North Star Fund: Securing the Future of Organizing

Friday, March 27, 2020

North Star Fund: Securing the Future of Organizing

In this moment of crisis, we know what we have to do. It’s simple. We have resources to give, and we need to act as boldly and swiftly as possible. And we know we need to fund organizing, the winning solution to undo the broken systems that cause the very injustices that we are currently experiencing.

In New York where the pandemic is in full effect, our grantees organize communities that are most acutely impacted by the global pandemic. The New Yorkers leading our grantee organizations are delivery workers, day laborers, caregivers, cleaners, food chain supply workers, restaurant workers, laundromat workers. They are people in immigrant detention and prisons. They are undocumented people, elderly, or limited-English proficient. They are homeless, in homes that may be physically unsafe or violent, or they share rooms in basements or apartments where physical distancing is not an option.

The week of March 23, 2020, we made over $1.7 million in grants, the single biggest week of grantmaking in our 40-year history.

  • We provided just over $900,000 in emergency grants to all current grantees (96 organizations) without requesting an application from them, in recognition that they are now working triple-time in their communities to coordinate mutual aid efforts on top of existing policy campaigns.
  • We automatically renewed 67 grants, totalling $785,000, to grantees who were eligible this spring, rather than expecting applicants and funding committee members to attend to a grant process, however expedited.
  • We gave $72,500 in small gifts to 28 pending new applicants until these applications could be fully considered at a later date.

It was a difficult decision to pause our traditional grantmaking process because we believe wholeheartedly in our Community Funding Committee, a collective of organizers who volunteer their time to lead grantmaking at North Star Fund. But it was the right decision.

We knew that organizers needed to focus on the crisis at hand. Our grantees have already ensured a temporary eviction moratorium and secured paid sick leave for UPS drivers. And there is more to be done.

Now is the time for bold action. You can join us. Take action to support their campaign goals, and donate to the Future of Organizing Fund today

If you have questions about how to support frontline organizing during this crisis, please contact Elz Cuya Jones.

Stay safe, stay connected.

Emergency Grants from the Future of Organizing Fund

We provided $905,000 in emergency grants to close to 100 current North Star Fund grantees across the Hudson Valley and New York City. These organizations are on the frontlines of responding to community needs and also demanding that local institutions do the same. We reached into our “rainy day fund” to provide emergency grants, trusting that our community would rise to the occasion to support this decision...

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