Public Grants

  • Formal name: Access to Justice (ATJ) Grants Program
  • Awarded annually since 2007
  • Source of funding: public funding from a grant from the District
  • Grant year: January 1 to December 31

In 2007, DCBF began awarding grants under the Access to Justice (ATJ) Grants Program (public grants) when the Council of the District of Columbia designated DCBF as administrator of these funds. Public grants support organizations that provide legal assistance in three areas: (a) underserved areas in DC; (b) housing-related matters; and (c) to support a shared legal services interpreter bank. Since 2007, close to $30 million has been awarded to provide critical legal assistance to DC’s poor and underserved.


The application period for the 2018 Access to Justice (ATJ/Public) Grants Program is now open. The application is due by 3:00 pm on Thursday, September 28, 2017. The grant year will begin January 1, 2018 and end December 31, 2018.

Information Session: There is an information session for the 2018 ATJ/Public and Private Grants programs on Thursday, August 24 from 10:30 am to 12:00 pm at Kirkland & Ellis LLP (655 15th Street NW, #1200). RSVPs are mandatory. Please email by Tuesday, August 22 if you would like to attend.

Application Instructions: It is very important to read the instructions, as there have been several changes to the application this year. Refer to this page for instructions on completing the application. To start an application, select the correct link below based on the grant category for which you are applying:

  1. Underserved Areas and Housing-related Matters:
  2. Shared Legal Interpreter Bank:

Important Dates: Applicants of new projects will interview with the Foundation on the week of October 16. Decisions will be announced mid-December 2017.

Instructions and Application Materials: Materials needed to complete the online application are below.

Current Grantees

Organizations that receive funding through the publicly-funded Access to Justice Grants Program (public grants) are required to provide financial reports and semi-annual programmatic reports. The reporting schedule for FY17 public grants (May 1, 2017 to December 31, 2017) is below. All reports will be completed online through our online grants management system. Grant managers will receive an email notification when these reporting forms are ready to be completed.

  • Due Friday, September 29, 2017 by 5:00 pm – Four-Month Programmatic Report, Four-Month Financial Report & Client Story
  • Due Tuesday, January 30, 2018 by 5:00 pm –  Final Programmatic Report, Four-Month Financial Report & Client Story