1.How can I view the policy that guides the grant making process?
The policy can be found here. Alliance Defending Freedom Grant Policy
2.How do I submit an application?
All applications must be submitted using our online application form.
In addition to the online application; some additional material must be submitted as exhibits to the application. When possible, please submit application exhibits in electronic format either via email or by mailing a disk with the materials stored. Alliance Defending Freedom does accept packages via FedEx (or any other overnight delivery system) or you may fax the additional materials to 480-444-0028 if you would like. However, whatever method of delivery you use, all required information must be in our Arizona office by close of business (4:30pm, MST) on the cut-off day. Supporting materials should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, if possible, or mailed to
Alliance Defending Freedom
Attn: Grants & Funding Dept.
15100 N. 90th Street
Scottsdale, AZ 85260
3.What type of case or project qualifies for a grant?
Alliance Defending Freedom funds pro-active litigation to protect the right of Christians to speak and act consistent with their faith, defend the sanctity and dignity of life from conception to natural end, and protect family values, including the definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Alliance Defending Freedom also funds legal projects that support or promote such litigation.
4.How does Alliance Defending Freedom prioritize cases and projects to be funded?
The volume of grant requests received always exceeds the available resources, and there are cases with great merit that Alliance Defending Freedom is not able to fund. Limited resources require requests to be prioritized. Preference is given to cases with high potential to set major national and regional precedents that will contribute to the body of case law others can use to litigate future cases. Due to funding demands, grants cannot be awarded for cases that only affect individual rights.
5.What types of grants are available?
a.Cost Grant: Reimbursement for costs (out of pocket expenses) incurred rendering pro bono services are available to assist an allied attorney in pursuing a case or project that directly involves religious liberty, sanctity of life, or the protection of family values. Alliance Defending Freedom can only reimburse costs for cases or projects that would receive funding consideration under the Grants & Funding Policy. Generally, a cost grant is limited to a maximum of $3,000.00, absent extraordinary circumstances.
b.Matching Grant: A matching grant allows Legal Academy alumni who have not reported 450 pro-bono hours to request funding to cover costs and expenses, as well as some of the time expended on the case; however, funds will be disbursed for the attorney time on a “matching basis”. In other words, if an attorney obtains a grant for a case, he or she may bill one hour under the grant for every separate hour worked on the case and reported as pro-bono until the attorney has reported 450 hours. Subject to the “matching” limitation, the grant funds will be used for and disbursed in the same manner as a full grant.
c.Full Grant: An attorney who has reported 450 pro bono hours for each Legal Academy attended is eligible to apply for a full grant. A full grant is designed to cover costs and expenses associated with litigation (travel costs, filing fees, deposition and expert witness fees, copy costs), as well as some reimbursement for the time expended on the case. The attorney may submit an invoice for all qualifying time invested in the case which will be reimbursed at pre-set hourly rates up to the amount awarded in the grant. The pre-set hourly rate is available upon request. Time subject to reimbursement is set forth in the Grants & Funding Policy of Alliance Defending Freedom.
6.How is a matter reviewed for funding?
The primary mechanism for review is the Grants and Review Council process. The Grants and Review Council (GRC) consists of seven allied attorneys who have nationally recognized expertise in the legal fields falling within the scope of Alliance Defending Freedom’s mission. The GRC members are located around the country and volunteer their time and expertise to Alliance Defending Freedom. The GRC carefully reviews the applications and budgets and makes recommendations as to the merits of the applications. The Alliance Defending Freedom Board of Directors reviews all grants.
7.When does a matter become eligible for a grant?
A legal matter is eligible for a grant when the case is: 1) in litigation at the time Alliance Defending Freedom receives the grant application; or 2) litigation is imminent i.e., the case has progressed to a point where a demand letter has been sent or a complaint is being prepared, and all preliminary preparations and investigations are complete. As for remuneration, it is not Alliance Defending Freedom’s intent to pay for initial investigation into a case. Consequently, Alliance Defending Freedom may provide support for pre-filing work of up to seven hours for work on the demand letter, or in the event no demand letter is sent, all time spent drafting the complaint.
8.When are the grant application deadline, meeting, and results publication dates?
The GRC convenes monthly to consider current grant applications. The dates for receiving grant applications for submission to the pending GRC meetings can be found on the Grant Review Schedule or can be obtained by contacting the Alliance Defending Freedom Grants and Funding department.
9.Will Alliance Defending Freedom Extend The Cut-Off Date?
In general, Alliance Defending Freedom does not extend the time in which to submit applications. You may submit your application after the cut-off date and, if there is room on the pending GRC schedule and Alliance Defending Freedom can prepare the application for submission to the GRC in time, it may be considered. However, that is not often the case. Typically, applications submitted after the cut-off dates are held for consideration during the following GRC meeting, approximately one month later.
Application materials must be in our Arizona office by close of business (4:30pm, MST) on the cut-off day.
10.What is expedited funding?
Expedited funding is a mechanism in which a grant request may be reviewed by the Executive Legal Council. Please note the criteria listed in the Grants & Funding Policy under Process for Funding. Funding will be expedited only in unusual circumstances.
11.How do I apply for expedited funding?
Contact the Director of the Grants and Funding Department for a special expedited request should your need meet the criteria listed in the Grants & Funding Policy under Process for Funding Approval.
12.How soon after the GRC meeting will I know whether I’ve been awarded funding?
A decision is generally reached within one week of the GRC meeting. We do not reveal the status of the application until the entire process has been completed. A letter will be forwarded to the applicant informing of the decision made regarding the application.
13.How Do I Go About Collecting The Funds Once They Have Been Awarded?
Submit detailed invoices supported by appropriate documentation of work performed and expenses incurred that are within the scope of the grant.
14.When will checks be cut?
Grant invoices are generally processed each Monday, and checks will be mailed within six working days from the day first processed. All invoices that have been received on or before Thursday will be processed to be forwarded to the accounting department the following Monday with checks typically being sent out on Friday. Alliance Defending Freedom may be unable to process a payment and a delay in processing will occur if any of the following are missing:
• A report on the present status of the case or project;
• The dates on which work occurred;
• A description of the work/activity;
• Identification of the person who completed the task, by name and title;
• The amount of time spent on each activity;
• If the invoice is for an Amicus Brief, it must be accompanied by an electronic copy of the amicus brief as filed, including signatures, in searchable format;
• A completed case update form
• Completed Disclosure Agreement (must be submitted during 1st payment only if not currently on file)
15.Is there a limit to the amount of funding I may request?
No. You may ask for whatever funding you believe is necessary; however, the amount of the award is based upon available funds at the time of consideration and the opportunity for your case/project to set national precedent relative to the other cases/projects being evaluated. Consequently, it is often a good idea to seek funding for various stages of the action, i.e., trial, appeal, etc… rather that for the entire case from trial through final appeal.
16.Why would a grant award be less than expected?
During each review cycle we receive many grant requests for evaluation. Each request is independently considered and the amount of funding is based on several factors including, availability of our grant funding resources and the potential broad impact of the matter as compared with the others requesting funding. Please note that the grant award recipient may apply for additional funding in the future as a supplemental grant request in a pending case or project.
17.Why would my grant request be denied?
There could be several factors in denying a grant request including the mission of Alliance Defending Freedom, availability of our grant funding resources, and the review committee’s perspective on the potential impact of the matter as compared with the other pending applications.
18.Can I apply for additional funding?
Yes. Grant award recipients may apply for supplemental funding in a pending case or project. However, simply because Alliance Defending Freedom has funded the case or project in the past does not guarantee that supplemental funding will be granted. Each request for funding, whether for initial funding or supplemental, is considered on its own merits and will undergo the same review process.
A request for supplemental funding is made by completing the supplemental grant application. In addition to the application, Alliance Defending Freedom must receive a budget detailing how the additional funding is to be used. The dates for submission of a supplemental request to Alliance Defending Freedom are the same as the cut-off dates for submission of a new grant request.
19.Can I apply for funding for work that I have already done?
Generally, the answer is no. Funding of the grants is prospective only, commencing from the time Alliance Defending Freedom receives the grant application. The only exceptions to this policy are 1) where the grant application for a case is submitted before the court has made any interlocutory or dispositive rulings, and then, only in compliance with the “Grants & Funding Policy;” and 2) in the case of an amicus brief application. Please see the “Grants & Funding Policy” for the parameters of these exceptions.
20.If I have already reported 450 hours and decide to come back to another Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Academy, will I still be able to receive a full grant prior to reporting an additional 450 hours?
Attorneys who have completed 450 hours of pro bono service attending a subsequent Academy for further training may seek grants for a case or project, without a matching obligation, in the following instances:
• In the first year after an attorney’s subsequent Academy, upon completion of 100 pro bono hours the attorney is eligible to receive one new Alliance Defending Freedom full grant.
• In the second year after an attorney’s subsequent Academy, upon completion of 250 hours of pro bono services the attorney is eligible to receive one new Alliance Defending Freedom full grant.
• In the third year after an attorney’s subsequent Academy, upon completion of 400 hours of pro bono services the attorney is eligible to receive one new Alliance Defending Freedom full grant.
• Upon the completion of 450-hours for each Legal Academy attended, an attorney is no longer limited to the number of grants he/she may receive in a given time period.
Once hours have been submitted to Alliance Defending Freedom to be considered as pro bono, a grant is not available to cover those hours.
21.Helpful Tips in Completing the Application
Below are some of the helpful tips you will need to prepare in advance in order to be able to complete an Alliance Defending Freedom online grant application:
• Budget Sheet
• Attorney’s Resume (for 1st time applicant if you are not an Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Academy or Blackstone Legal Academy alumni)
• Names and role of all attorneys involved on the case/project.
• Client information, including contact information.
• Text and citation of any challenged laws, statute, ordinance, regulation or other authority.
• Electronic copies of initial filings or dispositive motions, key briefing (i.e. complaint, answer, Motion for Summary Judgment, Amicus Brief), and any substantive ruling in the case.
• Information to be considered in advance (Note: It is not acceptable to simply refer to attachments in completing the application) :
• Prepare a succinct paragraph summarizing the facts of the case.
• Prepare a succinct paragraph of the claims in dispute.
• Prepare a succinct paragraph summarizing the procedural history of the case.