Grants to New York nonprofit organizations in eligible locations to address systemic racism, discrimination against Black communities, and police accountability. Priority will be given to first-time applicants, as well as to Black-led organizations. The Fund provides grants to organizations in New York City and Hudson Valley.

North Star Fund’s Let Us Breathe Fund supports Black-led organizations engaging in grassroots organizing—the process of building collective power. Grassroots organizing seeks not only the transformation of individual lives, but the undoing of systemic racism, including specific laws and institutional policies that create inequities.

The Fund seeks to address the philanthropic sector’s historic disinvestment in Black communities and Black-led efforts for social change. To do so, the Fund mobilizes resources from individuals and foundations to provide renewable, general operating support grants.

Since its genesis, the Fund has provided grants to organizations working on police accountability and Black-led organizing groups addressing anti-Black racism across many institutions. These grantees range in focus from ending abusive policing in the streets and school campuses to addressing the historic disinvestment, lack of economic opportunities, and other discriminatory forces targeting Black communities.

North Star Fund provides grants to organizations whose missions are to advance grassroots organizing—the process of building collective power so that communities impacted by injustice can make systemic change. Grantees can articulate the root causes of the injustices, pointing to systems and policies affecting their community. These organizations see community members impacted by this injustice as essential stakeholders, from whom they recruit leaders and seek stories, ideas, campaign strategy, and organizational direction. These organizations have a vision for systemic change that is connected to campaigns to undo or replace specific laws and systems that create inequity. These organizations can identify policymakers, decision-makers, or institutional targets in their campaigns. Community members take collective action to influence these targets to advance their demands.

These grants are intended for both new and emerging organizations as well as established movement builders with a track record of success.

In this application period, the Let Us Breathe Fund will prioritize first-time grant-seekers to North Star Fund. Current grantees of the Let Us Breathe Fund will receive renewal support automatically without submitting an application.

Eligibility Criteria:
– North Star Fund provides grants to organizations in NYC and Hudson Valley
– The organization has 501(c)(3) charitable status or a fiscal sponsor with 501(c)(3) status. Organizations that do not yet have 501(c)(3) status or a fiscal sponsor may apply, but must secure a fiscal sponsor before receiving a grant.
– North Star Fund grants support small organizations that typically lack access to support from national foundations. Organizational budgets range from $0 to a maximum of $800,000.

In addition to the general eligibility criteria above, the Let Us Breathe Fund prioritizes support for Black-led organizations in New York City and the Hudson Valley, meaning: 1) the composition of staff, board, or volunteer leaders reflect the community being organized; and 2) the organization has a collective leadership model where staff, board, volunteer or member-leaders share decision-making and stewardship. The Let Us Breathe Fund also prioritizes Black organizations that bring a strong intersectional lens to their organizing approach and organize and uplift members of Black communities facing multiple oppressions, including women, immigrants, queer and transgender people, and disabled people.