Technology Initiative Grant Program
LSC Technology Initiative Grants seek to improve legal services delivery to the low-income population and to increase access by low-income persons to high quality legal services, to the judicial system, and to legal information.
- How To Apply
- Reporting, Compliance Requirements & Applicable Law
- Current Grants
- Submission Deadlines
Technology can and must play a vital role in transforming service delivery so that all poor people in the United States with an essential civil legal need obtain some form of effective assistance.” - LSC’s Report of The Summit on the Use of Technology to Expand Access to Justice
Since 2000, when Congress first appropriated special funds for the Technology Initiative Grants program, LSC has been a leader in the development and use of technology to more effectively meet the legal needs of low-income Americans.
Over the past 17 years we have awarded $57 million in grants for more than 670 projects that leverage technology to help meet the civil legal needs of low-income people. The amount of TIG funding available in 2017 will depend on the fiscal year appropriation to the LSC from Congress, which had not been determined. The federal government is currently operating under a Continuing Resolution (CR) that expires April 28, 2017. The Continuing Resolution maintains funding at FY 2017 levels, which for TIG is $4 million, but with an across-the-board reduction of 0.19 percent, or $7,600 for TIG. In 2016, 34 TIG projects received funding with a median funding amount of $87,211.
The key goals of the Technology Initiative Grant program are to encourage grantees to use technology in innovative ways to:
- Effectively and efficiently provide high quality legal assistance to low-income persons and to promote access to the judicial system through legal information, advice, and representation;
- Improve service delivery, quality of legal work, and management and administration of grantees; and
- Develop, test, and replicate innovative strategies that can enable grantees and state justice communities to improve clients’ access to high quality legal assistance through an integrated and well managed technology system.
TIG funding has provided LSC with a remarkable opportunity to explore new ways to serve eligible persons, to help build legal aid programs' capacities, and to support the efforts of pro bono attorneys. These projects use a broad range of technologies -- including mobile, cloud computing, data analysis, and automated document assembly -- to make the delivery of legal services in the United States more efficient and effective.
Technology Initiative Grants are only available to current LSC basic field grant recipients. Although other entities are not eligible to apply, they are encouraged to participate as project partners.
Applicants must be up to date according to the milestone schedule on all existing TIG projects prior to submitting a Letter of Intent (LOI) or have requested and received an adjustment to the original milestone schedule. TIGs will not be awarded to any applicant unless the applicant has made satisfactory progress on all TIGs previously awarded to it and is not currently subject to any short funding (i.e., less than one year) on basic field grants.
LSC recipients that have had a previous TIG terminated for failure to provide timely reports and submissions are not eligible to receive a TIG for three years after their earlier grant was terminated. This policy does not apply to applicants that worked with LSC to end a TIG early after an unsuccessful project implementation resulting from technology limitations, a failed proof of concept, or other reasons outside of the applicant’s control.
How to Apply
Step 1. Submit a Letter of Intent (LOI)
The TIG application process begins with the submission of a brief (2-5 page) letter of intent (LOI) to apply for funding. The submission of a LOI enables a prospective applicant to get feedback on their project idea. We will invite full proposals for those projects that have a reasonable chance of success in the grant competition process based on LSC’s analysis of the information provided in the LOI. Prospective applicants are encouraged to contact TIG staff with any questions or to get information about prior TIG projects.
LSC hosted a webinar on the 2017 TIG cycle on February 13, 2017. This webinar reviewed the TIG cycle rules and requirements, the initial Letter of Intent process, and TIG's area of interest under which applicants may elect to submit applications. Download the presentation slides from the webinar. View a recording of the 2017 TIG cycle webinar.
LSC has also posted three sample letters of intent for the 2017 cycle. These documents are intended to provide general guidance to applicants and may not meet all requirements.
Letters of Intent are due on Monday, March 13, 2017 by 11:59 pm EDT. They must be submitted using the LSC Grants online system. Invitations to submit a full application will be sent out in April.
Step 2. Submit a Full Application
LSC invites successful LOI applicants to submit a full application in the LSC Grants online system. TIG application instructions, issued following the LOI phase, will provide detailed information about the requirements and review criteria to receive a TIG award.
Applications are submitted using LSC’s online grant system and are due on June 5, 2017. TIG awards are announced in September.
Sample Grant Applications
Applicants can utilize these sample application components when preparing their funding requests. These documents are intended to provide general guidance to applicants and may not meet all requirements for the 2017 TIG cycle. Programs should review the full application instructions before they begin drafting.
- Sample Project Narrative 1
- Sample Project Narrative 2
- Sample Project Narrative 3
- Sample Project Narrative 4
- Sample Payment Schedule 1
- Sample Payment Schedule 2
- Sample Budget
Grant Application Resources
- 2017 Notice of Request for Letters of Intent to Apply for TIG Funding
- 2017 TIG Informational Webinar recording
- Presentation slides from 2017 TIG Informational Webinar
- LSC's Online Grants System (Applicants will submit their LOIs through this system. You will need to log in as the primary contact for an LSC grantee or as the designated TIG contact.)
- List of Replicable Projects and Final Report Samples
- LSC's Technologies that Should Be in a Legal Aid Office, Revised 2015 (LSC Baselines)
- Report from the Summit on the Use of Technology to Expand Access to Justice
Reporting, Compliance Requirements & Applicable Law
TIGs are subject to the same rules and regulations as other grants from LSC. For guidance on the operation and responsibilities of LSC and its grantees, review the Rules & Regulations page on the LSC website. TIG awards are also subject to TIG Grant Assurances found on the TIG Compliance page. See also the TIG Reporting section under Grantee Guidance for information on: