Montana Justice Foundation’s Community Opportunity Grant Program (formerly the Bank of America program) is funded by a national mortgage-related settlement agreement between Bank of America and the U.S. Department of Justice. The settlement agreement and donation terms require MJF to distribute these funds to legal aid organizations for the purpose of foreclosure prevention legal assistance and/or community redevelopment legal assistance. MJF seeks to fund creative projects that will have a far-ranging and lasting impact on the communities served.
MJF accepts proposals for Community Opportunity grants from September through November of each year.
Proposal Guidelines and Funding Information
- Applications may be submitted by any nonprofit, government, or educational institution that provides legal assistance.
- Single- or multi-year proposals are equally welcome.
- Applicants may submit multiple proposals, but a separate application must be submitted for each project for which funding is sought.
- The exact dollar amount of grant awards will vary depending on the number and quality of proposals received.
- MJF will review proposals and make funding decisions in December. Initial grant payments will be made in early January.
- All grant recipients will be required to collect and periodically report specified program data.
Proposals may include a variety of legal assistance activities and services to be provided, and while applicants have some flexibility in developing proposals that will advance community redevelopment and foreclosure prevention, you may also find the following suggestions informative.
Foreclosure Prevention Legal Assistance strategies may include a broad range of options from advice and counsel, representation, mediation programs, or policy and impact work. Proposals should reflect an understanding of the current needs and challenges within the communities served, knowledge of successful models, flexibility and creativity, and necessary collaborations to achieve stated goals.
Proposals should describe how grant funds will be used for foreclosure prevention in the context of the specific circumstances faced currently by the communities served. Applicants should discuss and cite current reliable data on the foreclosure trends and continuing client needs that its program specifically seeks to address, and how its foreclosure services will meet those needs.
Community Redevelopment Legal Assistance assists residents with neighborhood revitalization efforts by providing legal representation and technical expertise regarding objectives that stimulate local economic and commercial development, housing development, the delivery of social services, and other activities that generally improve the quality of life for people living in low-income communities. Community redevelopment may be defined as any action to reduce blight; retain quality, affordable housing; improve business development; or otherwise improve the quality of life in low-income neighborhoods.
Strategies may cross a broad range of options from counseling advocacy groups, transactional law, representation, or policy and impact work, but should reflect an understanding of the current needs and challenges within the communities to be served, and knowledge of successful models for meeting those needs.