Have a Great Idea for Community Action? Join the GivingTuesday’s Starling Collective 2021 Cohort [Microgrant of 1.48 Lacs]: Apply by Sep 1

giving tuesday's starling collective 2021 cohort for grassroots leaders

GivingTuesday’s Starling Collective is inviting applications from grassroots leaders for its 2021 Cohort. Selected participants will be awarded a microgrant of USD 2000 (INR 1.48 Lacs).

About the Starling Collective

GivingTuesday’s Starling Collective is a new kind of learning collective for grassroots leaders to discover and share best practices for increasing generosity and driving systems to change. The program offers coaching, peer learning, and connection to GivingTuesday’s global leader network, as well as microgrants to jumpstart or accelerate on-the-ground work.

The program was named after birds that create extraordinary patterns and movements by working together. A scientist once admired their “remarkable ability to maintain cohesion as a group in highly uncertain environments and with limited, noisy information.” Grassroots leaders around the world have incredible power to mobilize and strengthen their communities, especially in times of crisis.

GivingTuesday’s Starling Collective is thus, a global learning community and innovative fellowship for grassroots organizers, activists, artists, and changemakers to discover and share best practices for increasing generosity and driving systems change.

Benefits of the Program

If selected, you’ll participate in the Starling Collective learning community, and receive coaching and peer support along with a microgrant of $2,000 USD. As part of the learning community, you will:

  • build relationships and with a global community of movement leaders;
  • tap GivingTuesday’s movement-building experience to accelerate your work and impact;
  • have access to the GivingTuesday data team to develop strategies for goal setting and measurement of your work;
  • receive ideas and best practices from your Starling Collective peers.

How Does it Work?

  1. Fill out our short application by September 1, 2021
  2. We’ll announce the next cohort by October 8, 2021
  3. The 2021 Starling Collective learning community will kick off October 12, 2021, and will meet at least once per month through March 2022.
  4. If selected as a Starling participant, you will:
  • participate in a 6-month peer learning community to share what’s working, what’s not
  • grow as a leader, develop new ideas and create amazing change in your community
  • gain access to coaching, peer support, along with movement-building tools and resources
  • receive a $2,000USD microgrant to support your leadership development or on-the-ground work
  • have the opportunity to present your idea or initiative for a chance to receive additional funding to help grow and launch your new ideas and scale positive impact in your community


  • Individuals with particularly innovative approaches to catalyzing generosity, empathy, equity, and justice.
  • Applications are accepted from anywhere in the world. The Starling Collective is specifically designed for grassroots organizers, activists, artists, and changemakers from under-represented and under-resourced communities. 
  • Applicants must be individuals over the age of 13 in the United States or the equivalent legal age to participate in the program in their home country.
  • If accepted, applicants under the age of 18 must have the permission of a parent or guardian to participate in and receive any fellowship payments under the Starling Collective.
  • Applicants must be legally permitted to receive and accept funds from a U.S. nonprofit organization.

Applications must be received by September 1, 2021 by 11:59 PM Pacific Time (12:29 PM (Sep 2), Indian Standard Time (IST))

Expectations from the Participants

  • Participate in a series of virtual workshops and idea exchanges that will take place 1-2 times per month between October 2021 and March 2022. Programming will be conducted in English with live Spanish translation.
  • Share their experiences and expertise with others in the cohort and take advantage of the same from their fellow cohort members.
  • Complete a short form to share their learnings, experiences, and results from their project or initiative, if applicable.
  • Selected grantees may be asked to provide additional documentation and execute a grant agreement before grant funds are released.


Applicants must complete an online application describing their leadership goals and how they plan to pursue or continue work that increases generosity.

The Starling Collective is especially focused on supporting grassroots leaders with particularly creative and innovative approaches to increasing generosity, community action, and civic participation.

The online application will ask applicants to describe the following components:

  • Individual leadership goals and challenges
  • An example of an idea, project, or program the individual is leading to scale generosity  
  • What distinguishes their leadership and/or work from others working for change in your area
  • How their work lifts up under-represented communities and/or welcomes diverse participants and perspectives 
  • What they hope to gain from their participation in the program

Priority for Grants: Leaders operating in regions of lower resource or greater need. All award decisions will be made at the sole discretion of Giving Tuesday, Inc.

Grant funds cannot be used to support direct or grassroots political lobbying. Please note that GivingTuesday cannot offer any advice or guidance regarding taxes.

Selected grantees may be asked to provide additional documentation and execute a grant agreement before grant funds are released.

Review and Selection

Review: Applications are reviewed by a team of Regional Directors, who will follow up with applicants during the selection process. The final determination will be made by the GivingTuesday staff and selected applicants will be notified by October 8, 2021.

Evaluation Criteria:

  • Leadership and Vision,
  • Potential Impact,
  • Ingenuity and Creativity,
  • Focus on Generosity,
  • Diversity and Belonging,
  • Measurable Goals.

Important Dates

  • Applications open on July 15, 2021
  • Applications close on September 1, 2021.
  • Participants will be announced by October 8, 2021.

Contact Information


Click here for the official website of The Starling Collective 2021.

Click here to apply for the Starling Collective 2021 Cohort.

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