Grant Guidelines

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

 

Background

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 current Eviction Response Grant funding has been provided by the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS). IEJF has been charged with distributing the grant funding to civil legal aid and mediation organizations to assist Illinois residents facing eviction in accessing legal assistance and mediation services. This funding was provided in response to the current eviction crisis which has been heightened by the public health pandemic. These funds are intended to develop state-wide eviction mitigation services and are not to duplicate grants for services funded under the Cook County Legal Aid for Housing and Debt (CCLAHD).

Availability of Funds

Funding is provided by the State of Illinois to support eviction response legal and mediation services through the end of State’s fiscal year (June 30, 2021). The budget for FY 21 grants is approximately $1,800,000.  Any funding directed toward Cook County is subject to availability and will not duplicate services being funded.

Purposes

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

At its discretion, the Board may also request proposals from non-profit organizations to conduct training and technical assistance regarding mediation, telephone advice and referral services and/or civil legal assistance.

Eligibility

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). Current AMI can be found here.

Limitations

  • 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.

Timeline for Application & Review

The grant period will be March 15, 2021 – June 30, 2021, and the application and review process will follow this schedule:

February 22,2021 Applications are available at www.iejf.org.
March 05, 2021 Completed applications & proposals due
March 05- March 12, 2021 Grant review & virtual site visits
March 15, 2021 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 advance payments for implementation of the Eviction Response Program. 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 on 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.

The IEJF subscribes to Illinois Nonprofit Principles and Best Practices and encourages applicants to strive to adopt the Best Practices pertinent to their organization. The Best Practices were developed by Forefront Illinois, endorsed by the Illinois Attorney General and available at https://myforefront.org/publictrust.

Application and Reporting Requirements

Applications must be submitted electronically by March 5, 2021.

Application procedures and forms will be available by February 22, 2021 at www.iejf.org under the Eviction Response 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 10th of each month for services provided and actual costs incurred in the preceding month. 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 23, 2021.

For More Information

For more information about the Illinois Equal Justice Foundation’s grant guidelines and procedures, contact Leslie Corbett, Executive Director, at 312-938-2381. You can also contact Ms. Corbett via e-mail at lcorbett@iejf.org.

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