Innovative Activism Grants

Purpose of grants: Innovative Activism Grants support exciting social justice work that creatively engages marginalized community members, develops their leadership and addresses the root causes of systemic injustice in New York City. 

Groups should apply under one of the following areas:

Arts and Action: Arts, media, and cultural projects play an important role in engaging, influencing and motivating people around social justice issues. NSF seeks projects or organizations that provide concrete, meaningful opportunities for participants and/or audience members to take collective action for social justice, preferably in the context of an ongoing campaign for systems or policy change. This could be in collaboration with an existing community organizing group.

Resources for Organizing: Grassroots groups engaged in community organizing are often under-resourced. NSF seeks projects that build the capacity of organizing groups based in marginalized communities and/or marginalized community members. Examples of this might include, but are not limited to: training in organizational development or organizing skills, and participatory action research or data collection. Organizations must clearly demonstrate the need for their work and its effectiveness from the perspective of grassroots community organizing groups, preferably North Star Fund grantees.

Alternative Institution Building: From financial services to parks and open spaces to intimate partner violence, existing government institutions are failing low-income and communities of color. NSF seeks to support building alternative institutions outside the existing structures that challenge the foundations of injustice. Examples of this might include, but are not limited to: community gardens that increase open space and access to healthy food, transformative justice projects that create models of accountability for violence between community members, and cooperatives or other projects that increase a community’s economic self-reliance. 

Grant Amounts: $10,000

Eligible Groups: Current grantees with budgets under $800,000 that:

  1. Empower participants to develop their own creativity, leadership, vision, voice, and/or organizing skills;
  2. Include meaningful participation in decision-making from community members in which the project is based;
  3. Have a race, gender, and class analysis that is built into the work and addresses the root causes of injustice in New York City;
  4. Have an established track record and relationships in the community in which the project is based;
  5. Establish that the project will have an impact that will last beyond the grant period;
  6. Bring new skills, ideas, tactics, and strategies to a community's social change work.

Groups applying under "Resources for Organizing" must demonstrate that they will increase the capacity of their partner organizations to do their work.

How to Apply

Due to the competitive nature of our Innovative Activism Grants and limited funding available for new groups in this grant category, our Spring 2017 Innovative Activism 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.

 

Recent Innovative Activism Grantees

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