North Star Fund: Grants for LGBT

OVERVIEW: The North Star Fund supports LGBTQ organizations in New York City and its five boroughs.

IP TAKE: This funder supports community-based and grassroots organizations.

PROFILE: Martin Bunzl and a group of 26 young people who inherited wealth established the North Star Fund in New York City in 1978. The establishment of the fund was “[i]nfluenced by the civil rights, women’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, and anti-war movements.” The foundation invests in New York-based social justice organizations through its Seed Funding, Building Capacity to Win, and Rapid Response grantmaking programs. Its Special Initiatives grantmaking includes funds such Housing Now, Education Justice, Let Us Breathe, Community Food, Communities United for Police Reform, and a Scholarship Fund for Dreamers. 

North Star’s Building Resilient Communities grant program supports grassroots organizations led by immigrants, women, people of color, Muslims, LGBTQ communities and “[t]hose at the intersections.” These are one-time grants of $10,000 awarded to current North Star grantees.

Additional grant programs include Catalyst Grants, which support organizations with budgets less than $350,000. Catalyst Grants range from $5,000 t0 $10,000. Grassroots Actions grants offer $10,000, $15,000 or $20,000 to organizations with budgets less than $800,000. Innovative Activism Grants, which support current grantees with budgets under $800,000, are limited to $10,000. North Star also awards Rapid Response grants of up to $5,000 to nonprofits with budgets of under $800,000. Movement Leadership grants are for $25,000 per year for two years. The fund also operates a Donor Advised Grants program. Explore North Star’s Who We Fund page to learn more about the type of organizations it supports.

North Star accepts unsolicited grant applications. Grantseekers must submit their applications by February 15 for the spring grant cycle and September 15 for the fall cycle.