Leadership Development Program


Through a competitive grants process, each year we will award up to 15 grants to leaders of our grantees. The Leadership Development Program grants may be used to support training, coaching, or other professional development in nonprofit leadership skills. The amount of the awards will be between $2,500 and $10,000.

Examples of potential projects include:

  • Executive coaching
  • Financial management training
  • Effective data analysis to improve program performance
  • Best practices in nonprofit leadership
  • Productive building of board/management relationships
  • Assistance developing expertise in diversifying resources and fundraising
  • Successful grants management
  • Succession planning
  • Business process mapping
  • External communications strategies

The Leadership Development Program is the first named initiative of our 40th Anniversary Campaign for Justice, a private fundraising effort to expand the impact and capacity of civil legal aid providers across the country. The Leadership Development Program honors Arnold & Porter's long-time managing partner, G. Duane "Bud" Vieth, who joined the firm in 1949 and is now a retired partner.


In order to apply for funding, you must be one of our grantees. The beneficiary of the funds will be a designated individual or individuals in a leadership position of our grantee organization. This designated individual or individuals must be employed by our grantee on a full-time basis.

This grant cannot be used to pay staff salaries and overhead. This funding is intended to allow organizations to seek external expertise in leadership development.

Each grantee is eligible for this grant once every five years.

How to Apply

You are required to submit a single application in the form of a letter, along with attachments. The letter should be no more than three pages and should include:

  1. Leadership challenge: Provide a description of the leadership challenge that the proposed training will address and how it will enable the beneficiary or beneficiaries to better achieve the grantee's mission.
  2. Professional background: What is the professional background of the beneficiary or beneficiaries? What is their role in the organization? What is their leadership experience to date?
  3. Goals and outcomes: Briefly describe the goals of the proposed training and the anticipated outcomes of the training.
  4. Proposed training/program description: Identify specific consultants, courses, or resources that will be engaged and used.

The letter should be signed by the executive director and the board chair.

You should include:

  • A current resume or curriculum vitae of each beneficiary
  • A proposed work plan or a proposal from a potential consultant, coach, or service OR a course syllabus or other collateral materials (if relevant) to support the selection of the proposed leadership development training/program

You are not required to work with a particular consultant or leadership development service provider, though the selection of a consultant or service provider must be approved by LSC staff as part of the application process.

We consider the following criteria for the selection process:

  • The leadership challenge that the grant will address
  • The quality of the consultant, service provider, or program proposed
  • The leadership experience of the beneficiary
  • The proposed goals and outcomes

For more information, review our request for proposal and FAQs.

Reporting, Compliance Requirements & Applicable Law

All grants and grant recipients are subject to all the requirements of the Legal Services Corporation Act of 1974, as amended, and any applicable appropriations acts, laws, rules, regulations, policies, guidelines, instructions, and other directives. These provisions contain restrictions on the activities of those who receive our funds and may affect the eligibility of potential applicants. If you are awarded the Leadership Development Program grant, you will be required to comply with all requirements contained therein.

If your program is awarded the grant, we will provide a payment schedule in the award letter. All grant funds must be expended within 12 months of receipt of the grant award. A narrative report as well as a financial report demonstrating full use of awarded funds will be required 30 days after the grant period concludes.

If the beneficiary is not able to complete the program/training, all funds must be returned to us.

Visit the Grantee Guidance page for more detailed information about reporting and compliance requirements, as well as applicable law.


We will award up to 15 grants to our grantees for leadership development. Grant awards will be announced later this summer.

Submission Deadlines

The application deadline is 5:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, August 11, 2017.