PBIF Program Description

The Pro Bono Innovation Fund (PBIF) provides grants to civil legal aid projects that support new, robust pro bono partnerships through collaboration, innovation, and replication of effective practices.

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Updates
FY2023 Grants Start

Grants awarded for FY23 officially started on October 1, 2023. You can view the press release and description of these grants here.

Call to Action
FY2024 Pre-Application Technical Assistance

The PBIF team will offer technical assistance opportunities in December 2023 and January 2024 to those interested in submitting a Pre-Application for the FY24 funding cycle. Please contact probonoinnovation@lsc.gov to schedule.

Overview

The Pro Bono Innovation Fund (PBIF) offers grants to collaboratively engage more lawyers and other professionals in pro bono service, address gaps in legal services and persistent challenges in the pro bono delivery system. Since 2014, Pro Bono Innovation Fund has invested more than $35,000,000 to 121 projects in 34 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The PBIF program offers three categories of grants: Project, Sustainability, Transformation, and Planning.

FY2022 Notice of Funds Available

Eligibility

PBIF only accepts Project and Transformation grant applications from legal aid organizations already receiving an LSC Basic Field Grant. PBIF Sustainability grants are only open to former PBIF Project grantees that were awarded a grant within two years prior to the current funding cycle.

If you are an LSC-funded organization interested in applying, we encourage you to consider developing project models that offer impactful and replicable solutions to persistent challenges in your current pro bono delivery system.

How To Apply

Prior to submitting an application, organizations must submit a Pre-Application for Funding. The Pre-Application allows PBIF staff to quickly assess proposals that are most viable for funding and a strong match for the Pro Bono Innovation Fund. An organization may submit more than one Pre-Application for different project ideas or for different grant types (project, sustainability, transformation). Proposals for funding will not be accepted if applicants have not submitted a Pre-Application. PBIF will invite select applicants to submit a full proposal for funding.

Reviewers will assess applications according to the selection criteria. Please visit the PBIF "How to Apply" page for detailed information on the current funding cycle, selection criteria, and reporting requirements.

Trainings, Webinars, and Guidance
Learning Management Systems

LSC hosted a webinar on recommendations and guidance for Learning Management Systems. See the webinar recording, presentation slides, and checklist.

Pro Bono Basics: Transformation Groundwork

PBIF hosted a Pro Bono Lab that focused on Transformation Grants. PBIF Transformation Grants encourage grantees to undertake ambitious efforts to address the challenges within their pro bono program. One of the common first steps within any pro bono transformation effort is the assessment process. A group of panelists from Community Legal Services of Mid-Florida, Georgia Legal Services Program, and Prairie State Legal Services discussed the groundwork challenges they encountered and how they were addressed. A Resource Sheet has been compiled for attendees. 

Pro Bono Basics: Pro Bono Marketing

PBIF hosted a Pro Bono Lab that focused on pro bono marketing. PBIF projects have impacted the lives of clients, pro bono attorneys, and legal aid staff. Sharing the impact of a project and the stories of clients can be a pain point for some organizations. A group of panelists from Legal Services, NYC, Legal Services of the Hudson Valley, and Community Legal Aid (MA) discussed how they've used marketing strategies to share their project's impact.

Grant Terms and Conditions

Read the grant terms and conditions

Grantee Guidance

Read about the requirements and regulations on these grants