Special Grant Application Cycle (Response to COVID-19)

The Minnesota State Bar Foundation (MSBF) is the charitable arm of the Minnesota State Bar Association and exists for the express purpose of providing monetary grants to law-related organizations. MSBF is pleased to report that it has received a second grant from the Minnesota Disaster Recovery Fund, created by the Minnesota Council on Foundations and The Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation, to support nonprofit recovery and community resilience during the coronavirus pandemic. This is the final distribution of funds from the Minnesota Disaster Recovery Fund.

MSBF will re-grant funds as general operating support to legal-related nonprofit organizations statewide addressing the impact of COVID-19 on their client communities. We invite you to apply for funds during this special grant cycle. If you applied to MSBF during our previous grant cycle in June/July, you are eligible to apply again. Please note that there is now a check box on the application to indicate whether you are submitting the same application, which is welcome.  

Please read the mission statement to determine if your organization falls within the scope of the MSBF.

The submission deadline is 5:00 p.m. on Monday, October 5.

The application can be found as a Word document or fillable PDF. 
Word- MSBF Special Grant Cycle Application
PDF- MSBF Special Grant Cycle Application

Grant requests must be submitted via email to Amanda Idinge, MSBF Foundations Coordinator, at aidinge@mnbars.org. Please reach out to Amanda with any questions regarding eligibility, the application, or the grant-making process.

Annual Grant Application Cycle

Grant Application

The Bar Foundation considers grants once a year.  Submission deadline is Friday, January 15 for a March grant review meeting.  Applications received after this date will not be considered. 

Please read the mission statement to determine if your project falls within its scope.

The Minnesota State Bar Foundation recognizes that its existence and its ability to carry out its assigned mission are due to the cooperation and support that it receives from the Minnesota State Bar Association and its individual members, who are the primary source of all funds available to the Foundation. The Foundation therefore feels deeply obligated to pursue policies and make grants to such programs and causes as it believes would attract the special interest and support of the lawyers of the State of Minnesota.

In awarding grants in response to written applications, the Foundation believes that it can carry out this broad objective by generally adhering to the guidelines stated as follows:

  1. The Foundation has been interested in the past and continues to be interested in programs of law-related education for students and adults, including, where appropriate, publications, workshops, and related programs.
  2. The Foundation seeks to encourage and promote legal assistance to the poor and disadvantaged groups.
  3. The Foundation seeks to support and to promote programs and projects having as their purpose the improvement of the administration of justice. Providing information to the public so that it might better understand the Courts and legal processes is included within this purpose.
  4. The Foundation will give consideration to projects and programs supporting or promoting public interest legal work.
  5. The Foundation will, in allocating its funds, attempt to maintain a proper balance between:
    1. those new and innovative programs which may be of an experimental nature and that need assistance in the form of "seed money"; and
    2. those projects of special concern to lawyers that are of a continuing nature and need periodic contributions to their operating budgets.
  6. The Foundation does not preclude itself from awarding grants for scholarships and fellowships, but it will strive to make such grants primarily under such circumstances that will promote the general public welfare rather than the personal benefit of the individual donees.
  7. Since Continuing Legal Education Programs for lawyers are, in general, well supported by tuition charges, the Foundation feels obligated to consider support only for such Continuing Legal Education Programs that may be of an experimental nature or of general interest to the entire membership of the Bar and are not self-supporting.
  8. The Foundation does not provide funds to be used for propaganda or lobbying activities.

Typical grant amounts range from $500 to $3,000.

Grant requests must be submitted on our Grant Application form.  The Minnesota Common Grant Application Form is not accepted.

Application Technical Requirements
The completed grant application form must not exceed five pages. The required attachments do not count against the page limit. The minimum font size is 12 points and the minimum margin is one inch on all sides. Grant applications exceeding the five page maximum will not be considered. Attachments beyond those required will not be read.

The following attachments are required with the grant application:

  • Overall budget for the organization showing income and expenses.
  • Budget specific to the project or program for which funds are being requested showing income and expenses.
  • The Foundation's own Evaluation Outline (available on the Foundation website) for the last project or program that received funding from the Bar Foundation. Even if submitted with an earlier application, the Foundation's Evaluation Outline for the last successful application must accompany the current application.
  • If the grant application proposes a cooperative venture or partnership with another organization, include a letter of support from the other organization.
  • The most recent Form 990, 990EZ, Form 990N or Form 990T.  If none is being submitted, include a written explanation as to why that is.
  • For first time grant applicants, the IRS statement of nonprofit status.

If your agency application does not meet the guidelines listed above, the application will be rejected for technical reasons. Applications rejected for technical reasons may be re-submitted for the next grant cycle as long as the submission errors are corrected.

We prefer to have grant applications, along with all of the required attachments, submitted by email. If that is not feasible, they may be submitted by postal mail. All materials should be sent to Amanda Idinge at aidinge@mnbars.org.