Leveraging Philanthropy and Collaboration

The Lodestar Foundation seeks to expand the overall capacity of the social sector by promoting philanthropy, volunteering, public service, nonprofit collaboration and other business practices.

Our Grants

Exploring a Merger of Two STEM Education Program Providers

Techbridge Girls is a nationally-recognized leader in providing after-school and summer science, technology, engineering and math (“STEM”) programming to low-income girls in middle school.  Expanding Your Horizons encourages middle schools to pursue STEM careers and education. The nonprofits decided to explore a merger to address staffing and succession planning needs, in addition to providing consistent program content and geographic expansion opportunities.  An engagement to explore a merger was partially funded by a grant from The SeaChange-Lodestar Fund for Nonprofit Collaboration.

Grant Amount
$5,000

Korean American Nonprofits Merge to Increase Impact

There are approximately 80,000 Korean immigrants in greater Chicago, many of whom are served by multiple organizations. The Korean American Community Services provided ESL and citizenship classes, workforce development, immigration and legal services and benefits counseling programs, in addition to running two senior housing facilities. It traditionally served first-generation Korean immigrants who came to America in the 70s, through 90s and wanted to expand to a more diverse population. The Korean American Resource & Cultural Center worked to engage youth in community activism and advocacy and primarily served the second-generation/children of their clients, but saw increasing participation from the Latino and African American communities. The merger resulted in the creation of The Hana Center which has grown the programs significantly, expanded the staff and expects almost $100,000 in cost savings annually. A grant from The SeaChange-Lodestar Fund for Nonprofit Collaboration funded a portion of the costs of the merger.

Grant Amount
$5,000

Like-Missioned Community Programs Join Forces in Arizona

Arizona Women’s Education and Employment (AWEE) joined the family of programs of A New Leaf as a subsidiary organization.  The partnership will enhance the operation and sustainability of AWEE and expand the footprint and services of A New Leaf across greater Phoenix.  Both A New Leaf and AWEE share a heritage of championing those in need and offering individuals a pathway to independence and self-reliance.  The merger has multiple benefits including cost savings, enhanced programs, more efficient outreach and building new revenue streams.  A challenge grant from The Lodestar Foundation helped fund merger-related expenses.

Grant Amount
$36,000

Like-Missioned Nonprofits in Louisville, Kentucky Merge

Day Spring and Community Living were two grass-roots organizations in Louisville, Kentucky that were started by people looking for non-institutional care for disabled family members.  They served people with intellectual and developmental disabilities by providing quality, long-term, individually-designed residential and support services.  The organizations saw a need for greater scale given the increasing requirements under managed care Medicaid.  The SeaChange-Lodestar Fund for Nonprofit Collaboration helped to fund one-time costs associated with the merger.

Grant Amount
$30,000

Merger of Cancer Research Organizations

Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation and The V Foundation are unique because they both support early career scientists and innovation and are committed to advancing research across all types of cancer. The two organizations are well-funded and provide critical grants for cancer research, but also believe they could do more if they merged into a single entity.  A portion of the costs associated with the exploration of a merger was provided by a grant from The SeaChange-Lodestar Fund for Nonprofit Collaboration.

Grant Amount
$10,000

Merger of Like-Missioned Chicago Nonprofits

Envision Unlimited and Neumann Family Services serve populations with intellectual/developmental disabilities, mental illness, or a dual diagnosis. Both organizations originally focused on children and expanded to providing services to adults.  The nonprofits have been working side-by-side side for years, discussing the state of the health services industry and sharing concerns about the industry’s transition to a managed care system. The combined nonprofit provides the ability to scale, complementary programs and increased fundraising opportunities.  The SeaChange-Lodestar Fund for Nonprofit Collaboration provided a grant to fund a portion of the one-time costs for the merger.

Grant Amount
$10,000

Minnesota-Based Organizations Merge to Provide Inclusive Health and Wellness

JustUs Health was created in late 2017 when the Minnesota AIDS Project and Rainbow Health Initiative created a new organization committed to leading the work to achieve health equity for diverse gender, sexual and cultural communities.  Rainbow Health had worked to collect data from people in the LGBTQ community across Minnesota to use for research, advocacy and education.  The Minnesota AIDS Project was the state’s largest HIV/AIDS service organization.  JustUs Health is now able to survey more people to expand its programs in more targeted ways, expand advocacy efforts for the HIV/AIDS and LGBTQ communities, and engage new donors.  A grant from The SeaChange-Lodestar Fund for Nonprofit Collaboration funded some of the one-time costs of the merger.

Grant Amount
$7,500

Nonprofit Arts Organization Programs Saved

The Healing Arts Initiative (HAI) brought the arts to otherwise marginalized communities including nursing homes, substance abuse centers and organizations that assist homeless children.  After HAI filed for Chapter 11 protection, a like-missioned organization, Young Adult Institute, Inc. (YAI), stepped forward to acquire the assets of HAI.  YAI has a team of over 4,000 employees and provides innovative services for over 20,000 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. YAI intends to integrate and grow the HAI programs, offering more than 300 programs for people of all ages.  The SeaChange-Lodestar Fund for Nonprofit Collaboration provided support for one-time acquisition-related expenses.

Grant Amount
$5,000

Three Affordable Housing Organizations in Illinois Explore a Merger

Three organizations working in affordable housing in Lake County, Illinois wished to determine if merging would help with long-term sustainability and program expansion. Lake County Residential Development Corporation, Affordable Housing Corporation of Lake County and Community Partners for Affordable Housing offer complimentary affordable housing programs in adjacent geographies in the “lakes” region of Illinois just outside of Chicago.  An engagement to explore a merger was partially funded by a grant from The SeaChange-Lodestar Fund for Nonprofit Collaboration.

Grant Amount
$9,000

Two Chicago Area Volunteer Organizations Merge

Chicago Cares was the largest volunteer organization in Chicago, working with over 250 nonprofits across the city to create and connect over 20,000 volunteers with meaningful service opportunities. It drew over 75% of its volunteers and funding from Chicago’s corporate community. WomenOnCall offered pro bono consulting projects to nonprofits through approximately 100 professional women volunteers.  The merged organization has yielded long-term sustainability, expanded programs and a network of 1,600 volunteers and 650 nonprofit relationships.  The SeaChange-Lodestar Fund for Nonprofit Collaboration provided support for one-time merger-related expenses.

Grant Amount
$5,375

Two Organizations Merge to increase support for Colorado Nonprofits

The Center for Nonprofit Excellence, based in Colorado Springs, sought to merge with the Colorado Nonprofit Association to provide a greater range of services to nonprofits in the Pikes Peak region. The newly-combined entity established a targeted program with enhanced services for the region, connecting the local nonprofits to a statewide network of nonprofits. A challenge grant from the Lodestar Foundation provided support for the merger.

Grant Amount
$10,000

15-Year-Old Organizations Merge to Provide More Volunteers for Nonprofits

Common Impact and Taproot Foundation connect skilled, private-sector volunteers with nonprofits through pro-bono consulting projects. The two organizations realized that they had complementary strengths including leadership development programs, corporate partnerships, a global footprint, and a robust online platform that connect volunteers and nonprofits.  A SeaChange-Lodestar Fund for Nonprofit Collaboration grant provided partial funding for a consulting engagement to explore a merger.

Grant Amount
$11,250

Acquisition to Expand Services for the Homeless

Tumbleweed Center for Youth Development served Phoenix-area homeless youths ages 12-25 with resource centers, emergency and transitional housing, life counseling and other programs.  When Tumbleweed declared bankruptcy, UMOM New Day Centers acquired Tumbleweed programs to preserve the essential services for homeless teens.  The inherited programs will remain branded under the Tumbleweed banner.  Along with a number of other Phoenix-based funders, The Lodestar Foundation provided funding to UMOM for a portion of the one-time, third-party costs of the acquisition of the Tumbleweed programs.

Grant Amount
$25,000

Advocates for First Amendment Rights Explore a Merger

PEN America, based in New York City, and PEN Center USA, based in Los Angeles, share a commitment to protecting and advocating for First Amendment rights while also promoting a community of literary expression.  The two PEN organizations, which stands for Poets, Playwrights, Editors, Essayists, Novelists, each have very distinct cultures and approaches to their work and have long viewed each other as separate but equal entities.  In 2017, they decided it was time to explore a more formal collaboration.  A portion of the costs associated with the exploration of a merger was provided by a grant from The SeaChange-Lodestar Fund for Nonprofit Collaboration.

Grant Amount
$20,000

Back Office Consolidation among Louisville Human Services Nonprofits

Five like-missioned nonprofits that serve the human services sector in the Louisville, Kentucky area(Family & Children's Place, Maryhurst, The Center for Women and Families, Boys & Girls Haven and Uspiritus) came together to create a management services nonprofit, ImpactV, to provide centralized administrative and management services to the five organizations.  The benefits that are being realized from ImpactV include shared knowledge of processes and procedures, resource sharing and resource information, technology improvements, reduced software costs and organizational efficiencies. The longer term plan is to offer the services for purchase to other nonprofits in the community.    A challenge grant from Lodestar provided funding for the integration of the five non-profits' administrative services into the new nonprofit.

Grant Amount
$40,000

Curated Convening to Protect U.S. Democracy

Stand Up Ideas, Inc. and Protect Democracy jointly convened about 100 of the most influential civic leaders from nonprofit, government, media and academic institutions across the political spectrum working to defend democratic norms, ideals and institutions. The convening provided a platform for leading thinkers, reformers and activists to collaborate on workable, near-term solutions to protect U.S. democracy against the increased risk of authoritarian government. Working through an interactive small-group process, the participants identified a number of pressing issues, with accompanying action items, to facilitate change. Post-Summit activities include continued collaboration around the key issues, as well as a second group convening in the fall of 2018. Grants from Lodestar provided major support for both the initial Summit and the second Summit.

Grant Amount
$25,000

Disability Collaboration: Collaboration Prize 2017 Finalist

Happiness House, CP Rochester, and Rochester Rehabilitation underwent a corporate restructuring to strengthen the delivery of a range of educational, therapeutic, family support, residential, employment, and mental health services to differently-abled children and adults as well as their families in upstate New York. These partners selected a particularly flexible form that creates cost savings and efficiencies through shared management, quality control, and administrative functions that support a wide range of programs in a multi-county region. In addition, the strong ties among the three organizations led the Happiness House Foundation to become the Ability Partners Foundation which now raises money to support all three partners.

Grant Amount
$10,000

Elder Care Collaboration: Collaboration Prize 2017 Winner

What began 14 years ago as a partnership among the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh (JCC), Jewish Family & Children’s Service (JF&CS;), and Jewish Association on Aging (JAA) formed to respond to a federal innovation grant has deeply connected three Pittsburgh organizations serving seniors. Through the collaborative, AgeWell Pittsburgh, the three agencies have been able to rethink both services and service delivery. The focus on the community and on outcomes has reoriented the cultures of the three agencies. Today 96% of the 7,000 seniors enrolled in AgeWell Pittsburgh services maintain non-institutional status, making Age Well Pittsburgh a model that is being replicated in other communities.

Grant Amount
$160,000

Land Trusts Serving North and South Carolina Merge

Over 30,000 acres of farm, forest and natural land in the Carolinas is preserved each year thanks to the Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy and the Pacolet Area Conservancy. The organizations have a long history of successfully working together.  Taking the relationship to the next level occurred in 2017 when both boards approved a merger.   The combined organization combines deep program expertise and infrastructure with a large dedicated volunteer base.  A grant from The SeaChange-Lodestar Fund for Nonprofit Collaboration funded a portion of the costs of the merger.

Grant Amount
$10,000

Merger of Four Organizations in the Field of Jewish Innovation

Bikkurim, Joshua Venture Group, PresenTense and Upstart Bay Area provide capacity building support to startups and emerging leaders serving the Jewish community.  The organizations realized that there was a lot of overlap among their programs and funders, which created confusion for their clients and competition for funding.  In order to better serve their community, the organizations engaged a consultant to help them explore a merger, and in October 2016, all four organizations announced their intention to merge.  A grant from The SeaChange-Lodestar Fund for Nonprofit Collaboration funded a portion of the costs of the merger.

Grant Amount
$4,000