The Impact Fund awards recoverable grants to legal services nonprofits, private attorneys, and/or small law firms who seek to advance justice in the areas of civil and human rights, environmental justice, and/or poverty law.
- Social Justice: The Impact Fund provides grant and legal support to assist in human and civil rights cases. They have helped to change dozens of laws and win cases to improve the rights of thousands. The cases they are funding allege that:
- In California, police used excessive force against #BlackLivesMatter protesters.
- In Colorado, female police officers face losing their careers because they can’t do enough push-ups and sit-ups.
- In Ohio and New York, a gun manufacturer knowingly sells to dealers that arm criminals.
- In Massachusetts, prisoners with Hepatitis C are going untreated.
- In North Dakota, Native Americans can’t vote because of a recent voter suppression law.
- In Florida, prisoners who request mental health services are abused and, when they complain, the abuse gets worse.
- Environmental Justice: The Impact Fund provides grants to support impact litigation for environmental justice, with a focus on marginalized communities. These are often cases no one else will support. The cases they are funding are to stop:
- Proposed mining in the Superior National Forest that would contaminate groundwater, damage wetlands, and destroy the local Native American wild-rice economy.
- Unwanted development, after a community garden in New York was bulldozed in the middle of the night.
- Pollution from a lighter fluid factory in New Jersey that is causing illness to residents in a low-income neighborhood.
- Clear-cut logging that is threatening the health and livelihood of the local indigenous community in Ontario.
- Spraying pesticides at will in California.
- A new highway bridge that is the latest in a long history of environmental hazards heaped upon an African American and Latino neighborhood in Corpus Christi, severing it from the rest of the city.
- Economic Justice: The Impact Fund provides financial and other forms of support to cases fighting for Economic Justice. From workers’ rights to consumer protection for vulnerable populations, impact litigation is a powerful tool to hold corporations accountable. The cases they are funding allege that:
- In Texas, people with unpaid tickets are sent to “debtors’ prison.”
- In California, landlords lose their insurance when they accept Section 8 vouchers from low-income tenants.
- In Idaho, homeless people are jailed for sleeping outdoors, even when there are no shelters to take them in.
- The Impact Fund makes recoverable grants to lawyers, small law firms, and nonprofit organizations involved in impact litigation. They fund civil rights, human rights, anti-poverty, and environmental justice cases that will affect a marginalized group.
- Most of the grants are for class actions, but they also fund multi-plaintiff and environmental justice cases that aim to significantly affect a larger system or lead to significant law reform.
- Impact Fund grants may be used for out-of-pocket litigation expenses such as expert fees and discovery costs, but not for attorney’s fees, staff, or other overhead.
For more information, visit https://www.impactfund.org/about-legal-case-grants/