Gala cards with different social justice terms on them

Frequently Asked Questions

People Power Giving Project FAQs

The Giving Project is an innovative model that is being used by community funds across the country to expand our reach among diverse communities of donors and distribute more money to social justice movements. Over the last five years, Giving Projects run by our sister funds have moved $5 million from over 8,000 donors. For more information about the model, take a look at: www.givingprojects.org

At North Star Fund, we’ve been inspired by the success of others and for the potential to grow our community and our impact through this model. We ran our first Giving Project in 2017-2018 with 18 members who raised over $210,000 for community organizing groups in New York City.

How do I sign up for the Giving Project?

Please complete the Giving Project Interest Form and we will follow up with you.

Which organizations will be eligible for grants?

The People Power Giving Project grants will support new and emerging grassroots organizations working for racial and economic justice in New York City. The smallest organizations working for change can get overlooked by larger foundations because of funder prejudice or because they don’t have the resources for robust fundraising programs. But often these organizations are the most trusted by their communities, the most able to respond to breaking threats and the best positioned to know what solutions will work for local residents.

Whether it’s because the organization is brand new, or works on a controversial issue, or organizes a community that’s pushed to the extreme margins, the People Power Giving Project will provide an extra boost of funding to sustain their critical work.

People Power Giving Project members will make grant decisions based a pool of current North Star Fund grantees who have been awarded grants by our Community Funding Committee, North Star Fund’s activist-led grantmaking committee. Grant amounts will be $10,000.

If you would like to apply for a grant from a People Power Giving Project grant on behalf of an organization, visit our website starting October 15th.

We will also send out a request for proposals. The deadline for grant applications will be November 30th at 5pm.

What do you mean by community organizing and why does North Star Fund focus on funding groups that are using community organizing as a model for their work?

We recognize that there are many ways of making change happen and achieving important social justice victories. We prioritize community organizing because we believe that lasting change comes from the bottom and goes up, affecting not just political and economic systems but also the culture of communities. We also believe that community organizing involves the most people, allowing for the greatest diversity and number of perspectives to be expressed. Community organizing is the exercise of democracy in action.

Community Organizing…

  • Is led by the people most directly affected by the issues the organization is working on
  • Continually builds leadership from within its own membership, base, or community
  • Works to understand and address the root causes of the issues, not just the symptoms
  • Brings people together to build power they wouldn’t have individually
  • Uses that power to create systemic change, which includes altering unjust power relations
  • Sees itself as part of a larger movement for social change, and works towards strengthening that movement

For examples of community organizing, check out previous Giving Project grants.

I’m interested, but my organization will apply for a Giving Project grant. Can I still participate?

Yes! People involved with grantee organizations can use the Giving Project as a way to inform and influence their own work. We will use our conflict-of-interest policy to ensure that anyone closely involved with an applicant organization does not participate in the discussion or scoring of that organization’s application.

I’m interested, but I hate asking for money.

Frankly, most people do. Most of us feel intensely uncomfortable asking for money. There are a lot of reasons for that, which you’ll get to explore as part of this experience. We will help you learn how to ask for money effectively and to feel good about it, knowing you are engaging in powerful action for social change.

It’s not just about fundraising; Giving Project participants become donor organizers, building power for people working for long-term social change. We ask every participant in every Giving Project to challenge themselves, which will mean different things for different people.

I’m interested, but I can’t participate at this time. How can I support?

Tell others about the Giving Project! We need your help to get the word out.

Sign up for a one-on-one conversation this fall where you are likely to make a gift. We need a list of supporters willing to have one-to-one conversations with our Giving Project participants that would be “easy asks.”

Donate. By making a gift to the Giving Project, you add your name to the hundreds of supporters who are pooling their dollars and achieving greater impact in the community through this unique model. You may choose to donate to the People Power Giving Project or to the North Star Fund general fund which makes this program possible.

Is childcare available?

Yes. North Star Fund is committed to providing childcare if needed for the eight meetings as part of the program. If you require childcare, please tell us during the outreach process.

I have a question that isn’t answer here. How can I get more information?

Please contact Helen Stillman (helen@northstarfund.org) with additional questions.

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