service gaps in the community?
  • What are the legal services (e.g. justice navigator, legal coordinator, lawyer, etc.) required to meet the legal needs of the target demographic?

A program design project funded by the Foundation should specifically address the points below and consideration of these points should be demonstrated in a grant application:

  • Why the proposed strategy, activities, and/or delivery model being proposed are the best way to respond to the legal needs and legal service gaps of the target demographic.
  • Why the organization is well suited to address these needs and how the proposed project fits within the organization’s mandate.
  • Projected client service numbers for the proposed project.
  • Development of a program logic model and a comprehensive evaluation plan for the proposed project that measures the impact on clients.

Note: If the grant-seeker plans to request funding from the Foundation to pilot the project from the needs assessment and/or program design work, the Foundation’s Youth Legal Service Objectives (see the Service Delivery Terms of Reference) should be considered as part of the evaluation plan.

  • The resources (financial, human, infrastructure) required to initiate and sustain the project.
  • Potential risks or unintended consequences of the project and how they will be mitigated.

The Foundation’s Funding Policies and Guidelines should be reviewed to ensure that costs associated with a proposed project are consistent with costs that the Foundation will and will not fund.

This fund is not intended to support projects or programs that duplicate existing services or research.

In particular, this fund will not support programs that duplicate services that are delivered by Legal Aid Alberta. Further information about what services Legal Aid Alberta provides can be found in Legal Aid Alberta’s Rules and Policies as well as their Annual Report.

Please review the Foundation’s Future Considerations

Following a decision on your grant application, the Strategic Grants team will reach out either via phone or email advising you that your grant application has been approved.

The Foundation will then send a Grant Agreement via DocuSign that will lay out all of the terms of the fund including the reporting and payments schedules as well as the conditions of the grant which are in alignment with the Foundations Funding Policies and Guidelines.

The Strategic Grants team will book a time with you to review the Grant Agreement, answer any questions you may have, and to continue to build relationship.

Following a decision on your grant application, the Strategic Grants team will reach out via phone advising you that your grant application has been declined.

The Strategic Grants team will strive to provide you with feedback on the application.

The Foundation does request to be acknowledged on any materials, in presentations or at events funded through Foundation grants. This could include placing the Foundation’s logo on your organization’s website, on advertisements, posters, brochures, and other materials.

Once a grant is approved, your organization will be provided with the Foundation’s Brand Identify Guidelines and Logo Usage Guidelines.

Organizations will be required to report using the following accountability methods:

  • Interim Report (Oral) – This conversation provides an opportunity for the grantee to provide updates on their program’s progress, including achievements, community engagement efforts, collaboration, challenges faced, financial utilization and future plans. A key objective of the conversation is to allow for the Foundation to provide any necessary support or guidance. By facilitating open communication, transparency and accountability is fostered which ensures that both the Foundation and the grantee are informed and engaged throughout the grant period.
  • Annual Report (Hybrid of Oral and Written) – This report serves as a tool for the grantee to provide detailed updates on the progress of the outputs, outcomes and financials of their projects or projects. In addition to this detail, a conversation will take place with the Foundation to further learn about and discuss the progress of the program or project. Additionally, the hybrid format facilitates ongoing communication between the grantee and the Foundation, fostering a collaborative relationship aimed at maximizing the success of the funded programs and projects.
  • Final Report (Written) – This report serves as a comprehensive tool for grantee to provide a reflective summary of their entire program. It aims to capture the holistic journey of the program, including achievements, milestones, challenges, lessons learned, and the overall impact on the community served. By synthesizing this information, the form facilitates future learnings for the sector, offering insights into effective strategies, best practices, and areas for improvement in similar programs. Additionally, the report fosters transparency and accountability, ensuring that the outcomes and experiences of the funded program or project are shared with stakeholders to inform future initiatives and decision-making processes.

Other reporting formats may be considered by the Foundation to ensure alignment with the program or project being proposed.