Native American & Tribal Communities Grant 

GENERAL INFORMATIONGRANT ELIGIBILITYGRANT REQUIREMENTS & REPORTING
HOW TO APPLYREVIEW PANEL & TIMELINEQUESTIONS & APPLICATION ASSISTANCE

Native American & Tribal Communities Grant Overview 

The Legal Foundation of Washington’s (LFW) Native American & Tribal Communities Grant is designed to build and strengthen the capacity of civil legal aid services for Native and Tribal communities in Washington State. LFW has partnered with Native and woman-led consulting firm, Kauffman and Associates, to create a culturally responsive and community-driven grant opportunity that includes an application review panel of community experts and on-going technical assistance.  

We aim to: 

  • Expand civil legal aid programming for Native communities; 
  • Invest in Indigenous models and approaches to civil justice; 
  • Build long-lasting legal aid infrastructure, partnerships, and support for Native and Tribal communities; and 
  • Elevate promising legal aid strategies through collaborative learning.  

Proposals must be focused on civil legal aid for Native American clients in Washington State. We welcome a wide array of approaches to serving the diverse civil legal needs of Native American and Tribal communities, including, but not limited to: Tribal-based legal services; collaborative initiatives between legal aid and community-based entities; programming focused on urban populations; and rural legal aid projects. 

Grant period: The grant term is three years: January 1, 2025-December 31, 2027.  

Grant awards: LFW expects to award 5-10 grants ranging between $100,000 to $750,000 each. Grant awards will total approximately $4 million. 

Deadline for applications: 11:59pm Pacific Time on August 15, 2024.  

Join us for an informational webinar with Q&A on Thursday, June 27 at 11am by registering here.

Who Can Apply 

LFW funds civil legal aid programs serving low-income families in Washington State. Types of eligible applicants include, but are not limited to: 

  • Tribal Nations, Tribal agencies, and Tribally chartered nonprofits 
  • Native-led nonprofits;  
  • Nonprofits serving Native American clients; and 
  • Collaborative proposals between multiple of the above listed types of organizations.  

LFW defines “Native-led” as 50% or more of senior leadership (those with decision-making power over the actions and budget of your organization) identify as Native American.  

Fiscally sponsored programs are welcome to apply. 

Eligible Grant Activities 

Proposals must be focused on civil legal aid work for low-income Native American clients in Washington State. Examples of eligible grant activities include: 

  • Peacemaking civil courts using traditional methods of restorative practice  
  • Partnerships between Tribal Courts and neighboring pro bono volunteer attorney programs  
  • Culturally responsive legal clinics embedded in trusted community-based organizations 

New and existing projects are eligible, including general operating expenses for current civil legal aid programming serving Native American and Tribal communities. 

Eligible Expenses  

LFW strives to provide flexible, general operating funds whenever possible. Funds may be used for programmatic, administrative, and organizational activities connected to the proposed civil legal aid project, including, but not limited to, salaries, benefits, rent, supplies, and outreach materials. 

Quarterly Financial Reports 

Quarterly financial reports, including an expenditure report and cash flow report, are due in the LFW Grant Portal by the end of the month following each quarter, i.e. April 30, July 31, October 31, and January 31. 

Year-End Narrative Reports 

Year-end narrative reports are due on January 31, detailing grant activities from the previous year with client service numbers, if applicable.  

Evaluation Technical Assistance and Capacity Building 

LFW is partnering with Native and woman-led consulting firm, Kauffman & Associates, Inc. (KAI), to provide technical assistance and capacity building to Native American & Tribal Communities grantees. KAI has developed a strong national reputation for their culturally responsive, community-driven approaches to evaluations and assessments with American Indian/Alaska Native communities that is respectful, trauma informed, and builds upon Indigenous resilience and brilliance.  

KAI’s work is informed by the tenets of the Indigenous Evaluation Framework (IEF), which is a robust methodological framework rooted in Indigenous values, knowledge, and histories. The IEF is based on the following principles: (a) respecting Tribal goals of self-determination and sovereignty; (b) acknowledging that Indigenous communities have always assessed merit and worth based on values and storytelling; (c) incorporating broadly held values while remaining flexible and responsive to local culture; (d) using practices and methods that align with the community’s needs; (e) building ownership by involving the community in defining the meaning, practice, and usefulness of evaluation; and (f) providing opportunities to learn from Tribal community programs and using the information to create strong, viable communities. 

LFW and KAI will work collaboratively with each grantee, through reports, interviews, and focus groups, to develop an evaluation capacity building plan. The plan will include topics, skills, and approaches for technical assistance. At the end of the three-year grant period, KAI will create a final assessment report summarizing opportunities for growth and learning in the field of civil legal aid for Native American and Tribal communities in Washington. 

Submitting an Application 

All applications are due by August 15, 2024 by 11:59 PM Pacific Time. Grant applications are submitted through the LFW Grant Portal. Information and instructions on how to apply are available on the Current Opportunities page of LFW’s website.  

Alternative Submissions 

If you prefer to submit your application in a language other than English or would like to conduct an oral application instead of a written application, please email LFW Grants Manager, Arielle Handforth at arielle@legalfoundation.org by July 26, 2024 to learn more about alternative submission processes.  

Application Questions and Required Attachments  

  • Organizational information including type of organization, mission and vision, organization’s leadership and staff, and current board members. 
  • Proposal and programmatic information including description of project detailing how the project builds and strengthens the capacity of civil legal aid services for Native and Tribal communities in Washington State, communities served, and community engagement and accountability.  
  • A project budget covering the term of January 1, 2025, to December 31, 2027. 

Application Tips 

  • If you are putting in a collaborative proposal between multiple organizations, one organization will need to be the lead applicant in the LFW Grants Portal but please include responses for both organizations in the application. 
  • If you would like to have LFW staff review your proposal, or parts of it, before submitting, email ariell@legalfoundation.org a draft or let us know you have a draft in the portal by the end of day on Friday, July 26, 2024. The sooner we receive the draft the faster we can provide feedback and the more time you have to update your proposal before officially submitting.  
  • If you have any questions or would like to discuss your proposal, feel free to schedule a 15 min call with LFW’s Grants Manager, Arielle Handforth, here

Please email LFW Grants Manager, Arielle Handforth, at arielle@legalfoundation.org if you require any accommodations.  

Application Review

An advisory panel of community leaders with experience working with Native communities and expertise in civil legal aid will review and evaluate proposals. LFW staff and the panel will follow up with applicants in September if there are additional questions regarding the application. The advisory panel will make their grant recommendations to the LFW Board of Trustees and award decisions will be made in mid-November. 

Timeline 

Monday, June 17, 2024 Applications open in the LFW Grant Portal 
Thursday, June 27, 2024 Informational webinar at 11am. Register here 
Friday, July 26, 2024 Deadline to submit draft proposal for LFW staff feedback 
Friday, July 26, 2024 Deadline to let LFW staff know if you prefer to submit an alternative application 
Thursday, August 15, 2024 Applications due by 11:59 PM Pacific Time in the LFW Grants Portal 
September/October 2024 Advisory Panel reviews proposals and follows up with applicants if they have questions 
Monday, November 18, 2024 Grant decisions are announced 
Wednesday, January 1, 2025 Grant term begins 

Application Q&A Webinar 

Join us for an informational webinar with Q&A on Thursday, June 27 at 11am by registering here. The webinar will provide information on the grant process with the opportunity for attendees to ask questions about the application, selection criteria, guidelines, or other related questions. The webinar will be recorded and posted on the LFW website for those unable to attend. Participation in the webinar is NOT required, but applicants are strongly encouraged to attend or view the recording.  

We are committed to supporting programs through every step of their work. If you have any questions or feedback to LFW, please contact LFW Grants Manager, Arielle Handforth, by email or find a time to meet by clicking here