Building Capacity to Win

North Star Fund believes that putting resources in the hands of people directly impacted by injustice creates real change. But activists and organizers need more than money. They are up against an opposition that has deep pockets and massive influence with politicians and decision makers.


That’s why we invest in technical assistance and capacity building. Through one-time workshops, and ongoing coaching and consulting, we help our grantees connect with the tools and resources that will allow them to reach their full potential.

Technical Assistance Workshops

In partnership with other funders who share overlapping grantees, North Star Fund provides workshops for grassroots organizations that help them manage their finances, raise money, develop their boards, communicate effectively with the media, and hone their community organizing strategy. Workshops often include individual or small group follow-up sessions to support organizations in applying what they’ve learned to their day-to-day work.

Movement Leadership Program

Our Movement Leadership grants invest in the most effective and promising grassroots community groups, and help those groups get to the next level. Through a year-long peer learning program, leaders from five organizations present their best practices and get feedback on their challenges to involving more people in their work, developing strong leaders, and creating strategies that win. Each organization is paired with an experienced coach that provides resources and tools, and helps them focus on their goals. Read more about the structure of the program.

We’ve seen dramatic progress in groups that have been through the Movement Leadership program. Adhikaar went from surveying Nepali nail salon workers about their harsh working conditions and low pay to being part of the governor’s task force to implement new nail salon regulations and protections for workers. Mothers whose children have been killed by the police spoke up through Justice Committee and were told that their dream of an independent prosecutor who could hold officers accountable was politically impossible. In 2015, the governor signed an executive order creating the position.

This program was created after an extensive review of the landscape of capacity building programs in New York City that included asking our grantee partners what they needed. North Star Fund will continue to develop programs that are responsive to what is needed on the ground to create a stronger, more vibrant social justice movement.

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