Trusted help

This call for applications has been completed and we are no longer accepting applications. 

Trusted help – Call for applications

About Trusted help

The Law Foundation of Ontario invites nonprofit organizations to apply for a Trusted help grant.

The purpose of the Trusted help granting is to advance our understanding of one or more of the following areas:

  • Building the capacity to collaborate across sectors to advance access to justice
  • Supporting trusted intermediaries (e.g. frontline community workers who help people with their legal problems)
  • Continuing to learn and better understand the ways trusted intermediaries can advance access to justice

Building on past success

This new call is the result of research the Foundation commissioned into how frontline community workers help people with legal problems. In 2018, the Foundation released the Trusted Help report which describes the many ways that frontline community workers help people with legal problems. Some of these ways include identifying possible legal issues, providing legal information, making referrals to legal professionals, helping clients to complete legal forms, and accompanying clients to meetings or hearings. The Trusted help granting program seeks to build on the findings of this report and to further support the pivotal work accomplished by community workers who support their clients with legal problems.

The Trusted help call for application also builds on a recent program evaluation of another Foundation-funded initiative. The evaluation of Connecting Ottawa recognizes that legal problems are usually part of a larger constellation of issues and that people frequently approach trusted intermediaries at community and social service organizations about issues, including legal issues, they might be experiencing. The evaluation report outlines strategies used by Connecting Ottawa to build the capacity of frontline workers and work with them to increase access to justice.


The Law Foundation of Ontario makes grants to advance access to justice. Grants are made to nonprofit organizations that work to benefit the people of Ontario. The Foundation does not provide funding to individuals or to for-profit ventures.

Criteria for Trusted help

To be eligible to apply for a Trusted help grant, your proposed project must:

  • Support access to justice and fit within the Foundation’s mandate and be consistent with the Foundation’s vision and mission
  • Come to completion or be self-sufficient after the term of the grant, as this is one-time funding

A Trusted help grant must advance one or more of the following areas:

Building the capacity to collaborate across sectors to advance access to justice.

  • Innovative ideas to link community legal clinics, private bar lawyers, paralegals, law students, and community agencies for training and legal support
  • Coordinated intake, triage, and referral programs to support holistic responses to people with legal needs
  • Protocols and other supports to improve referrals between legal and community services

Supporting trusted intermediaries

  • Templates, tools, and innovative technology to support trusted intermediaries, including tools to support system navigation
  • Strategies to identify and develop the capacity of trusted intermediaries to reach hard to serve populations, identify their legal problems, make referrals, or otherwise help them address their legal issues
  • Innovations that harness opportunities created by new technology, emerging public legal education trends, and models for community connections.

Continue to learn and better understand the ways trusted intermediaries can advance access to justice

  • Projects to evaluate the impact trusted intermediaries have on advancing access to justice for clients, including projects to evaluate efforts to build the legal capability of trusted intermediaries
  • Projects to develop common evaluation tools to help understand the impact trusted intermediaries have on advancing access to justice for clients and the impact that supports and training have on building the capacity of trusted intermediaries
  • Research, evaluation, and pilots in other areas identified by the Trusted Help report

Applications for projects that engage across sectors are preferred, in particular those that include the following partners:

  • Community organization(s) with trusted intermediaries
  • Legal organizations prepared to collaborate, support and, if appropriate, supervise work
  • Academics
  • Evaluators to design and oversee / implement an evaluation where appropriate

We strongly encourage applicants to read the FAQ and speak with a Grants Officer before applying.

Grant amount

This one-time call will be for time-limited projects for up to $100,000

Application process and deadline

Letter of intent deadline: October 1, 2018 5:00 p.m. EST
Decision by: December 2018
Full application deadline: By invitation only

Important note: only letters of intent that are approved will be invited to submit a full application. An invitation to submit a full application is not a guarantee that you will receive funding.

Download the letter of intent application form in Word format here: Trusted help application form and submit it via email to

Staff may contact you for further information as part of the letter of intent assessment process. The more the Foundation understands about your organization and your proposed project, the better assistance we can provide.

Before you apply:

  1. Read the Trusted Help report and the Connecting Region evaluation
  2. Read the FAQ
  3. Read the sample Letter of Agreement
  4. Discuss your idea with a Grants Officer

More information

For more information, please contact Alida De Lorenzi, Grants Officer, at 647-288-8068 or David Kinsman, Grants Officer, at 647-288-9101.

All granting decisions are made by the Foundation’s Board of Trustees.

The Foundation promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion and welcomes grant applications that meet the diverse needs of Ontarians.

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.

We accommodate the needs of persons with disabilities in our grantmaking process.