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Funding Priorities

The Louisville Bar Foundation accepts grant applications for projects that fulfill one or more of the following objectives:

  • Projects that improve access to the legal system by persons of limited financial means, and if possible, produce a tangible product that can be distributed to the public;
  • Projects that promote better access to legal information and improved perception of the justice system by minorities;
  • Projects that improve the operation of, and public confidence in, the Jefferson County courts;
  • Projects that provide public education about our legal system and promote a positive image of the legal profession. 

Funding Cycle

Grant applicants must use the LBF Application Form. Applications are accepted at any time, however the LBF Board makes funding decisions on a semi-annual basis. The following deadlines have been established for 2014:

Applications must be received by: For consideration by the Board in:
April 10, 2015 June 2015
October 16, 2015 December 2015


Eligible Applicants

Grant applications are accepted from organizations that are recognized by the IRS as tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or similar exempt organizations. Grants will not be made to individuals.

Endorsement of Grant Application

All grant applications must be "sponsored" by an attorney who is a current member of the Louisville Bar Association. The sponsoring attorney must agree to be an active volunteer participant in the proposed project. A letter of endorsement from the sponsoring attorney must accompany the application. The LBF gives preference to projects with significant volunteer involvement by attorneys.

Grant Amounts

The LBF will distribute approximately $130,000 in grants during the 2015 calendar year. The typical grant has been in the $2,500 to $12,000 range in recent years.

Ineligible Projects

Absent extraordinary circumstances, the LBF does not fund grant requests for capital construction projects or endowment campaigns, nor does it purchase tickets or sponsorships for charitable dinners, golf tournaments or other special events, regardless of the nature or work of the requesting organization. Board support for otherwise qualified multi-year projects and staff positions will be considered, but the applicant must provide specific, detailed information about plans to secure future funding for the project or position. Multi-year funding from the LBF is rare, and is restricted to several pre-selected organizations which have a long-standing relationship with the Foundation. Successive annual requests for funding by an organization may be viewed by the LBF as a multi-year request.

Application Review and Notification Process

If an application meets the minimum requirements established by the LBF, the application will be reviewed by the Grants Committee. Applicants may be contacted for an interview and possibly a site visit. Based upon Committee review, a recommendation regarding funding will be made to the Board. The Board must approve all grant awards.

The LBF will acknowledge, in writing, the receipt of each grant application. Notification of awards will also be made in writing.