2016 Access to Justice Fund Call

Notice: all Letters of Intent (LOIs) submitted for the 2016 ATJF Call have been processed. If you did not received a decision on your LOI, please contact us at atjf@lawfoundation.on.ca. Decisions on full applications will be communicated as they become available. Grants officers and Foundation staff will be in touch to ask questions and communicate decisions as they are made.

Funding to advance access to justice across Canada

The Law Foundation of Ontario invites applications from non-profit organizations across Canada to the Access to Justice Fund (ATJF) for projects addressing legal needs of or relating to:

  • Children and youth
  • Consumers
  • Public legal education, intake and referral
  • Racialized groups
  • Refugees

Collaborations among organizations with different areas of expertise and from different areas of the country are encouraged.

Access to Justice

Grants made from the Fund are to be used to support public access to justice. While the phrase “access to justice” cannot have a single meaning, it is closely linked to the promotion of equity, fairness, and the elimination of barriers to justice (whether physical, psychological, financial, linguistic or social). It can include access by low-income or marginalized persons to information, so that they can understand their options with respect to legal problems, and services, and act on those options.


To be eligible to apply to the ATJF, your proposal must support access to justice and:

  • Address the legal needs of or relate to the groups or areas listed above
  • Fit within the Foundation’s mandate and be consistent with the Foundation’s vision and mission
  • Be from a not-for-profit venture

The proposed program or project may be local, regional, provincial or national in scope.

In making grants from the ATJF, the Foundation wishes to support high-quality projects that have the potential to bring real improvements to the communities served.

Grant Amounts and Timeframes

We expect that most grant applications will not exceed $100,000 in total. Any applications for amounts of $100,000 or more will need to demonstrate significant benefit.  Applications can be for short-term or multi-year projects.

Application Process

There is a two-stage application process.

Stage 1: Letter of Intent

This stage of the application process was completed as of April 1, 2016 and the call is now closed. The Foundation will confirm receipt of all Letters of Intent that were received by the deadline via email within one week of the closing date.

Stage 2: Full Application – By invitation only

Only Letters of Intent that are approved will be asked to submit a full application. An invitation to submit a full application is not a guarantee that you will receive funding.

As part of this process, applicants are required to follow the Foundation’s ATJF Application Form and Instructions, which specify what must be included in a Letter of Intent and a full Application, and to respond to any requests from Foundation staff for additional information in a timely fashion.

Among many other considerations, the Foundation will be looking for applications that demonstrate that the:

  • Proposed work clearly addresses legal needs of or relates to the groups or areas listed above and is consistent with the Foundation’s vision and mission
  • Applicant has the skills and experience to plan and carry out the project
  • Applicant is ready to be fully accountable to the Foundation for monies

We encourage all applicants (especially first-time applicants) to contact staff for advice on the application process. Once your Letter of Intent has been received, staff may contact you for further information as part of the assessment process. The more the Foundation understands about your organization and your proposed program or project, the better assistance we can provide. However, staff must remain impartial and cannot advocate on your behalf to the Board of Trustees. All granting decisions are made by the Foundation’s Board of Trustees. 

The Foundation is committed to meeting community needs including the needs of the Francophone community. Applicants can communicate in French during the grants process and will receive direct French language services during this process.

On occasion, grant applications may be sent to an outside expert for review on a confidential basis.

Please remember that there is no guarantee that your Letter of Intent or Application, if invited, will go forward on any specific Board meeting date.

Successful grant applicants will receive a Letter of Agreement containing the terms and conditions of the grant. In some cases, other terms and conditions may be added to the grant. The Letter of Agreement for the particular grant will also reflect these additional terms and conditions.

Please read our Frequently Asked Questions before submitting an application.

For more information, please contact Kathryn Hunter, ATJF Grants Officer, at 416-598-1550 ext. 318 or khunter@lawfoundation.on.ca or Kirsti Mathers McHenry, Director of Policy and Programs, at 416-598-1550 ext. 310 or kmathersmchenry@lawfoundation.on.ca.

Want to share information about the Access to Justice Fund Call for Applications in print? Download our summary document.