FY23 Grant Guidelines

Availability of Funds
Timeline for Application & Review
Grant Disbursement
IL Grant Funds Recovery Act
General Evaluation Criteria
Application and Reporting Requirements
For More Information



The Illinois Equal Justice Foundation (IEJF) is a not-for-profit corporation established in 1999, pursuant to the Illinois Equal Justice Act (30 ILCS 765/1 et. seq.).  The IEJF supports initiatives to increase Illinois residents’ access to the legal system.  The IEJF provides grants to nonprofit legal aid providers through three state appropriations housed in the Illinois Attorney General’s Office.

This funding has been provided by the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS). IEJF has been charged with distributing grant funding to civil legal aid and mediation organizations to assist Illinois residents facing eviction and housing instability. This third year of funding (State of Illinois Fiscal Year 2023) will continue to support the state-wide eviction services created in FY 21 as Eviction Help Illinois for downstate and suburban Cook County communities.

Availability of Funds

Funding is provided by the State of Illinois to support eviction response legal and mediation services through the State’s FY 23 fiscal year (July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2023). The budget for FY 23 grants is approximately $3,000,000.


The Illinois Equal Justice Foundation will make grants in the following two categories:


Organizations are eligible to apply for a grant from the Illinois Equal Justice Foundation if they:

  • Are certified and in compliance with the Illinois Grant Accountability and Transparency Act (GATA) requirements;
  • Have a demonstrated track record in providing legal assistance or mediation services to individuals impacted by housing insecurity;
  • Are tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code;
  • Provide services to Illinois residents set forth in the “Purposes” section.  To determine if a particular project qualifies for a grant, see the specific guidelines for the categories noted above.
  • Provide services to low-income people free of charge. Low-income is defined as a household income of up to 80% Area Median Income (AMI) in Chicago for Cook County grantees and 80% Area Median Income (AMI) in Illinois for all other counties. Current AMI can be found here.
  • Provide services in downstate counties and/or suburban Cook County. Any funding directed toward Chicago is subject to availability. Grants will not duplicate services funded under Cook County Legal Aid for Housing & Debt or the Chicago Right to Counsel Pilot.


  • Funds provided by the State of Illinois, including funds distributed by the IEJF, may not be spent on a sectarian purpose.
  • Said funds may not be used for the purpose of lobbying; encouraging political activities, labor or anti-labor activities, boycotts, picketing, strikes or demonstrations; or investigative or legal compliance activities related to a pending dispute.
  • No more than 10% of grants awarded by the IEJF can be used for indirect costs unless the applicant has a higher state/federal negotiated reimbursement rate.  Failure to abide by this may jeopardize future funding from the IEJF.

Timeline for Application & Review

The grant period will be July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2023, and the application and review process will follow this schedule:

May 24, 2022 Applications are available at www.iejf.org.
June 14, 2022 Completed applications & proposals due
June 17 – June 24, 2022 Grant review & virtual site visits
June 30, 2022 Board decisions announced

Grant Disbursement

Grant payments will be disbursed monthly following receipt of program service and financial reports for actual costs incurred during that preceding month. Payments are dependent on receipt of funds from the State of Illinois. Grantees may request an advance payment for Eviction Help Illinois. The process and approval for advance funds will be determined by IEJF. Subsequent monthly payments will be based on monthly financial invoices to reconcile payments previously advanced.

IL Grant Funds Recovery Act

Please note these funds are subject to the IL Grant Funds Recovery Act. Please familiarize yourself before submitting an application.

General Evaluation Criteria

Grant requests will be evaluated on the factors listed below and the criteria listed under each funding category.

  • Demonstrated need for the proposed services and location of applicant’s service-delivery to ensure geographical reach throughout the State of Illinois.
  • Applicant’s experience in providing said service, as indicated by the experience levels and qualifications of key staff and the numbers of persons served in prior years.
  • Commitment to services for vulnerable and underserved populations.
  • Efficient service delivery which takes into consideration factors such as the relative costs of the applicant’s services; cooperation and coordination with other entities to avoid duplication of effort; the use of volunteers; and the use of technology to increase access to services and to maximize productivity.
  • Sound organizational management, including indices such as the fiscal health of the sponsoring organization; realistic income and expense budgets for the project; evidence of active involvement and oversight by a qualified advisory board and/or board of directors; and demonstrated technical efficiency and protection of client data.
  • Use of evaluative and measurement techniques that measure success, effectiveness, and efficiency as it relates to organizational mission, learning, and improvement are encouraged.
  • Use of Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound (S.M.A.R.T.) objectives are encouraged.
  • Service projections should be proposed with the initial application and progress toward those goals will be reported monthly.

The IEJF is committed to equitable salaries for legal aid providers and encourages applicants to develop a reasonable pay scale, training and support program for its personnel to ensure that client services are not interrupted by unplanned staff turnover.

Application and Reporting Requirements

Applications must be submitted electronically by June 14, 2022.

Application procedures and forms will be available by May 24, 2022 at www.iejf.org under the Grants tab. From there, you can login to the grant portal.  The “Apply” button on the top left will allow you to select your funding category and apply.

Grant reports must be submitted via the online portal as well.

All grantees must submit monthly program service reports and financial invoices by the following dates for services provided and actual costs incurred in the preceding month.

  • August 15, 2022 (for July 2022 services and expenditures)
  • September 14, 2022 (for August 2022 services and expenditures)
  • October 14, 2022 (for September 2021 services and expenditures)
  • November 14, 2022 (for October 2022 services and expenditures)
  • December 14, 2022 (for November 2022 services and expenditures)
  • January 13, 2023 (for December 2022 services and expenditures)
  • February 10, 2023 (for January 2023 services and expenditures)
  • March 14, 2023 (for February 2023 services and expenditures)
  • April 14, 2023 (for March 2023 services and expenditures)
  • May 15, 2023 (for April 2023 services and expenditures)
  • June 13, 2023 (for May 2023 services and expenditures)
  • July 14, 2023 (for June 2023 services and expenditures)

Failure to submit reports in a timely manner may jeopardize distribution of grant funds, as well as future IEJF funding.

A detailed final report (including outcomes and demographic information) will be due on or by July 21, 2023.

For More Information

For more information about the Illinois Equal Justice Foundation’s grant guidelines and procedures, contact Tyrina Newkirk, Program Officer, at tnewkirk@iejf.org.

To learn more about the Illinois Equal Justice Foundation, click here.