WHO WE ARE

Borealis Philanthropy is resourcing the world we know is possible.

Dream Defenders

Dream Defenders

Borealis is a social justice philanthropic intermediary working to resource grassroots movements for transformative change. We build bridges between funders and organizers to support movements working to make a future that serves all of us.

Founded in 2015, Borealis has grown to include nine collaborative funds working to enhance our collective impact within and between movements across the country. From Black-led movement-buildingto queer and trans liberation, to disability justice and inclusion, our work is rooted in the understanding that in order to upend oppressive systems, we must support the people most impacted by those systems.

Our Mission

Borealis works with funders to direct resources to people building powerful, thriving communities. We invest in leaders, organizations, and movements using diverse and leading-edge strategies to pursue transformational change.
Borealis Giving_22

What We Do

Borealis utilizes the expertise and leadership of our movement-driven staff to identify and resource community leaders, organizations, and movements working to dismantle oppressive systems and create an equitable future.

We connect grantmakers to organizations that share their mission. We team with philanthropy to conceive, develop, and implement grantmaking initiatives that resource the many innovative organizations within each of our respective grantmaking funds.

Through our nine collaborative funds, we create opportunities for donors to learn from organizers on the ground and provide resources to leaders, organizations, and movements pursuing transformational change.

We remove barriers to funding for grassroots organizations and invest in intersectional movement work across communities so that they have the resources they need to thrive.

Simply put, we dream big, we take bold risks, and we fund leading-edge work
rooted in liberation and justice for all people.

SOUL

Southsiders Organized for Unity and Liberation (SOUL) in Chicago

Our Vision

We envision a world where:

  • We reckon with this country’s long history of racial injustice built on anti-Black racism and Native American genocide and work to repair harm with all communities that have been impacted.
  • Communities are connected and interdependent, and people share responsibility for one another.
  • We have the collective power to have agency over our lives.
  • Our political, social, civil, and economic systems and institutions are representative of and responsive to all communities.
  • Everyone leads joyful, vibrant, and free lives.
mijente

Mijente, Photographer: Angela Jimenez @AngelaSnappy

Our Values

responsivness

We regenerate. We metabolize hurt and harm, as we disrupt and withdraw from ableism and lack. We conceive spaciousness and brandish grace, humanity, and joy to seed new worlds.

racial equity icon

We marry conviction and belief to cultivate inner courage and brave hearts, to be the Atrevida. We defy the status quo and contribute to a more equitable world for all.

people-centered

We work to align our actions and values. We engender trust and reciprocity. We may not always get it right, but we learn, evolve, and remain accountable to individual and communal relationships.

trust

We exist in thriving living connection. We practice solidarity and mutuality with, within, and across expansive communities.

Our Impact

Year after year, we resource community leaders and organizations that are building transformative, changemaking movements. Dig into our annual reports to learn more about the work our resources support and uplift.

    Action STL

    Action St. Louis

    Our Board of Directors

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What is a philanthropic intermediary?

    Philanthropic intermediaries are both grantseekers and grantmakers. Intermediaries provide strategic capacity and expert guidance to individual donors as well as foundations. Often, as in the case with Borealis, they connect donors with limited access to lesser-known organizations, enabling funders the opportunity to support in places and ways they may not be able to do on their own. Intermediaries may support nonprofits in building their organizational capacity as they are more flexible with their grantmaking, making grants of all sizes or to emerging groups and movements. Read more about how giving through Borealis Philanthropy helps bolster the movement ecosystem.

    What are donor collaboratives?

    Donor collaboratives offer funders an opportunity to work together on central issues and combine their resources, energy, attention, and expertise to exponentially increase the impact of their work together. Borealis’ donor collaboratives facilitate coordination of strategies across a field of interest and provide grantmaking services as well as a coordinated approach to funder learning and joint grantmaking.

    How do we support grantmakers?

    We assist grantmakers at all stages – from conceptualizing a grantmaking program, identifying grantees, and making grants, to providing ongoing support for grantee learning and progress. We take responsibility for the funds that have been entrusted to us and have strong systems in place – in governance, accounting, and legal review – to ensure they are used effectively. We also seek to share our knowledge and experience with the broader field of philanthropy and to advocate for the effective use of intermediaries.

    What specific services does Borealis offer?

    We focus on moving resources in ways that are nimble and flexible, and that provide organizations with the support they need to succeed. This includes but is not limited to philanthropic strategies such as rapid response, general support, grantee-driven capacity-building, and leadership development.