Catalyst Grants

Purpose of grants: For 37 years, North Star Fund has committed to putting resources in the hands of those directly impacted by injustice to build their power and voice and to shift the power dynamics of philanthropy. Continuing our tradition of supporting new and emerging groups, our Catalyst grants provide general operating support to emerging grassroots leaders of small or fledgling groups. This seed funding furthers our grantees’ ability to start or expand their community organizing work—with a focus on building leaders and involving more people at the community level in low-income and people of color communities.

Grant Amounts: $5,000 or $10,000

Our investment: Our Catalyst grantees may receive up to six years of seed funding. Our grants are structured as one-year grants with a report and renewal process each year. Alongside our grants, we support our grantees’ capacity building goals by providing technical assistance workshops and leadership trainings and by offering the tools and resources that will allow them to reach their full potential.

Eligible Groups: North Star Fund will consider applications from groups:

  • with budgets under $350,000
  • founded in the last 5 years
  • led by directly impacted people, particularly those who are: low-income; people of color, immigrants and/or multi-racial; women, trans, gender nonconforming, and/or queer; youth; working class; disabled; and long-time residents.

Strong preference will be given to organizations that:

  • Lack access to philanthropy, funding, and capacity building/training opportunities;
  • Are neighborhood-based and/or organizing residents of the outer boroughs;
  • Are engaged, or plan to engage in, campaigns that win change through legislative advocacy, shifts in culture/public perception, and/or concrete changes in conditions at the local level.
  • Have, or are forming, a strong social justice vision for their organizing efforts that is grounded in their understanding of root causes of oppression.

How to Apply

Due to the competitive nature of our grants and limited funding available for new groups in this grant category, our Spring 2017 grants will be temporarily limited to current grantees seeking renewal funding. Applications from new organizations will not be accepted at this time.

All renewal applications must be submitted through North Star Fund's online application. The deadline to apply is Wednesday, February 15, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. Renewal applications will be available to submit beginning in January 2017.

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