Stronger Sector

Stronger Sector


We believe that a strong civil society is essential to achieve our vision of a just and fair society. This grants programme offers flexible funding for organisations using the law, legal tools and strategies to promote social justice. It aims to strengthen the capacity of individuals and organisations to deliver their important work effectively and sustainably. It also includes the Justice First Fellowship.

This may be through offering legal advice or training but it may also be through charitable campaigning to protect, promote or develop the law to meet the needs of communities. We are especially interested in how the law can be used to build power in communities that have been historically oppressed.

The focus of the programme is on the ‘law of everyday life’. This includes, for example, people’s rights in housing, employment, community care, debt, family law, immigration and welfare benefits. We will also consider work taking place at the intersection of civil and criminal law, but we do not fund work exclusively on criminal or environmental law.

Past grants under Stronger Sector have focused on both sector-wide initiatives and core funding for individual organisations which closely align with our criteria. For an overview of all LEF grants, take a look at our 360 Giving page.  


In shortlisting, we will prioritise organisations with key qualities that we value. Read more about ‘how we prioritise applications’.

We can fund:

  1. Staff costs
  2. Direct costs such as travel, subsistence or events
  3. Overheads
  4. Small capital items such as IT equipment

In delivering these activities, we welcome collaborations between organisations. We also recognise the role of second-tier organisations (which support other organisations instead of people directly) in developing co-ordinated responses.

We are interested in the outcomes you would like to achieve and a broad pathway to getting there, so the grants we make under this programme are flexible. We encourage organisations to include a reasonable overhead contribution.


Under our work to support a Stronger Sector, we run two further programmes to which eligible organisations can also apply.


Justice First Fellowship

The Justice First Fellowship is training the next generation of social justice lawyers. You can apply to host a Justice First Fellow as well as apply under one of our other programmes. The scheme has separate deadlines and application form. Find out more here.

Justice Together

Justice Together is a collaboration between LEF and other funders, which has a 10-year vision of transforming access to justice in the UK immigration system. Full details of funding opportunities and deadlines are available on the initiative’s website.

We are also involved in two partnerships that focus on developing new settings in which the role of the law is better understood and used as a tool to promote change and to prevent harm.

Health justice partnerships

We are working with Professor Dame Hazel Genn and her team at the UCL Centre for Access to Justice to integrate access to social welfare legal advice in to health systems and strategies.

The use of law by non-legal voluntary organisations

We are working with the Baring Foundation to support work on how law and legal strategies can add to the tools civil society organisations use to tackle disadvantage and discrimination.

Find out more about our Fairer Systems funding programme.

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