IndyBar Foundation

Community Empowerment Grant

Community Empowerment Grant Application Criteria and Process

In 2021, $35,000 will be awarded to an outside entity through the Community Empowerment Grant. Non-profit organizations and government entities are eligible for this grant, and the funds must be used to support a program that reinforces the foundation’s mission and presents opportunities for members of the central Indiana legal community to participate on a pro bono or modest means basis.

Apply for the grant here. Applications are due by June 30, 2021.

The project to be funded must meet the Indianapolis Bar Foundation’s (IBF) mission to advance the administration of justice and an understanding of the law through philanthropy, education and service. Through its grant award, the IBF wishes to support a project presented by an organization or collaborating organizations that seek to affect a substantial positive impact in central Indiana. 

All of the following criteria must apply to your grant proposal:

  1. Project funding from IBF may be awarded only to non-profit organizations or government entities.
  2. Project supports the IBF’s purpose by one or more of the following: (1) providing public education and understanding of the law; (2) providing direct delivery of legal services; or (3) advancement of justice.
  3. Project presents opportunities for members of the central Indiana legal community to participate on a pro bono or modest means basis.
  4. Project articulates a plan to be sustained by other funding beyond the grant from the IBF.  For example, if salary is a significant component and it will require on-going funds, please explain the plan to obtain on-going funds in the future.
  5. Project makes a significant impact in Central Indiana.  For example, either a new venture for the applicant organization(s) or a plan for significant supplementation to an existing service.
  6. Preference will be given to organizations who utilize the full $35,000 grant and where the grant represents all, or a significant portion of, the total budget for the project. The IBF typically funds one-year grant cycles. Organizations may partner to propose funding for a collaborative project.

The Community Empowerment Grant selection process involves three steps which are discussed in detail below. 

Application Deadline: June 30, 2021    
Notice of Next Steps: By July 16, 2021     
Presentation: July 29, 2021    
Notice of Grant Decision: September 1, 2021

Step 1: Written Proposal
The IBF encourages all organizations that meet the Community Empowerment Grant’s criteria to submit a written proposal between April 23 and June 30, 2021. The proposal must be submitted electronically to

The written proposal must include the following:

  • Application form. Click here to access the application.
  • Maximum 2-page proposal with 12-point font size submitted on the organization's letterhead and signed by at least two officers of the organization providing the following information about the project:
    • Identify one of the following areas: public education and understanding of the law through direct delivery of services, direct delivery of legal services, or enhance the administration of justice in the Indianapolis metropolitan area,
    • The unmet need,
    • The target population, 
    • The timeline for program development and rollout to the public, 
    • The budget and financial sustainability of the project past this grant cycle including other support already received and/or pledged, and  
    • How the Indianapolis legal community can participate and support the project through service.
  • Board of Directors roster with business affiliation.

The IBF will acknowledge receipt of all complete submissions by electronic mail. Because the IBF does not have the resources to meet with all potential grant applicants, it does not meet to discuss applications with any applicants. If a potential grant applicant has questions about the application or process, requests can be submitted via email to 

Step 2: Presentation to Community Empowerment Committee
Organizations whose written proposals are approved to receive grant consideration will be notified by July 16, 2021, and invited to meet July 29 with the members of the Community Empowerment Committee. Note:  The invitation to meet with the Committee does not imply a guarantee for selection.

Step 3:  Distinguished Fellows Vote
The Distinguished Fellows of the IBF will vote between August 9 - 31 to determine the winning proposal. The organizations will be notified September 1. 



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