2024 Pro Bono Grants Round

Thanks to the support of donors, the legal community and income from Pro Bono Cost Orders, we have been able to fundraise to ensure that we can continue to support legal advice organisations across the UK to increase access to justice through pro bono provision.

This year, our pro bono grants round has a particular focus on supporting access to justice for disabled people.

Census 2021 data has revealed that the proportion of disabled people is 17.8% across England and Wales. As the demand for legal advice increases, those living with disabilities remain more disadvantaged when seeking support in their legal matters. Evidence from previous grant programmes has highlighted that an average of 48% of all client issues recorded by our funded organisations comes from clients with disabilities. We know that disabled people face substantial barriers to accessing legal advice and these include navigating complex systems such as welfare benefits, mobility issues, living in a rural location and digital exclusion.

The application stage is open and will close on 19th July 2024 at 4 pm.

If you would like this application form in an alternative format, please contact us at grants@atjf.org.uk.

Time frame

The application stage will close on 19 July 2024 at 4pm. We are unable to accept applications after the deadline has passed.

All organisations will be notified of the outcome once the process has been completed. We anticipate notifying organisations in September 2024.

The grants will then begin in October 2024.

Aims

The funding programme aims to:

  • Support national pro bono charities,
  • Support local legal advice charities to establish, increase and/or sustain their pro bono activity (across areas of social welfare law including areas of family, welfare benefits, debt, housing, employment, immigration, community care, mental health and disability), and
  • Support increased access to justice for disabled people (your pro bono service can be available to all, but we will prioritise applications which can demonstrate that their pro bono activity will support people with disabilities).

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible for funding, an organisation must meet the following criteria:

  • Be registered with the Charity Commission or the OSCR or The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland

AND EITHER

  • Be a national pro bono charity

OR

  • Be a legal advice charity offering pro bono provision or looking to establish this service

What will we fund?

This funding can be used for the following:

  • The co-ordination of pro bono activity,
  • The costs associated with running a pro bono clinic,
  • Developing partnerships with legal firms to establish pro bono services.

 

We will not fund universities applying for support with their services.

How much funding is available?

Organisations can apply for funding of up to £50,000 over 2 years (i.e. a maximum of £25,000 per year).

FAQs

There will be particular questions highlighted in the application form which will be scored according to the following scale from 1 to 5:

1 – Does not answer the question

2 – Poor answer with little relevant detail

3 – Okay answer with some detail

4 – Good response with good detail

5 – Excellent response with high quality detail

There will be a financial assessment of all applying organisations which will include the information provided in your application and on the Charity Commission website.

Funding decisions are made by our Grants Committee and all decisions are final.

Pro bono work is legal advice or representation provided free of charge by legal professionals. We will not fund advice organisation projects which utilise student volunteers for pro bono activity.

We do not prescribe a rigid definition of disability, as we understand that disability is a complex inter-relationship between an individual, an impairment and their social environment. This includes mental health, cognitive, physical and sensory disabilities.

Only charities registered with the Charity Commission, the OSCR or The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland are eligible for this funding.

We won’t accept partnership applications for this funding programme.

We are expecting to receive far more applications than we are able to fund, and so are unable to provide individual feedback. We will however make available general feedback to applicants.

Yes, you can still apply if you are, or have been funded by us.  However, organisations will need to ensure there is no duplication in how the funding is used.