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

Grant to Explore Merger with Guidestar

Foundation Center, created in 1956, and GuideStar, created in 1994, represent the world’s largest repositories of trusted historical and present‐day information on nonprofits, foundations, and the capital flows that bind them. Building on a deliberate process that began in 2012, involving a seminal feasibility study supported by Lodestar and other collaborative efforts, confidence‐building measures, and board oversight, they now plan to combine into a single entity. This combination would represent an investment in the future global data and knowledge platform for the sector while insuring that that historical and future information curated by Foundation Centerand GuideStar continue to serve a public purpose, remaining free to over 99 percent of users.  A grant from Lodestar supported the due diligence phase of exploration.

Grant Amount
$60,000

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

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

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

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

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

Merger of Nonprofits that Share a Commitment to Racial Justice

Race Forward and The Center for Social Inclusion work to advance racial equality through research and policy creation, training and capacity building.  The organizations collaborated on various projects over the last three decades.  They decided to merge together in order to grow their footprint, increase their impact and effect more policy change.  The SeaChange-Lodestar Fund for Nonprofit Collaboration helped to fund one-time costs associated with the merger. 

Grant Amount
$15,000

Merger of Two Coalitions of Homeless-serving Nonprofits

The Arizona Coalition to End Homelessness provided leadership in statewide efforts to end homelessness through advocacy, education and coordination with local communities and initiatives.  The Arizona Housing Alliance was a statewide coalition that supports and advocates for quality housing that Arizonans can afford. The two organizations, with many similarities in their work and goals, merged to form the Arizona Housing Coalition in order to have a greater impact on policy decisions and resources for housing and homelessness.  A grant from the Lodestar Foundation helped to offset the expenses of the merger.

Grant Amount
$6,000

Merger of Wisconsin-based Environmental and Natural Resources Organizations

In June 2017, the Wisconsin Environmental Education Board was eliminated due to state budget cuts.  However, the Board’s directors, who have expertise in environmental education, remained committed to continuing the work. Therefore, the directors began merger discussions with the National Resources Foundation of Wisconsin.  The merger would afford immediate capacity-building in environmental education and strong relationships with some of Wisconsin’s top environmental education providers. The SeaChange-Lodestar Fund for Nonprofit Collaboration helped to fund one-time costs associated with the merger. 

Grant Amount
$9,150

Nonprofits Dedicated to Lung Cancer Eradication Merge

The Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation and The Lung Cancer Alliance provide research, raise awareness of the disease and support lung cancer patients.  The combined organizations have raised over $130 million for lung cancer research and programs and both are dedicated to changing the conversation around lung cancer, removing the stigma it carries as a “smoker’s disease.”  The nonprofits realized that a merger would provide easier succession planning, scale, complementary programs and increased fundraising opportunities.  An engagement to explore a merger was partially funded by a grant from The SeaChange-Lodestar Fund for Nonprofit Collaboration.

Grant Amount
$15,000

Camp Collaboration for Special Needs Children

Every summer, many Arizona nonprofits dealing with special needs children have had to compete to reserve week-long sessions at mountain camps to provide a camp experience for their clients; very rarely were the camps able to adequately accommodate the often complex physical, medical and developmental challenges of these campers. A number of these nonprofits collaborated to form a new nonprofit to acquire Whispering Hope Ranch, a facility that has been designed to accommodate a diverse population of children with special needs. Lodestar supported the acquisition of joint-use furnishings for the camp.

Grant Amount
$55,000

Creation of Association for Greater Leverage

There are 63 Federally Qualified Health Clinics (FQHCs) operating 600 sites in New York State serving 1.7 million patients, with half of the clinics in New York City.  A group of nine FQHCs in New York State are working together to create an Independent Practice Association (IPA), an association of physicians and primary healthcare providers that will allow them to jointly negotiate rates and more efficiently bill Managed Care Organizations for services provided.  The SeaChange-Lodestar Fund for Nonprofit Collaboration provided a grant to help cover facilitation fees. 

Grant Amount
$15,000

Exploring the Merger of Community Foundations

Community foundations hold a special place in philanthropy, operating at the intersection of the aspirations of those in need and those with the means to fuel positive change.  In May 2014, 5 community foundations in New Mexico began an exploration to discuss new models of cooperation including a merger and/or a consolidation of operations.  The Lodestar Foundation provided a grant to support the exploration.

Grant Amount
$30,000

Merger of Colon Cancer groups

Chris4Life was founded by Michael Sapienza following his mother’s death from colon cancer to serve as a national advocate to raise awareness and promote early screening of colorectal cancer. The Colon Cancer Foundation CCA was working to increase the rates of screening and survivorship from colorectal cancer. CCA and Chris4Life Sharing a belief that early detection and increased awareness are the key to fighting the disease, the two organizations decided to merge. A grant from the SeaChange-Lodestar Fund for Nonprofit Collaboration partially funded the one-time costs associated with the merger. 

Grant Amount
$7,500