In addition to keeping the legal services community abreast of LSC-funding issues, NLADA disseminates information regarding other federal funding opportunities through the Advocacy Resource Project (ARP). Since its inception in 1993, the ARP has identified millions of dollars in new federal funding for legal services providers and equal justice advocates nationwide. Through the interactive group website Funding Opportunities for Legal Aid (FOLA), members are kept abreast of current federal funding opportunities and private foundation grants. For more information on FOLA and to find out how to access this group website, please click here.
A Word About Federal Funding
Federal funding comes primarily in two forms:
Most people are familiar with the discretionary grants that are administered by the federal agencies. The federal agency responsible for the program publishes a Notice of Funding Availability or NOFA, and eligible organizations apply directly to the federal agency administering the grant. When applying for a discretionary grant, an organization is in direct competition with other eligible organizations nationwide for limited resources. These competitions typically stress innovation and collaboration as criteria for successful grant proposals.
In contrast, formula grants are federal funds given to the states for distribution. A state applies for and receives funds from the federal government; eligible organizations then apply to the state agency administering the grant program rather than to the federal office where the program originates. Much of the state money is distributed through state-level competition. This means that many of the "state and local" level grants that programs receive are in fact federal grants, since the money and the regulations originate from the federal government.
For additional information on federal funding, also visit the Management Information Exchange Fundraising Project.