GivingTuesday Announces the First Cohort of the Starling Collective

50 grassroots leaders driving change on the ground in countries across the globe. Applicants selected from 2,000 applications in 93 countries for the Starling Collective will receive coaching, plus a total of $250,000 in microgrants to catalyze grassroots generosity.

GivingTuesday Announces the First Cohort of the Starling Collective
New York, NY, October 06, 2020 --( Today GivingTuesday, the groundbreaking global generosity movement, announced the inaugural cohort for the Starling Collective, a new experimental learning lab for grassroots leaders that offers coaching, peer learning, and connection to both GivingTuesday's global network of movement leaders and to a new community of grassroots activists, organizers, and changemakers. Applicants selected for the Starling Collective cohort will also receive microgrants to accelerate their work.

Designed to identify and support grassroots leaders working to accelerate innovative approaches to catalyzing generosity, empathy, equity, and justice, the Starling Collective was open to individuals and organizations to apply from August 4 to September 2, 2020. Nearly 2,000 applications were submitted from 93 countries.

50 applicants representing 29 countries were selected to participate in the program, which provides a learning community, coaching, and microgrants to accelerate work on the ground. While the selected projects offer a wide range of approaches and issue areas, they all share a common mission of creating a positive impact in their communities, with a focus on innovation and scalability. Projects include:

--a community-based organization in Kenya using technology to boost blood drive participation;

--an initiative to gamify sustainability, community-building, and inter-generational knowledge-sharing through the lens of fast fashion in India;

--a new “coffee shop ministry” in Greece that will provide psychosocial services to women in refugee communities while simultaneously building community connections;

--an effort in Colombia to construct photovoltaic solar energy systems and educate female leaders on how they work, combining environmental awareness and inclusion in underprivileged communities;

--a music nonprofit in Oakland collaborating with a local food bank, creating an uplifting experience for those waiting for food;

--a nationwide platform in the US that addresses food insecurity by connecting opportunities between producers with surplus and communities in need;

--and several grantees working to expand the impact of, and connection between, mutual aid networks.

A full listing of participants and more information about their work to drive change is available online.

"We have always believed that people in communities know best what those communities need, and we believe that learning from one another and supporting one another accelerates positive change. Our distributed, interconnected leadership model made it possible for us to reach those people who are showing up in incredible ways in this moment. We were tremendously impressed by the passion and creativity shown by the people who applied," said Asha Curran, CEO of GivingTuesday. “The Starling Collective aims to break down traditional barriers to resources and networks that often exclude underrepresented voices, grassroots movement-builders, and community organizers. These are the very voices we need to invite into the conversation about creating meaningful change. I can’t wait to learn from them.”

GivingTuesday has grown a distributed network of global leaders who spearhead national movements in 72 countries and hundreds of community leaders who lead GivingTuesday efforts at a city and local level. These leaders form a collaborative community that co-leads the movement, shaping new ideas.

Applications were reviewed by an international team of regional directors, evaluating the submissions on how their proposals addressed generosity, leadership, vision, ingenuity, scalability, and diversity and belonging. The Starling Collective’s global regional directors also serve as mentors/coaches to participants and aid in facilitating the program’s learning community.

GivingTuesday created the initial funding pool of $250,000 from its own budget, with special support from the Ford Motor Company Fund, who is helping launch a Starling Collective for 92Y Ford Fellowship Alumni in Brazil. GivingTuesday aims to increase available microgranting funds to $1M and launch a second cohort of the Starling Collective in early 2021.

Created in 2012 at New York’s 92nd Street Y and incubated in its Belfer Center for Innovation & Social Impact as a day to do good, GivingTuesday has grown into a year-round global generosity movement with leaders who have launched more than 200 community campaigns across the U.S. and national movements in more than 70 countries. At the grassroots level, people and organizations participate in GivingTuesday in every single country in the world.

To learn more about the Starling Collective, visit

About GivingTuesday
GivingTuesday is a global generosity movement unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world. GivingTuesday was created in 2012 as a simple idea: a day that encourages people to do good. Over the past eight years, it has grown into a global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity. Whether it’s making someone smile, helping a neighbor or stranger out, showing up for an issue or people we care about, or giving some of what we have to those who need our help, every act of generosity counts and everyone has something to give. GivingTuesday strives to build a world in which the catalytic power of generosity is at the heart of the society we build together, unlocking dignity, opportunity, and equity around the globe. To learn more about GivingTuesday participants and activities or to join the global generosity movement, please visit: and or find GivingTuesday on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Caryn Stein
Chief Communications Officer, GivingTuesday