grant program criteria


The Impact Fund makes recoverable grants to lawyers, law firms, and nonprofit organizations involved in impact litigation. Most of our grants are for one particular case, but occasionally we fund a series of cases bound by a common strategy. We fund civil rights, human rights, anti-poverty, and environmental justice cases that will affect a marginalized group. Most of our grants are for class actions, but we also fund multi-plaintiff and environmental justice cases that aim to significantly affect a larger system. 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.

Image asking eligibility questions: Are you a lawyer, or are you involved in impact litigation? Are you looking for funding for a specific case? Does your case target a social, economic, or environmental injustice? Is your case a class action, or will it have a systemic impact? Are you seeking funding for out-of-pocket costs? Are you willing to repay your grant if you recover fees/costs at the end of the case?

Additional Considerations

How far along is your case?

We prefer to fund cases that have been filed or are about to be filed. You get extra credit if you’ve passed a motion to dismiss.

Are you looking to fund attorney's fees?

Our grants do not fund attorney or staff time or organizational overhead. See our application questions for a list of our most commonly funded litigation expenses.

Is your case set up for success?

No one can guarantee a victory. That's why we look for a coherent strategy and a legal team with sufficient experience and resources to give the case the best chance of success.

Have you collaborated with anyone else?

Legal work can be all-encompassing. But taking the time to talk with others who have litigated (or are currently litigating) similar cases can make a huge difference in the long run.

Do you need the money?

You probably wouldn't be reading this if you didn't need financial support, but just in case: We prioritize requests from applicants who need funding to keep their case moving forward.

Have you estimated what your case will cost?

Litigation costs can be hard to predict, but we’ve found there is value in planning. Once you run the numbers, you might move securing co-counsel to the top of your list. (We can help.)

Have we funded your case before?

Occasionally we will fund a case more than once. In these situations, the case has lasted several years and has a new set of challenges and expenses.

Are you an attorney, or is an attorney representing you in the lawsuit?

Cases brought by non-lawyers who are representing themselves (also known as pro se litigants) are not eligible for Impact Fund grants.

Are you willing to repay your grant if you recover attorney’s fees or costs?

To ensure our fund’s sustainability, we require repayment of the original grant, plus 7% simple interest, on cases that achieve a fee or cost recovery. If a case does not recover fees or costs, then nothing is owed.