North Star Fund invests in groups when no other funders will take a risk. Some of New York City's most powerful community-based organizations got their first grant from North Star Fund.
A group of homeless New Yorkers wanted to fight back against police harassment, stigmatization, and the lack of affordable places to live. Other funders said, “You can’t organize this community.” North Star Fund took a risk. Today, Picture the Homeless reaches 2,000 people each year and is leading the movement for just policing and permanent affordable housing.
A group of Latino immigrant workers in the food factories of Brooklyn and Queens that supply New York City's grocery stores and restaurants were tired of being subjected to verbal abuse from their bosses, being denied wages, breaks, and overtime. They had never written a proposal before. North Star Fund took a risk with a $5,000 grant. That grant led other funders to lend support as well. Today, Brandworkers has won over $2 million in stolen wages, won settlements with major New York City food factories, and is a founding member of the Food Chain Workers Alliance, protecting workers in all corners of the food industry.
As the West Village started to gentrify in the early 1990s, LGBTQ youth—who had found safe space on the Christopher Street pier away from their conservative families or neighborhoods—started to be pushed out. A group of them came together to keep the West Village a safe haven for queer communities. North Star Fund took a risk on them. Since then, FIERCE! has trained hundreds of young people to speak up, fought police harassment, and ensured that the pier remains a place where young people can be who they really are.
line"You as a New Yorker could never know every group out there doing important, pushy, aggressive work to make the city a better place, a fairer place, a more just place, and if you are a supporter of North Star Fund, you know that's where your money is going."
Madeline deLone, Innocence Project