North Star Fund: New York and New York City Funders

OVERVIEW: The North Star Fund supports issues of social justice, immigration, racial justice, gender justice, and economic justice in New York City and the Hudson Valley.

FUNDING AREAS: Social justice, immigration, racial justice, gender justice, economic justice

IP TAKE: It can be challenging to decide which grant category to apply for, so take the online eligibility quiz and reach out to North Star’s program officer for guidance.

PROFILE: Established in 1979, the North Star Fund is a community foundation based in New York City. A group of people with inherited wealth came together and recruited friends and activists to recognize and support local grassroots groups. Today, the foundation aims to “support grassroots organizing in New York City and the Hudson Valley.” It supports local social justice, immigration, racial justice, gender justice, and economic justice efforts.

The North Star Fund combines its members’ networks, resources, and money to support locally grown movements for social change. It provides innovative activism grants, special initiative grants and rapid response grants. The funder further categorizes its giving into catalyst, grassroots action, movement leadership, and power together grants. Its Let Us Breathe Fund provides rapid response support for victims of police violence and harassment. Community Food Funders is a program that funds sustainable food systems in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.

Grants range between about $10,000 and $15,000. In a recent year, the foundation awarded 262 grants with the help of 833 donors who made 1,778 gifts. The funder made approximately $1.2 million through grantmaking programs and $1.5 million through donor-advised funds. Learn more about this funder’s local giving in its recent grantee announcements. Grantmaking focuses on all five boroughs of New York City and the Greater Hudson Valley region. Past local grantees include Black Trans Media, Damayan Migrant Workers Association, Families for Freedom, LGBT Faith Leaders of African Descent.

This foundation accepts unsolicited grant applications from nonprofits. The application process begins with an eligibility quiz, and the entire process is conducted online. The staff encourages grantseeker questions to match groups with the most appropriate funding opportunities. Direct general questions to the staff at or 212-620-9110.


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