Seeking Organizers to Join Our Volunteer Community Funding Committees

Are you a community organizer based in NYC or the Hudson Valley? Are you passionate and knowledgeable about organizing for systemic change? Are you interested in making philanthropy and grantmaking more responsive to the needs of communities?

North Star Fund is holding an open call for organizers based in NYC or the Hudson Valley who are interested in joining our Community Funding Committees (CFCs), the decision-making bodies that shape our grantmaking.

We are seeking community organizers and activists who are passionate about systemic change, have a deep knowledge of community organizing, and are familiar with the NYC or Hudson Valley landscape. CFC members play a vital role by collectively deciding how to allocate the overwhelming majority of our grants and influencing the strategy of the organization.

Please apply here by August 24th at 11:59 PM.

North Star Fund is a social justice fund that supports grassroots organizing led by communities of color building power in New York City and the Hudson Valley. We raise money and then use it to make grants for organizing in New York City and the Hudson Valley for racial, gender and economic justice. We fund work that is led and enacted by people directly affected by an issue. We believe in making funding accessible to new and emerging community organizing groups.

At North Star Fund, we give grants to grassroots organizations through a process that shifts decision-making power towards communities fighting for justice. Unlike most foundations, our core grants aren’t awarded by staff, board members or trustees. Community organizers—including former and current grantees—collectively decide how to allocate the overwhelming majority of our grants and participate in the governance of our organization.

Why join?

This is a great opportunity for those interested in philanthropy and grantmaking to learn more about the field, and play a vital role in moving money to grassroots organizing led by communities of color building power in New York City and the Hudson Valley.

There are many benefits to being involved:

  • Be a leader in a philanthropic community, and learn how activists can reshape how traditional philanthropy is practiced and experienced by applicants.
  • Be part of a team of leaders who decide how and where North Star Fund will support organizing, with a voice in shaping funding decisions and the foundation’s strategy.
  • Participate in democratizing and applying trust-based philanthropy principles to grant making.
  • Gain a deeper understanding of the organizing ecosystem in New York.
  • Build and strengthen relationships with your fellow organizers.

This is a volunteer position, but the time commitment will be recognized with a small stipend. Additionally, we reimburse for food, travel and child care expenses for meetings and site visits. Training on grantmaking and responsive, trust-based philanthropy practices will also be provided.

What We’re Looking For

We are interested in applicants who will bring the following to our CFCs:

  • Experience as an organizer or as a member-leader in a campaign-based, member-led organization.
  • Understanding of social justice issues and community organizing in New York City or the Hudson Valley.
  • Interest in learning the principles of trust-based philanthropy and making grantmaking more responsive to the needs of communities.
  • Commitment to at least two years of participation.
  • Willingness to travel in your region (when it is safe to do so).
  • Discretion and flexibility over personal/work schedule, or permission/support from supervisor to participate.

Applicants can apply for one of our three committees: The Let Us Breathe Fund CFC, Hudson Valley CFC or New York City CFC. The Let Us Breathe Fund CFC makes grants from the Let Us Breathe Fund, to support Black-led organizing and police accountability in New York City and the Hudson Valley. The Hudson Valley CFC and the New York City CFC make grants to grassroots groups that use organizing as their primary strategy in the Hudson Valley and New York City.

As leaders within the North Star Fund community, CFC members play a critical role in shaping our strategy and grantee decisions. It is very important to us that the CFCs reflect the robust diversity of Black, Indigenous, and people of color-led organizing in New York. We encourage applications from individuals from backgrounds traditionally excluded from and largely unrepresented within philanthropy, including Black, Indigenous and people of color, women, LGBTQ people, youth, elders, and people with disabilities. We encourage emerging leaders, members of current grantee organizations and former leaders of grantee organizations to apply.

Expectations of the Role

North Star Fund holds grant application processes in the spring and the fall. Committee members are expected to participate in at least one of these cycles annually.

Each cycle involves:

  • Reading approximately 30 applications per cycle (varies based on the CFC).
  • Attending approximately three site visits (with another committee member) per cycle.
  • Participating in four to six hours of grant decision meetings per cycle.
  • Participating in an annual strategic convening.
  • Guiding North Star Fund’s mission, vision, and strategy. Participating in occasional strategic meetings.
  • Timely and responsive communication with program staff.
  • Total time commitment: approximately 15 hours per cycle (we offer a small stipend).
  • Commitment to upholding North Star Fund’s community organizing criteria.
  • Commitment to a fair process, respecting applicants confidential information, and naming conflicts of interest.

Questions? Please reach out!

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