Our Grant Philosophy
The Lodestar Foundation is focused in its grantmaking and generally will consider funding only organizations, projects, and programs that further our mission, although we also choose to support special projects from time to time. Moreover, our grants are designed to leverage the Lodestar Foundation’s assets to the fullest extent possible. Not only do we try to maximize strategic impact by focusing on projects that support systemic changes in the way nonprofits conduct business, we often leverage our funds by establishing challenge and matching grant requirements which may be applicable to our grantees and their boards as well as third parties. We generally require our grantees to report to us periodically for at least two years after funding to let us know how the grant has impacted their work.
In addition to making direct grants, the Lodestar Foundation also engages in field-building activities to build knowledge and to educate others in the areas of encouraging philanthropy and fostering collaboration.
Strategic Funding Areas
To implement our strategy of encouraging philanthropy, the Lodestar Foundation focuses on strengthening organizations that primarily exist to encourage philanthropy, volunteerism or public service generally for the public good. We support donor networks as well as nonprofits that have as a primary mission the desire to generally (a) grow philanthropy, (b) promote the concept of volunteerism (but not individual volunteer programs), or (c) support, encourage or train citizens to participate in public service.
The Lodestar Foundation supports those nonprofits that have made the joint decision to explore and/or implement permanent relationships. We support sustained collaborations of all types, ranging from joint programming to administrative consolidations (sharing office space and/or services) to mergers and acquisitions to associations and confederations. We also initiate and support efforts to build resources and knowledge about collaboration as a strategic capacity-building tool for nonprofits.
In addition to our two strategic funding areas, we make investments in a number of important projects that deserve to be highlighted. A number of our grants in these project areas qualify as Philanthropy and Collaboration grants and are listed in one of those two categories, as well as being listed as Special Projects.
In addition to the Strategic Funding Areas described above, Lodestar has been a long-standing supporter of local issues of general community concern and selected international NGOs. To date, these general grants total approximately $4.1 million.
For ease of access to our grants database, we have provided quick links via the categories listed below, or please select one or more choices from the drop down menus to view a customized list.
- All Collaboration Grants
- Field-Building Grants
- Exploration/Implementation Grants
- (Subdivided by the following grant types: Joint Programming, Alliance/Network, Back Office Collaboration, Merger/Acquisition)