The Dane County Bar Association annually makes funds available for distribution to projects which have one of three purposes:

  1. Increasing the availability of legal services to low income individuals;
  2. Educating members of the public on their rights and responsibilities under the law; or
  3. Improving the legal resources available in Dane County to lawyers and the public.

Nonprofit organizations and governmental agencies providing services in Dane County are eligible to apply for funding.  

DCBA Worthy Causes Grants are intended to be used to fund a specific project.  They are not intended to be used for staffing, overhead or general operating expenses.  Funding from the DCBA should be critical to the project for which funds are sought.  Ideally, the project should either be new or an expansion of an existing program.  Nonetheless, the grant committee will also entertain requests for funds that would sustain an existing program that might be discontinued without additional funding.  Please note that most successful grant applicants in the past have been awarded between $500 and $2,000 in funding.

The grant committee will consider these additional factors:

  1. How the project will be staffed and supported; and
  2. The extent of funding available from other sources for the project.

Applicants should submit a proposed budget for the project, along with the specific amount requested from the DCBA.  Applicants may not receive the full amount requested and should indicate whether they would be able to perform the project without the full amount requested.  Grant recipients will be required to report on the status of the project.  Any prior recipient of funding should be sure to submit that report prior to applying for additional funding.

In 2016 the DCBA was pleased to support the following projects:

ABC for Health to co-sponsor the “Follow the Golden Rule” project.

Community Justice Inc. for litigation and discovery expenses for the Municipal Defense Project.

End Domestic Violence WI to Update and fully translate RISE program outreach materials.

UW Law School Economic Justice Institute for legal advocacy costs for low-income clients.

Jewish Social Services of Madison, Inc. for Citizenship and Immigration Legal Benefit Outreach to immigrants.

Madison College Paralegal Program to help with the cost for three “Ready, Set, Retirement!”  programs, which educates public on rights and responsibilities under the law.

Tenant Resource Center to help cover the cost to update forms and website.

Workers Rights Center to help cover the cost to update the Farm Worker Rights manual.

Any organization interested in applying for funding should send its proposal to: Delivery of Legal Services Committee, Dane County Bar Association, P.O. Box 44008, Madison, WI 53704 or email the proposal to law@dcba.net by February 15, 2017.  Email submissions in Word or PDF format are preferred.