Special Grants Terms and Conditions

  1. Grant Objective and Approved Special Grant.
    1. The grantee will use Special Grant funds to implement activities proposed in the grant application that are identified in the final approved milestones and budget, which are attached herein, and available in GrantEase, LSC’s grants management system. These funds are subject to the Special Grant Terms and Conditions and the current Basic Field Grant Terms and Conditions. The approved Special Grant may include multiple sources of funding, including this Special Grant, the grantee’s LSC Basic Field Grant, and other public, private, or tribal grants.
  2. Terms and Conditions Applicable to All Special Grants. The following Terms and Conditions apply to all LSC-funded Special Grants.
    1. Project Plan. Project management is critical to the success of this Special Grant. Accordingly, prior to the grant award, the grantee must work with the LSC Special Grant Staff member assigned to this Special Grant to finalize the project plan. The project plan defines the grant goals, objectives, milestones and other deliverables. The project plan also specifies the metrics and data that will be used to evaluate the project.
      1. Project plans that are approved by LSC staff are incorporated by reference into these Special Grant Terms and Conditions.
      2. If the grantee needs to modify an approved project plan (e.g., move, alter, or eliminate goals or objectives) or the reporting schedule, which sets forth all reporting and payment request deadlines, the grantee must email the LSC Special Grant staff member assigned to this Special Grant. Project plan or reporting schedule changes must be requested at least 45 days prior to the applicable reporting deadline.
    2. Progress Reports and Payments. Grantees will submit a progress report and initiate requests for payment of expenses incurred for each reporting period as outlined for this Special Grant in the “Terms” tab of the grant award in GrantEase.
      1. Grantees will submit a progress report before the due date for each reporting period, which should include the following:
        1. Progress on the objectives, and milestones established for the project. Progress on Goal(s) is calculated automatically based on your reported progress on the Objectives that support the Goal(s). Objectives will be reported as percentage (%) complete. Milestones supporting the objectives will be reported as not started/in process/completed.
        2. Any challenges faced with the Special Grant;
        3. Any changes to team staffing;
        4. Sustainability plans for the grant; and
        5. Notable accomplishments.
      2. Grantees will also initiate a payment request for expenses incurred during each reporting period on or before the due date identified within the reporting schedule in GrantEase. Grantees will provide LSC with Special Grant expenditures made during the payment period compared to the approved budget. The system will not allow grantees to request payments that exceed approved budget categories, without prior approval from LSC.
      3. Upon receipt of the grantee’s progress report and payment request, LSC will review and approve, modify, return for corrections, or deny payment as is appropriate under these Special Grant Terms and Conditions and the project plan. Payments may be modified or denied due to questioned or disallowed costs, decrements for advanced payment, missing or incomplete milestone information, unacceptable performance, and/or other reasons which, in LSC’s sole discretion, lead to the conclusion that the payment should not be made in whole or part. Payments will not be processed without LSC’s receipt and review of the progress report and payment request, which will include budget detail on the expenses incurred for which the grantee is seeking reimbursement.
    3. Final Report and Final Payment Request: On the final date of the reporting schedule, Grantee will submit a final report and a final payment request that will assist LSC in evaluating the overall effectiveness and impact of the work completed under the Special Grant.
      1. The final report must include any updates to the goals, objectives and milestones within GrantEase and a narrative that includes the following information:
        1. An analysis of the goals and objectives under the grant;
        2. A summary of major accomplishments under the grant;
        3. The factors affecting the grant’s accomplishments, goals, objectives, and/or milestones;
        4. The major lessons learned and recommendations for improvement on the project or effort;
        5. Any evaluation reports, data, or metrics relied upon in measuring progress and success; and
        6. Additional grant information as specified by the Special Grant program.
      2. The purpose of providing this information is to allow LSC the opportunity to evaluate the overall effectiveness and impact of the project and work completed under the Special Grant.
    4. Communicating Changes and Concerns. Grantees must notify the LSC Special Grant staff member assigned to this Special Grant immediately when changes or concerns regarding this Special Grant arise, including staffing changes, contractor changes or issues, partner changes or issues, and subgrant staffing changes or issues. The LSC Special Grant staff member will help address any problems or concerns and can provide guidance on how to request budgetary or programmatic modifications, if necessary.
    5. Approved Budget and Budget Modifications. The attached approved Special Grant budget is also available to the grantee through GrantEase within the grant award. Grantees are expected to expense Special Grant funds consistent with the attached approved Special Grant budget. The grantee may request non-material changes to this Special Grant budget, but must obtain LSC’s preapproval when:
      1. Changes require allocation of funds in any amount from one “category” to another “category”; and
      2. Changes to the scope of the project are made.
    6. Tracking and Reporting Use of Special Grant Funding. The grantee will track funds for this Special Grant by grant number and will account for them separately from any other LSC Special Grants, other LSC funds; and non-LSC private and public funds. The grantee will report funds allocated to this Special Grant by line item in the annual audit report submitted to LSC, with a separate line item for each LSC Special Grant. For additional guidance on these requirements, see 45 C.F.R. § 1628.3(g), 45 C.F.R. Part 1630, and the LSC Accounting Guide for LSC Recipients.
    7. Time and Recordkeeping. The grantee must give its employees sufficient time to perform their Special Grant assignments, as established in the project plan. The grantee must allocate staff time to this Special Grant consistent with the allocations listed in the approved budget, but the total time that an employee spends on this Special Grant and other grantee-assigned work combined cannot exceed 1.0 FTE. The grantee will track and keep accurate records of all time spent working on this approved Special Grant by any of the grantee’s staff members or staff of its subgrantees, including “in-kind” contributions of time (i.e., time that is not chargeable to these Special Grant funds). Attorneys and paralegals working on this Special Grant must keep time as required by 45 C.F.R. 1635. All other staff and subgrantees must maintain personnel activity reports supporting all salary and wages charged directly to this Special Grant as required by 45 C.F.R. 1630.3(d).
    8. Private Attorney Involvement (PAI)—Special Grant Funds Ineligible.
      45 C.F.R. Part 1614 requires LSC grantees to allocate an amount equivalent to 12.5% of your annualized basic field award to involve private attorneys in your legal services delivery system (“PAI requirement”).
      1. Grantees may not count any Special Grant funds toward the PAI requirement (including Special Grant funds used for procurements, subgrants, or in-kind subgrants). This prohibition does not apply to other funds (e.g., non-LSC funds or LSC Basic Field grant funds) that are used to support the Special Grant project.
      2. For example: the grantee operates an online legal information service using volunteer attorneys. It meets all the Part 1614 criteria. Half of the budget for the service comes from Special Grant funds and does not count towards the PAI requirement. The other half comes from the grantee’s Basic Field grant or an IOLTA grant and those funds can apply to the PAI requirement.
    9. LSC Logo. In addition to the provisions regarding the use of the LSC Logo specified in the Basic Field Grant Terms and Conditions, work products developed or improved with Special Grant funds and materials that are used to promote Special Grant projects, including publications, websites, videos, and webcasts, must display LSC’s logo, which is available at LSC Logos.
    10. No-cost Extensions. A no-cost extension allows a grantee additional time beyond the grant term to continue accomplishing Special Grant goals and expending grant funds at no additional cost to LSC. To initiate a formal request for a no-cost extension, the grantee must notify the liaison for this Special Grant at least 30 days before the end of the grant term. The LSC Special Grant staff member assigned to this Special Grant will ask for written programmatic justification for the request, a revised project plan for the proposed period of the extension, and a revised overall budget. All no-cost extensions require LSC management approval.
    11. Closeout. At the end of the grant term or when this Special Grant is voluntarily or involuntarily terminated, the grantee will comply with the instructions for completing an orderly closeout of this Special Grant provided from the assigned LSC Special Grant staff member. All close-out activities must be concluded no later than 180 days from the grant term’s end date or termination. Once LSC receives complete and required closeout information, including the closeout payment request, LSC staff will review and provide the grantee with the final grant payment, assuming all Special Grant required documents are met with approval. LSC will finalize closeouts within 90 days of the submission of all materials. Closeouts may take longer depending on issues that arise. Grantees must retain all grant-related records after the grant term as prescribed by the Accounting Guide for LSC Recipients, Appendix II.
    12. Termination.
      1. This Special Grant automatically terminates if:
        1. the grantee’s Basic Field grant is voluntarily or involuntarily terminated; or
        2. the grantee fails to timely submit a required progress report, unless LSC, in its sole discretion, grants a no-cost extension of time in which to submit the report.
      2. LSC may terminate this Special Grant or withhold part or all of any grant payment if:
        1. the grantee substantially violates these Terms and Conditions,
        2. the grantee voluntarily requests that the Special Grant be terminated, or
        3. the grantee’s Special Grant performance is deficient.
      3. Automatic terminations are not appealable. Grantees may, however, appeal discretionary terminations to the LSC President within 15 business days of receiving LSC’s termination notice. Grantee’s may also request to meet with the LSC President. The LSC President’s decision will be provided to the grantee in writing and is considered final.
    13. Property—Real and Personal. All property purchased with Special Grant funds is subject to LSC requirements for property acquisition, use, and disposal established at 45 C.F.R. Parts 1630 and 1631, which continue to apply past the end of the Special Grant. At the end of the Special Grant, the grantee must evaluate whether it continues to have a use for property purchased with Special Grant funds and determine whether to retain or dispose of that property.
  3. Grant Terms Specific to Special Grant Programs
    1. Technology Initiative Grant (TIG) recipients
      1. At least one staff member must attend the TIG grantee meeting, which will take place at a time and date TBD. At least one staff member, whose attendance will benefit your Special Grant, must attend the upcoming LSC’s Innovations in Technology Conference (ITC) held in January. The grantee is responsible for registering at least one staff member for the ITC no later than 30 days prior to the ITC.
      2. If this Special Grant is terminated for deficient performance or failure to timely submit a required milestone report, the grantee may be barred from receiving another Special Grant for three years. If this Special Grant is voluntarily terminated because circumstances outside of the grantee’s reasonable control make it impossible to perform the approved Special Grant project (e.g., key staffing changes, technology limitations, a failed proof of concept, etc.), the grantee is still eligible for future Special Grants.
    2. Pro Bono Innovation Fund (PBIF) recipients
      1. At least one staff member must attend the annual PBIF grantee meeting, which will take place at a time and date TBD.
      2. If this Special Grant is terminated for deficient performance or failure to timely submit a required milestone report, the grantee may be barred from receiving another Special Grant for three years. If this Special Grant is voluntarily terminated because circumstances outside of the grantee’s reasonable control make it impossible to perform the approved Special Grant project (e.g., key staffing changes, technology limitations, a failed proof of concept, etc.), the grantee is still eligible for future Special Grants.
    3. Disaster Relief Emergency Grant (DRG) recipients
      1. Grantees with Disaster Relief Emergency Grants should ensure that any materials developed under this Special Grant are included on the Legal Aid Disaster Resource website by providing such materials to the LSC Staff member assigned to this Special Grant.
  4. Basic Field Grant Terms and Conditions Incorporated by Reference. The current and future Basic Field Grant Terms and Conditions are incorporated by reference and merged into these Terms and Conditions and apply to this Special Grant. Where the Basic Field Grant Terms and Conditions conflict with these Special Grant Terms and Conditions, the language of these Special Grant Terms and Conditions will control. To the extent possible, however, the Special Grant and Basic Field Grant Terms and Conditions should be construed to give maximum effect to the language of both documents. Particularly, please pay close attention to the following Basic Field requirements that apply to this Special Grant.
    1. Conflicts of Interest. Grantees must apply their conflicts policies to all work done under this Special Grant, including checking for and resolving all actual or apparent conflicts.
    2. Cost Standards and Procedures—45 C.F.R. Part 1630 applies to all Special Grants.
    3. Procurement—45 C.F.R. Parts 1630 and 1631 apply to all procurements using funds awarded under this Special Grant, including acquisition of real and personal property and services.
    4. Subgrants—45 C.F.R. Part 1627 applies to all subgrants involving LSC funds from or LSC-funded in-kind support funded by this Special Grant. After the award of this Special Grant, grantees must apply for any required LSC prior approvals. 45 C.F.R. § 1627.4(a)(2).
    5. Program Integrity—45 C.F.R. § 1610.7 requires that grantees maintain objective integrity and independence from any organization that engages in restricted activities, including organizations that participate in the Approved Grant Initiative.
    6. Plain Language and Limited English Proficiency. (Program Letter 04-2) In developing materials for the public and clients, grantees must consider and address the special needs of persons with limited literacy, limited English proficiency, limited experience with or knowledge of computer-related technologies, limited access to computers, and limited access to most web-based or other computer-related systems.  For all new publications, forms, and materials developed or improved with any LSC funds, grantees must ensure that that they are written in a clear, concise, and well-organized manner, consistent with plain language principles, examples of which can be found at www.lep.gov, www.writeclearly.org, and www.plainlanguage.gov.
    7. Accessibility. Grantees must consider and address the special needs of people with disabilities, including ensuring that all electronic and web-based resources developed or improved with any LSC funds are based on or exceed the accessibility standards established in Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act and implementing regulations. See also 45 C.F.R. Part 1624.
    8. Intellectual Property. The Basic Field Grant Terms and Conditions that address intellectual property also apply to this special grant.  The following information provides more detail about those requirements, which apply equally to the LSC grantee’s Basic Field grant and to this Special Grant.
      1. Unless the grantee has an agreement with a third-party vendor establishing otherwise, the grantee owns all products, technologies, and software that grantees develop using Special Grant funds (“work products”). Regardless of who owns the work products, the grantee and LSC have a royalty-free, nonexclusive, and irrevocable license to use, reproduce, distribute, publish, and prepare derivative works of the work products, including making those works available to other LSC grantees and access to justice partners.
      2. LSC’s license does not apply to existing products, technologies, or software that you or a third-party vendor developed using non-LSC funds (“pre-existing work”). But if the grantee uses Special Grant funds to modify or upgrade a Preexisting Work, LSC’s license will apply if the modification or upgrade can be licensed and purchased separately from the preexisting work (e.g., as an add-on or a plug-in). If it cannot be licensed and purchased separately, then LSC’s license does not apply, and LSC must purchase rights to use or share the modification or upgrade, if desired.
      3. This provision does not prevent a developer or vendor from charging costs related to the use of the work products, such as implementation, integration, and on-going use (e.g., hosting and maintenance) costs.
      4. Grantees must have a written contract with third-party vendors who develop work products or modify pre-existing work in a separately licensable and purchasable way. The contract must include a provision disclosing the grantee’s and LSC’s royalty-free, nonexclusive, and irrevocable license and prohibiting third-party vendors from denying its existence, challenging its legality, or interfering with LSC’s full exercise of it.

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