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

Global Leadership Foundation

The Global Leadership Foundation exists to make available, discreetly and in confidence, the experience of former leaders to today’s national leaders.  It does so through its network of members - former Presidents, Prime Ministers, senior government ministers and other distinguished leaders, drawn together by a desire to give something back to the world. Working in small teams, in their personal capacity, Members offer private and confidential advice to heads of government on any issues of concern to them. Jerry Hirsch serves on the International Board of the foundation and Lodestar has supported its activities. 

Grant Amount
$11,500

Plan for Shared Space/Shared Services at International News Center

The London-based Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR) was occupying a building that had been donated to the organization. The building had excess space that was under-utilized and not programmatically aligned. Lodestar provided a technical assistance grant to IWPR for an office-sharing consultant who assisted IWPR to develop a vision of turning the building into the Centre for Crisis Reporting.  Currently, leading human rights and media development groups live together to enhance partnership, provide training/exchange facilities, and establish collaborative media productions, joint events and other activities to increase impact.

Grant Amount
$10,000

Exploration of a Collaboration Between Like-Missioned After School Programs

New York State Afterschool Network (NYSAN) and AfterSchool Works! New York (ASW) are state-wide organizations working to increase afterschool access and quality in New York State.  Several board members overlap both organizations and they very work closely together.  In 2014, NYSAN and AWS began exploring how they might structure a collaboration and benefit from their complementary expertise. The SeaChange-Lodestar fund for Nonprofit Collaboration funded a portion of the consulting fees.

Grant Amount
$5,000

Exploration of Joint Project by Three Compassionate Care Organizations

Planetree, the Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare and the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, three organizations with similar missions focused on compassionate, patient-centric humanistic healthcare, came together to explore creating a tool for the sector to evaluate the level of compassionate care being provided – the Compassionate Quotient (CQ) project. The SeaChange-Lodestar Fund supported the cost of a consultant to facilitate the exploration.

Grant Amount
$4,250

Merger of Lung Cancer Research Organizations

Uniting Against Lung Cancer and Lung Cancer Research Foundation had a common mission:  both organizations were dedicated to funding innovative lung cancer research toward finding a cure. Given their similarities in fundraising, and programs, they realized that a merger would enable both organizations to leverage their collective resources to have greater impact.  A portion of the costs related to the merger was provided by The SeaChange-Lodestar Fund for Nonprofit Collaboration.

Grant Amount
$10,000

Exploration of Joint Arts Research and Policy Institute

Fractured Atlas and the Future of Music Coalition, two artist-oriented nonprofit organizations, sought to explore the possibility of creating a jointly-managed arts research and policy institute whose work would seek to harmonize cultural and technological policies. The prospective institute would have analyzed public policy, conducted and published research on issues such as new media distribution channels and artist revenue streams, and provided guidance to organizations seeking to mobilize advocacy for the cultural sector. The exploration resulted in a decision to not proceed with the collaboration at this time. The SeaChange-Lodestar Fund for Nonprofit Collaboration provided support for the consultant costs associated with exploring a possible partnership.

Grant Amount
$15,000

Exploration of Collaboration Opportunities among Three Arts Nonprofits

The Chicago Cultural Alliance, Audience Architects and the Arts & Business Council of Chicago share a common mission to promote the arts by enhancing the capacity of arts organizations in Chicago. The entities have worked together on several projects over the last few years and, in 2012, moved into a shared facility. Given their shared mission and location, the three organizations decided to explore other collaboration opportunities to scale its staffing, technology infrastructure and programs. A SeaChange-Lodestar Nonprofit Collaboration Fund grant provided support for retaining a consultant to explore collaboration options for the organizations.

Grant Amount
$10,000

International Agricultural Colleges Convening

EARTH University in Costa Rica had developed a number of innovative advances in agricultural science but lacked the marketing ability to promote these advances. The College of Agribusiness at Arizona State University has an expertise in the business development of new ideas in agriculture. Lodestar facilitated a series of faculty exchange meetings in Arizona and Costa Rica to explore collaboration between the two universities.

Grant Amount
$118,000

Capacity-Building to Support Nonprofit Associations

Nonprofits working in the same area often are inefficient because they duplicate efforts and lack sufficient individual resources to make a significant community impact. Even when they come together in an informal or formal association to tackle issues jointly, their efforts may not be effective because agency budgetary and time constraints work against strengthening the collaborative effort. Lodestar has provided funds to a number of nonprofit associations and collaborations for collaboration coordinators, for consultants to help develop strategic plans for collaborations, and for various collaboration projects. For example, Lodestar provided funds to the Coalition Against Domestic Violence to develop standardized software for the participating nonprofits ($29,700); over a period of four years, Lodestar funds helped build a collaboration among numerous nonprofits, government agencies and individuals dealing with osteoporosis prevention, education and treatment. ($44,500); three planning grants from Lodestar enabled a coalition of breast cancer groups decide to develop a common community website. ($11,500)

Grant Amount
$29,700

Exploration of Collaboration of Historical Society Entities

Despite its tiny size, Rhode Island has a long and fascinating history and, as a result, several hundred cultural heritage groups of all sorts exist in the state, most of which are small, underfunded and understaffed.  The Rhode Island Historical Society commissioned a study to explore ways for the various entities to work together to maximize impact. The study, which Lodestar supported, recommended cooperative programming, training programs and digital collaboration as proposed action items.

Grant Amount
$5,000

Merger of Two Youth Empowerment Nonprofits

Youth Re:Action Corps (YRC), an Arizona nonprofit, and New Global Citizens (NGC), based in California, had a similar mission of encouraging local students to resolve issues that were of importance to them and to expand their horizons by connecting with students around the world.  Recognizing the synergy between the two organizations and the opportunity to avoid duplication of efforts, YRC merged into NGC.  The Lodestar Foundation underwrote a portion of the merger expenses.  Subsequently, NGC was acquired by VIF International Education, enabling continuation of NGC’s mission of inspiring young people around the world to think about impact beyond their classrooms.
    VIF International Education (VIF) is expanding beyond the classroom with its relaunch of New Global Citizens (NGC)

Grant Amount
$45,000

Merger of School-Based Literacy Nonprofits

Working in the Schools (WITS) and Boundless Readers (BR) were literacy organizations working in Chicago public schools. WITS connected students with working professionals that serve as mentors to 2,600 children across in 31 schools each year, while BR is focused on teachers, working with 63 school to provide professional development.  The two organizations realized that they had complementary missions and audiences, and determined that a merger would provide succession planning, expanded programs, increased staff efficiency, increased fundraising opportunities, and some cost savings. The SeaChange-Lodestar Fund for Nonprofit Collaboration funded some of the one-time costs of the merger.

Grant Amount
$8,000

Merger of Fair-Trade-Review Organizations

Fair Trade USA is the certifier of "Fair Trade" products in the United States which indicates to consumers that the supply chain for a given product gives farmers fair prices and workers safe conditions.  Social Accountability International (SAI) was founded to advance the human rights of workers around the world.  As the two leading organizations in the business of certifying and training in the "goodness" of factories, supply chains, etc., they began discussion of a merger to resolve succession issues and to increase the impact achieved by both organizations. A grant was made by The SeaChange-Lodestar Fund for Nonprofit Collaboration to partially fund consulting fees associated with the merger.

Grant Amount
$10,000

Merger of Two Educational Media Nonprofits

An award-winning, non-profit media production company focused on education, Learning Matters (LM) had produced over 30 documentaries and hundreds of hours of reporting segments for PBS NewsHour. Supported almost entirely by private funding, LM needed a sustainable financial strategy when its founder announced his retirement.  With the assistance of a consultant, an acquisition of LM was made by Editorial Projects in Education (EPE), the publisher of Education Week, considered by many to be the “go-to“ news source for the pre-k to 12th grade education sector. A portion of the costs related to the acquisition were funded through a grant from The SeaChange-Lodestar Fund for Nonprofit Collaboration.

Grant Amount
$19,000

Merger of Nonprofits Supporting Dancers

Career Transition for Dancers (CTFD) was a national counseling and scholarship organization helping newly retired dancers move into second careers. The Actor’s Fund (AF) provides assistance to performing arts and entertainment industry professionals including social services, healthcare, employment, housing, and emergency financial assistance. Despite its success, CTFD recognized that it needed to be part of a larger organization to sustain its programs. A merger with AF provided the answer for both organizations to have sustained growth and serve a larger population.  The The SeaChange-Lodestar Fund for Nonprofit Collaboration funded some of the one-time costs of the merger.

Grant Amount
$15,000

Merger of Jewish Disaster Relief Nonprofits

Two Jewish disaster relief nonprofits, Jewish Disaster Response Corps (JDRC) and NECHAMA (which is the Hebrew word for comfort), helped Americans affected by natural disasters, especially those who are un- or underinsured.  With complementary programs, they merged into a single, Jewish-affiliated organization for domestic disaster preparedness, response, and recovery, with capacity to mobilize communities to volunteer during all stages of disaster. The combined organization realized gains in operational efficiency, continuum of services and program quality, and market positioning.  The SeaChange-Lodestar Fund for Nonprofit Collaboration provided partial funding for a consultant to assist with the merger.

Grant Amount
$6,000

Merger of Arts Education Organizations

Walden Theater operated a performing arts conservatory for middle and high school students, a small in-school performing arts program for elementary school students and a summer camp program in Louisville, Kentucky.  Blue Apple Players, also based in Louisville, ran one of the largest in-school arts and education programs serving 25,000 pre-K and elementary school students each year. The two organizations had collaborated on programs for over a decade and shared many of their contracted artist staff. After having engaged in loose merger conversations for three years, the organizations merged, providing succession planning, a continuum of programs and substantial cost savings. The SeaChange-Lodestar Fund supported the merger.

Grant Amount
$15,000

Merger of United Cerebral Palsy Association Affiliates

CP Rochester (CPR) and Happiness House (HH) were organizations in upstate New York serving people with developmental disabilities. With common missions and overlapping services, they had been sharing a CEO and CFO for two years, after which they proceeded to fully merge. A grant from The SeaChange-Lodestar Fund for Nonprofit Collaboration funded an administrative and executive staff-sharing partnership to support the merger. 

Grant Amount
$20,000

Merger of Canadian United Way Offices

The United Way of Greater Toronto is one of the largest United Way locations in the world and the dominant funder in the city. The United Way of York Region is the northern part of Toronto; an area which, while historically separate, is now fully connected to Toronto given the population growth in the metro area. Not only do the two agencies fund some of the same community organizations, the people they serve, as well as their donors and volunteers, live and work on both sides of the boundary that separates Toronto and York Region.  A grant from The Lodestar Foundation to explore a merger of these two United Way offices was a natural next step.

Grant Amount
$12,300