Leadership Development Program


Through a competitive grants process, each year we will award up to 15 grants to leaders of our grantees. The Leadership Development Program grants may be used to support training, coaching, or other professional development in nonprofit leadership skills. The amount of the awards will be between $2,500 and $10,000.

Examples of potential projects include:

  • Executive coaching
  • Financial management training
  • Effective data analysis to improve program performance
  • Best practices in nonprofit leadership
  • Productive building of board/management relationships
  • Assistance developing expertise in diversifying resources and fundraising
  • Successful grants management
  • Succession planning
  • Business process mapping
  • External communications strategies

The Leadership Development Program is the first named initiative of our 40th Anniversary Campaign for Justice, a private fundraising effort to expand the impact and capacity of civil legal aid providers across the country. The Leadership Development Program honors Arnold & Porter's long-time managing partner, G. Duane "Bud" Vieth, who joined the firm in 1949 and died in 2018. Bud Vieth was a mentor to LSC President Jim Sandman.


In order to apply for funding, you must be one of our grantees. The beneficiary of the funds must be a designated individual or individuals in a leadership position of our grantee organization. This designated individual or individuals must be employed by our grantee on a full-time basis.

This grant cannot be used to pay staff salaries and overhead. This funding is intended to allow organizations to seek external expertise in leadership development.

NOTE: A grantee organization that received a Vieth Grant in 2015, 2016, 2017, or 2018 is eligible to apply in 2019.

How to Apply

Applicants are required to submit a completed application form, which must be signed by the executive director and the board chair, and include all required attachments.

The application form should not exceed four pages in length and should: 

  1. Describe the proposed training/coaching. The application should identify the specific consultants, courses, or resources that will be engaged. The application should provide enough detailed information about the background, credentials, and/or experience of the consultant, coach or service provider to enable reviewers to assess the quality and likely impact of the training/program.
  2. Identify the leadership challenge the organization faces that the training/coaching addresses. The application should clearly articulate the leadership challenge the proposed training will address.
  3. Explain how the proposed training/coaching will help the grantee address the leadership challenge. The application should outline how the skills and knowledge learned in the proposed training/coaching will be used. Successful applications will tie the anticipated outcomes of the training/coaching directly to the leadership challenge identified and describe how efficacy will be measured.
  4. Transfer of Knowledge. The application should include a model for how the training knowledge will be transferred to other relevant people in the applicant organization.
  5. Outline the professional background of the beneficiary(ies). The application should outline the professional background of the beneficiary(ies). It should make clear that the beneficiary(ies) is/are full-time employees of the grantee and summarize their role in the organization and leadership experience to date.
  6. Include a detailed budget outlining how the funds will be spent. Using the template provided on the application form, the application should account for the funds requested, indicating the anticipated costs of tuition, travel, consultants, and any other expenses. 

The application form must be signed by the executive director and the board chair.

Please include three attachments with your application:

  1.  A comprehensive, current description/resume of the consultant, coach or service provider that the applicant proposes to provide services under the grant; and:

  2.  Either:

    a. A proposed Work Plan or Proposal from a potential consultant, coach or service provider;

    b. A proposed timeline for training implementation/completion.

    c. A course syllabus,

    d. Other relevant materials to support the selection of the proposed leadership development training/program.

    3. Please attach a current resume or curriculum vitae of the beneficiary(ies).

You are not required to work with a particular consultant or leadership development service provider, though the selection of a consultant or service provider must be approved by LSC staff as part of the application process.

We consider the following criteria for the selection process:

  • The leadership challenge that the grant will address
  • The quality of the consultant, service provider, or program proposed
  • The leadership experience of the beneficiary
  • The proposed goals and outcomes

For more information, review our request for proposal and FAQs.

Reporting, Compliance Requirements & Applicable Law

All grants and grant recipients are subject to all the requirements of the Legal Services Corporation Act of 1974, as amended, and any applicable appropriations acts, laws, rules, regulations, policies, guidelines, instructions, and other directives. These provisions contain restrictions on the activities of those who receive our funds and may affect the eligibility of potential applicants. If you are awarded the Leadership Development Program grant, you will be required to comply with all requirements contained therein.

If your program is awarded the grant, we will provide a payment schedule in the award letter. All grant funds must be expended within 12 months of receipt of the grant award. A narrative report as well as a financial report demonstrating full use of awarded funds will be required 30 days after the grant period concludes. 

If the beneficiary is not able to complete the program/training, all funds must be returned to us. 

Visit the Grantee Guidance page for more detailed information about reporting and compliance requirements, as well as applicable law.


We will award up to 15 grants to our grantees for leadership development. Grant awards will be announced later this summer.

Submission Deadlines

The application deadline is 5:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, August 30, 2019.