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People Power!

People Power Grants

Thanks for your interest in our People Power grants. These grants are only for current grantees (see specific eligibility below).

Para información en español, por favor llame a la oficina 212-620-9110.

Purpose of These Grants

People Power grants support new and emerging grassroots organizations with budgets under $350,000 that advance racial and economic justice in New York City. These grants are designed to provide extra support to smaller grassroots organizations who are often overlooked by larger foundations, but have deep connections in their communities.

Only current North Star Fund grantees are eligible. This is a one-time, non-renewable grant.

Grant Amounts


General Eligibility

The organization:

  1. Is led by the people most directly impacted by the issues the organization works on, and those members have clear decision-making power
  2. Brings people together and develops the leadership capacity of the people they work with
  3. Works to identify, articulate and address the root causes of the problems they work on, not just the symptoms
  4. Creates systemic change through “campaigns,” a planned series of events or activities that alter unjust power relationships
  5. Has a strong vision for social justice and is committed to working towards a larger movement

Strong preference will be given to organizations that:

  1. Have less access to foundation funders, capacity building or training opportunities
  2. Lack “back office” administrative and/or fundraising support from a host organization or fiscal sponsor

Still have questions? We explain these criteria in more detail here.

People Power Grant Eligibility

In addition to the criteria above, People Power grants will support:

  • Organizations that have received a Catalyst, Grassroots Action, or Let Us Breathe grant since Fall 2016
  • Organizations with budgets under $350,000

Strong preference will be given to:

  • Organizations whose senior staff reflect their membership base

Application Process

Decisions about People Power grants will be made by members of our People Power Giving Project, a six-month program bringing together a cross-class, multi-racial group of New Yorkers to learn about social justice movements, fundraising, and strategic grantmaking.

As current grantees, you are an important part of the North Star Fund community, and this opportunity is designed to be an additional investment in your work. We have designed this application process to be as easy as possible to reduce your fundraising burden.

Here are the steps to apply for a People Power grant:

  • Review criteria and application materials. Applicants can create an account or log in to their existing account on our application system, preview questions, and begin assembling the required information. North Star Fund staff are available to answer questions.
  • Attend a How to Apply Workshop. This evening webinar is an opportunity to learn about this grant opportunity and how to submit an application through our online portal.
  • Submit a complete application by the deadline. All applicants will receive a confirmation email.
  • Applicants will be notified about site visits in mid-January. Some, but not all, organizations will be invited to meet with members of the People Power Giving Project in January and February.
  • Application decisions will be announced in early March.

Frequently Asked Questions

Get your questions answered on our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page.

How to Apply

People Power grants are limited to current grantees (recipients of a Catalyst, Grassroots Action, or Let Us Breathe grant since Fall 2016). Applications from new organizations will not be accepted in this category. For more detailed information, you can watch this informational webinar:

All applications must be submitted through North Star Fund’s online application portal. The deadline to apply is Friday, November 30, 2018 at 5:00 pm.

Grants will be awarded in March 2019. These grants will have a separate application, timeline, potential for a site visit, and process from other North Star Fund grants. You may use a recent application to another North Star Fund category as part of your application for a People Power grant (see application instructions for more details).

Still have questions? Contact cori schmanke parrish at (212) 620-9110 or cori@northstarfund.org.

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