Community Legal Grants

What are Community Legal Grants?

Up to $20,000

Applications open until 30 June 2020

Improving community understanding of civil legal issues.

Community Legal Grants provide up to $20,000 to support projects that improve community understanding of civil legal issues where there is a demonstrated community need.

These grants are most likely to fund one-off projects that address a legal issue for a specific community, such as a series of fact sheets about fines and infringements, or pilot projects that offer new approaches to delivering legal information.


The types of projects likely to be funded include:

  • one-off projects – to address a legal issue which is likely to make a difference for a specific audience, for example, a legal resource – video, fact sheet
  • pilot projects – offering new approaches or to trial a strategy and gain further insights, for example, the delivery of legal information in a new format that could be duplicated in other services.

Who can apply?

Community Legal Grant applications are open to community legal centres and not-for-profit community organisations. We only fund organisations – individuals are not able to apply.

Application form

Complete our application form and submit it at the bottom of the page

Community Legal Grants application form

Grant guidelines

Guiding principles

Priority will be given to applications that can demonstrate the following:


Evidence of legal need and a good case that this response is likely to make a difference.


Projects that have potential to reach significant audiences – this could be a broad audience or a project that responds to a current issue or need for a specific group of Victorians.

Assessment process

The Grants Subgroup of the Foundation’s Board makes funding decisions at regularly scheduled meetings during the year. Applicants will be advised of the outcome within 8-10 weeks of submitting an application.

Grant applications are assessed against the Foundation’s statutory functions, grant priority and guiding principles. The following criteria are also considered as part of the assessment process:

  • grants can only be made to organisations
  • the project must primarily benefit Victorians
  • legal need – what is the legal need of the target audience? What is the evidence?
  • project methodology – what will you do to address the need?
  • format – how does the format meet the needs of the target audience?
  • duplication – does the information already exist?
  • capacity – does the organisation have the skills and resources to undertake the project?
  • impact – what difference will this work make?
  • dissemination and promotion – has a strategy been developed to ensure the information gets to the target group?
  • replication – is there potential for the project to benefit a broader audience?
  • budget – is the budget realistic? Does it offer value for money?
  • evaluation – has a strategy been developed to assess the impact of the project?
Grant exclusions

Generally, we do not fund:

  • professional development activities
  • conferences – sponsorship or attendance
  • government organisations with the exception of independent statutory bodies
  • recurrent or core operational costs
  • purchase of major items of equipment
  • international travel costs
  • commercial or profit-making activities
  • litigation of any kind
  • projects that primarily support political activity and lobbying
  • costs incurred prior to grant approval
  • grant applications previously deemed unsuccessful by the foundation unless invited to reapply.

Conditions of grant

Victoria Law Foundation places conditions on the grants it makes. Some of the grant requirements include:

  • successful applicants enter into an agreement with the Foundation
  • a final report is to be submitted on completion of the project
  • assessing the impact of the project through appropriate evaluation
  • acknowledging the support of the Foundation
  • having materials checked by a person with appropriate legal knowledge
  • developing resources using plain language principles (where applicable).


What type of evidence of legal need should I include in my application?

Many organisations identify community need through their own work, or they might be approached by another organisation or community group to provide particular information. Sources of evidence could include service data, research findings, anecdotal evidence or case studies. This may be supported by other research or examples of successful projects in other areas.

The Foundation is working to build a better understanding of the legal needs of Victorians. Through our Knowledge Grants we support organisations to gain a better understanding of the legal needs of the community.

This information may then be used to seek further funding to address a legal issue or problem.

How many grants are available?

The Foundation’s grant pool is $300,000 divided between our three grant programs. Unfortunately we are unable to fund many great projects due to limited funding. We aim to fund around 4-5 projects within each grant program.

Contact the Grants Manager to find out if your project proposal meets our selection criteria and if sufficient funds are available, giving your application the best chance of success.

What are my obligations if I am offered a grant?

All successful applicants enter into a funding agreement with the Foundation. Some other general requirements include submitting a final report on completion of the project and acknowledging the support of the Foundation.

When will my application be assessed?

The Grants Subgroup of the Foundation’s Board makes funding decisions at regularly scheduled meetings during the year. The 2019/20 meetings will be held in March and June 2020.

Applicants will be advised of the outcome within two weeks of these meetings.

Please contact the Grants Manager prior to lodging your application for more details on our application assessment schedule and the expected time frame for reviewing your application.

Submit an application