FY 2019 Grant Application

FY 2019 Grant Application Information & Guidelines

The mission of the SC Bar Foundation is to promote justice by funding legal access and education. The goal of the Foundation is to provide grants to organizations in these three categories:

  1. Civil legal services to indigents in South Carolina;
  2. Law related education to the public in South Carolina and
  3. Administration of justice in South Carolina.

Applications are due 5:00 PM on Friday, March 23, 2018.

FY 2018 Grant Cycle Timeline:

The projected timing for the 2019 cycle is as follows. Dates are subject to change.

  • Applications are due 5:00 PM on Friday, March 23, 2018.
  • Interviews/phone calls with Board members take place throughout the month of April 2018.
  • Funding notifications will be sent out the week of May 28, 2018.
  • Grants will start the week of July 1, 2018.

Grant Application Submission Information:

  • Applications can be mailed, but the preference is to have the application submitted via Dropbox or email. Please ensure that the application is signed by a person who has authority to bind the organization to the proposed obligations established by the Foundation.
  • Please submit one electronic copy of the complete application submitted via Dropbox. Send the link to Narratives should be submitted in Word. Supporting documents may be submitted in Word or PDF format as appropriate.
  • If you choose to mail the application please send to the following address:

Mail Delivery/Overnight Mail:
South Carolina Bar Foundation
950 Taylor Street
Columbia, SC 29201

  • Pages should be numbered and attachments labeled as noted.
  • All applicants should read and understand the Conditions and Agreements. If an award is made, we will send you a contract to sign noting agreement to these provisions.
  • Please note that applicants and organizations must refrain from lobbying individual members of the Board of Directors or Foundation staff during the evaluation process. If there are any questions, you may be contacted by the Foundation.


  • Applicants must qualify as a tax-exempt non-profit organization pursuant to Section 501(c)(3) or related section of the Internal Revenue Code.
  • Provide civil legal service to indigents in South Carolina.
  • Provide law related education to the public in South Carolina.
  • Improve the administration of justice in South Carolina.
  • Eligible applicants will be assessed pursuant to the factors set forth below.

General Factors:

  • Advance the Foundation’s mission to promote justice by funding legal access and education.
  • Priority may be given to applicants requesting funds for the direct representation of clients or client groups.
  • Demonstrated plan to carry out the program for which funds are requested.
  • Must provide financial statements required by the grant agreement as well as IRS 990 forms.
  • Grant applications should be made for no more than a 12-month budget period. There is no assurance of funding in subsequent grant cycles.
  • The Foundation may decline to grant any and all grant applications or award less than the total amount of funds requested.

Civil Legal Aid Factors:

  • Must provide free legal representation or access to free or low-cost legal representation to the  poor or disadvantaged persons within a geographical area in the State of South Carolina
  • Employ a needs test consistent with income eligibility requirements of 125% of the official poverty guidelines, defined annually by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Applicants need not apply this needs test to all clients served by their organizations. However, delivery of legal aid supported by Foundation grant must be restricted to clients eligible under those poverty guidelines.

Administration of Justice Factors:

  • Demonstrate how legal services to the poor through innovative or cost effective means are enhanced.
  • Provide civil legal aid either to groups of clients currently underserved such as the elderly or the disabled, or in an area of representation, whether substantive or geographical, that cannot be or is not effectively served by individual qualified legal aid providers; or, provide legal management or operational training, or legal, management, support service, or technical assistance, or direct legal assistance, informational advocacy or litigation support to qualified legal aid providers.
  • Promote the improvement of the administration of justice.

Law Related Education Factors:

  • Demonstrate how the program provides educational opportunities for students to learn about the practice of law and develop an interest in the law.
  • Demonstrate how law students’ legal education is enhanced and how legal non-profits benefit through the program.

Other Factors:

  • Multiple Funding Sources: The Foundation recommends that all applicants have income in addition to Foundation funds requested. Priority will be given to requests from applicants who leverage Foundation funds with multiple other funding sources.
  • Cooperative Efforts: Applicants are encouraged to collaborate with other service providers.  Joint proposals from multiple, qualified applicants area will be accepted as well.

Rent and Equipment: Requests for equipment purchases may be eligible for funding. If seeking funds for equipment, applicants should demonstrate that the new equipment will result in significant productivity enhancements and increased services, and other avenues of funding for equipment purchase have been pursued without success.  Rent is an eligible funding category. 

Ineligible Funding Categories:

The Foundation will not award funds for grants to:

  • Individuals
  • Political campaigns
  • Capital or endowment campaigns
  • Building/renovation projects

DISCRETIONARY DISTRIBUTION:  The grant cycle is annual and based on the Foundation’s fiscal year (July 1-June 30).  That said, the Foundation Board of Directors has the discretion to create special grant cycles for various areas of interest that fall outside of the normal grant priorities. When such cycles take place, the Foundation will detail the guidelines that govern the process and distribution. Further, the Board reserves the right to make grants on an emergency basis (catastrophes, natural disasters, etc.), to request out-of-cycle applications from organizations that conduct a project/program of interest or award funds for a one-time specific project.