The Legal Education Foundation is offering flexible funding for organisations using the law, legal tools and strategies to promote social justice.
It aims to strengthen the capacity of individuals and organisations to deliver their important work effectively and sustainably.
The focus of the programme is on the ‘law of everyday life’. This includes, for example, people’s rights in housing, employment, community care, debt, family law, immigration and welfare benefits. They will also consider work taking place at the intersection of civil and criminal law, but they do not fund work exclusively on criminal or environmental law.
- This Committee makes decisions on applications for up to £350,000.
- If you have applied for more than £350,000, the Committee will make a recommendation to the full Board for decision.
The Foundation funds
- Staff costs
- Direct costs such as travel, subsistence or events
- Small capital items such as IT equipment
How they Prioritise Applications
- They use these overriding criteria in assessing applications:
- Degree of need – areas of societal need where law as tool to bring about positive change and to prevent harm is under-resourced and under-developed, and where the Foundation has a distinct role to play. They will also consider here the size and resources of the organisation applying.
- Degree of benefit – where the applicants have the potential to use the law to bring about significant positive change and/or to prevent harm in ways that are sustainable.
- In deciding which applications to shortlist, they particularly value the following qualities in organisations:
- Lived experience at the heart of strategy and leadership.
- Accountability to communities served by the organisation.
- Connections between everyday injustice and advocating for change (locally, regionally or nationally).
- A commitment to learning, including a reflective approach to improving their own practice.
- Supportive, inclusive environments for staff and volunteers.
- They fund legally constituted organisations undertaking charitable work in the UK. While the majority of grant recipients will be charities, they can also fund limited companies (including CICs) and private law firms for activities that advance the LEF’s charitable objects and are not profit-making.
- Applications can include all costs related to achieving the hoped-for outcomes, including staffing, volunteer expenses, consultancy, travel, venue hire and a reasonable contribution to overheads. They mostly fund revenue costs but can cover modest capital expenditure directly related to the work, such as a computer for a new staff member.
- If you already have a grant from LEF, and would like to apply for additional funding, please ask advice from your grants manager in the first instance.
- They will not fund:
- Work that does not advance LEF’s charitable purposes or strategic objectives
- Work that falls outside the Charity Commission guidance on campaigning and political activity
- Work that has already taken place.
- Work that does not have a direct benefit in the UK.
- Projects related to commercial law.
- Work on environmental or criminal law except where this is alongside other areas of civil law.
- Awards, prizes or one-off events that are not part of a broader programme the Foundation is supporting.
- Projects where a LEF grant would directly replace or subsidise government, legal profession or university funding, including the costs of law clinics.
- Infrastructure for pro bono legal advice.
- Capital expenditure on buildings and vehicles.
- General fundraising appeals.
- They are unlikely to fund:
- Organisations with fewer than three Trustees, company directors or partners.
- Organisations with more general reserves than stipulated in their reserves policy.
- Organisations that are in serious financial deficit.
For more information, visit The Legal Education Foundation.