Borealis Philanthropy




Tax ID:


Budget (2016):

Revenue: $7,141,853
Expenses: $4,070,090
Assets: $7,008,768




Arts, Culture, and Humanities N.E.C. Philanthropic Intermediary


Margarita Rubalcava Shulm

Borealis Philanthropy is a left-of-center philanthropic intermediary that has supported the creation, provided operational expertise, and staffed 299 groups since its founding in 2014. Borealis is deeply involved in identity-interest advocacy and organizing; it is perhaps most notable for partnering with the Black Lives Matter movement since 2016.[1]

Borealis specializes in matching donors and creating or finding groups that support the donor’s policy preferences. Borealis Philanthropy then providing those groups with money via pooled funds, specialized staff, project management, media expertise, and fundraising support. Borealis operates a number of funds focused on various identity and interest groups: the Black-Led Movement Fund, the Communities Transforming Policing Fund, the Racial Equity in Philanthropy Fund, the Immigration Litigation Fund, the Racial Equality to Accelerate Change Fund, the Disability Inclusion Fund, the Transforming Movements Fund, and the Fund for Trans Generations.


Borealis Philanthropy is a left-wing philanthropic intermediary that does not fundraise for any specific organization or causes but acts as a matchmaker that finds grant-seeking activist groups that can further the policy preferences and desires of liberal-left donors. The organization was founded in 2014 in Minneapolis and has been directed by Margarita “Magui” Rubalcava, a career left-wing nonprofit official, since its founding.[2] In 2016, Borealis Philanthropy and the Ford Foundation partnered to raise funds for the Movement for Black Lives, an organization in the Black Lives Matter movement.[3]

The group focuses on supporting left-wing identity-based advocacy by providing money and operational support to groups advocating on behalf of left-wing LGBT people, African Americans, illegal immigrants, and other left-leaning constituencies.  It raises funds from donations made by institutions, foundations, and private individuals to make grants to activist groups and then advises, staffs, coordinates, and assists in managing the activist’s projects according to the donor’s guidance.

Structure and Organization

Borealis Philanthropy is a “philanthropic intermediary,” allowing left-of-center donors and institutions to support activist groups with support from Borealis’s professional staff. [4]

Borealis operates a number of “rapid response funds” able to make grants within ten days or less for “unanticipated critical needs or moments.” [5]  It also has a series of “pooled funds” that create a marketplace of groups and activists Borealis Philanthropy aggregates funds from multiple donors and then directs, finds, or creates groups that meet donor requirements regarding a policy area, demographic group, or shared aspirations. [6]

Pooled Funds

Black-Led Movement Fund (BLMF)

The Black-Led Movement Fund provides funding to young, Black, queer, feminist, and immigrant leaders involved with the Movement for Black Lives with organizational development support and resources. [7]

Their recipients are as follows:

  • Afrikan Black Coalition
  • Assata’s Daughters
  • Black Alliance for Just Immigration
  • Black Excellence Collective
  • Black Lives Matter
  • Black Organizing for Leadership and Dignity
  • Black Youth Project 100
  • Blackbird
  • BlackOUT Collective
  • Dignity and Power Now
  • Enlace
  • Freedom, Inc.
  • Immigrant Youth Coalition
  • LGBTQ Black Immigrant Justice Project
  • Marsha P Johnson Institute
  • Million Hoodies Movement for Justice
  • Movement for Black Lives
  • Organization for Black Struggle
  • Project South
  • Saint Louis Action Council
  • SONG southerners on new ground
  • Southerners on New Ground
  • The Knights and Orchid Society
  • The Organization for Black Struggle
  • The Undocumented and Black Convening
  • UndocuBlack Network

The Fund for Trans Generations (FTG)

The fund gives money to transgender activists and organizations for advocacy that must be trans-led, defined by the Trans Justice Funding Project as, the majority of the people “in charge” of the group identify as transgender or gender non-conforming. The Fund’s priorities are intersectional feminism, transgender girls/women, non-white transgender individuals, incarcerated or formerly incarcerated people, and people with disabilities.[8] According to the LGBT-interest magazine Out, the Fund supported 93 groups and organizations in 2018.[9]

Their recipients are as follows:

  • API Equality – Northern California
  • Arianna’s Center / Trans Latina T Services
  • Audre Lorde Project
  • Baltimore Transgender Alliance
  • Black and Pink
  • Black LGBTQIA+ Migrant Project
  • Black Trans Media
  • Black Transwomen, Inc.
  • Black Women’s Blueprint & Trans Sistas of Color Project
  • Brave Space Alliance
  • BreakOUT!
  • Campaign for Southern Equality
  • Colectivo Intercultural TRANSgrediendo
  • Community Ele’te
  • Destination Tomorrow
  • El/La Para TransLatinas
  • Equality New Mexico
  • Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement
  • For the Culture (formerly Liberatory Motion)
  • Forward Together
  • Fuerza y Unión Múltiple
  • Garden of Peace Project
  • Gender Benders
  • Gender Justice LA
  • Gender Justice League
  • Genders & Sexualities Alliance Network
  • Genders and Sexualities Network
  • Global Action Project
  • Global Transgender Safety Task Force USA
  • Green Mountain Crossroads
  • Griffin-Gracy Educational Retreat & Historical Center
  • Heartspark Press
  • Hilltop Urban Gardens
  • Icarus Project
  • Interfaith Working Group (Aka Trans Faith)
  • Interlocking Roots
  • Kansas Statewide Transgender Education Project
  • Keeping Ballroom Community Alive Network (KBCAN)
  • Kansas Statewide Transgender Education Project
  • Kween Culture Initiative
  • La Gender, Inc
  • Life Foundation
  • Minnesota Trans Health Coalition
  • Minnesota Transgender Health Coalition
  • Montana Gender Alliance
  • Montana Two Spirit Society
  • My Sistah’s House
  • National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network
  • National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA)
  • Native Justice Coalition
  • New York City Anti-Violence Project
  • No Justice No Pride
  • Open Arms Rape Crisis Center & LGBT+ Services
  • Organización Latina de Trans en Texas
  • Our Spot KC
  • Peacock Rebellion
  • QTPOC Birthwerq
  • Queer and Trans People of Color Birthwerq Project
  • Queer and Trans People of Color Collective Charlotte
  • Rainbow Defense Fund DBA Mariposas Sin Fronteras
  • RARE Productions
  • Rare Productions
  • Reconciling Ministries Network
  • Red Gate Media
  • Semillas
  • Southern Fried Queer Pride
  • St. James Infirmary
  • Stonewall Youth
  • TEI Transwoman Empowerment Initiative
  • TGI Justice Project
  • The National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance
  • The Spectrum Center
  • The [email protected] Coalition
  • Tiger’s Eye Collective
  • Trans Action SD
  • Trans and Queer People of Color Collective
  • Trans Assistance Project
  • Trans Faith
  • Trans Justice Law Project
  • Trans Latina Coalition
  • Trans Ohio
  • Trans Ponder
  • Trans Pride Initiative
  • Trans Queer Pueblo
  • Trans Queer Pueblo, Trans Queer Migrant Community Defense Project
  • Trans Sistas of Color Project
  • Trans Student Educational Resources
  • Trans United
  • Trans Visible
  • Trans Youth Advocates DMV
  • Trans(forming)
  • TransAction South Dakota
  • TRANScending Barriers Atlanta
  • Transformative Justice Law Project of Illinois
  • Transforming Hearts Collective
  • Transgender Advocates Knowledgeable Empowering (TAKE)
  • Transgender Gender-variant and intersex justice project
  • Transgender Law Center
  • Transgender Religious Professional Unitarian Universalists Together (TRUUsT)
  • Transgender Resource Center of New Mexico
  • Transgender Youth Project
  • Translatina Network
  • Transwoman Empowerment Initiative
  • Tranzmission
  • United Territories of Pacific Islanders Alliance (U.T.O.P.I.A.) Seattle
  • Wisconsin Trans Health Coalition
  • Wisconsin Transgender Health Coalition
  • Youth Empowerment Performance Project

Immigration Litigation Fund (ILF)

The Immigration Litigation Fund supports legal actions challenging the enforcement of U.S. immigration laws, policies, and practices. The fund’s donors prioritize litigation efforts that are connected to and coordinated with, illegal immigrant communities and allied organizations.[10]

Their recipients are as follows:

  • ACLU of New Jersey Foundation
  • ACLU SoCal
  • Adhikaar for Human Rights and Social Justice
  • Advancement Project
  • Advocates for Basic Legal Equality
  • Aldea – The People’s Justice Center
  • American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California
  • American Immigration Council
  • American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee
  • Americans for Immigrant Justice
  • Asian Americans Advancing Justice
  • ASISTA Immigration Assistance
  • Asylum Seekers Advocacy Project
  • Brennan Center
  • Bronx Defenders
  • Brooklyn Defenders Services
  • Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights Coalition
  • CASA de Maryland
  • Catholic Charities of New Mexico
  • Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Las Cruces
  • Center for American Progress
  • Center for Community Change
  • Center for Constitutional Rights
  • Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Center for Popular Democracy
  • CERES Policy Research
  • Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy
  • Children’s Rights
  • Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center
  • Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights
  • Community Activism Law Alliance
  • Community Justice Project
  • Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)
  • Detention Watch Network
  • Equality Alliance of San Diego
  • Equity Alliance of San Diego
  • Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project
  • Free Migration Project
  • Friends of Farmworkers
  • Grassroots Leadership
  • Heartland Alliance – National Immigrant Justice Center
  • Houston Immigration Legal Services Collaborative
  • Human Rights Defense Center
  • Human Rights First
  • Human Rights Initiative of North Texas
  • IDP
  • Immigrant Legal Resource Center
  • Immigration Equality
  • International Refugee Assistance Project
  • Jewish Family Service of San Diego
  • ILG Innovation Law Lab
  • Immigrant Defense Project
  • IRAP Urban Justice Center
  • Jane’s Due Process
  • Justice for Our Neighbors Houston
  • Justice in Motion
  • Justice Strategies
  • Latino Justice
  • LatinoJustice/ PRLDEF
  • Legal Aid Society
  • Make the Road New York
  • Make the Road NY
  • Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund
  • Migrant Justice
  • Mijente / #Not1More Deportation Campaign
  • Muslim Advocates
  • National Center for Youth Law
  • National Day Laborers Organizing Network
  • National Domestic Workers Alliance
  • National Immigrant Justice Center
  • National Immigration Law Center
  • National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild
  • National Iranian American Council
  • National Korean American Service and Education Consortium
  • New York Civil Liberties Union
  • New York Immigration Coalition
  • No More Deaths
  • Northwest Immigrants’ Rights Project
  • Organized Communities Against Deportations
  • Partnership for the Advancement of New Americans
  • Public Counsel
  • Safe Passage Project
  • Southeast Asia Resource Action Center
  • Southern Poverty Law Center
  • Tahirih Justice Center
  • Texas Civil Rights Project
  • Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, Inc
  • The Bail Project
  • The Bronx Defenders
  • The Providence youth student movement
  • Towards Justice of Colorado
  •  United We Dream
  • Yemeni American Merchants Association

Transforming Movements Fund (TMF)

The TMF attempts to coordinate the efforts of identity politics factions to support policies that would provide mutual benefits with a special focus on those led by young LGBT people. TMF supports left-wing campaigns seeking changes to policing policies, expanding access to abortion, advocating for de facto open borders in the US, and supporting illegal immigration to the US. [11]

Their recipients are as follows:

  • Blackbird
  • BreakOUT!
  • Freedom, Inc.
  • Gender Justice League
  • LGBTQ Black Immigrant Justice Project
  • Providence Youth Student Movement
  • Queer and Trans People of Color Collective Charlotte
  • The Providence youth student movement
  • Third Wave Fund
  • Transgender Gender-variant and intersex justice project
  • VAYLA New Orleans

Communities Transforming Policing Fund (CTPF)

CTPF attempts to modify policing policies in local US jurisdictions on behalf of non-white, LGBT people, homeless, and the mentally ill by providing grants, technical assistance, organizational capacity-building, networking, and leadership.[12]

Their recipients are as follows:

  • ACLU of New Mexico
  • AJC
  • Austin Justice Coalition
  • Blueprint NC
  • Blueprint North Carolina
  • Center for Neighborhood Leadership
  • De-Escalate Washington I-940
  • Faith in the Valley
  • Foundation for Louisiana
  • GAPA
  • Grassroots Alliance for Police Accountability
  • HIPS
  • Indian People’s Action
  • PrYSM
  • Racial Justice Action Center (RJAC)
  • The Center for NuLeadership on Urban Solutions
  • Unite Oregon
  • Wisconsin Voices

Racial Equality to Accelerate Change Fund (REACH)

The Racial Equality to Accelerate Change Fund combats a supposed disparity in the treatment of different races in the non-profit sector by providing “racial equity practitioners” to serve as technical advisors and activist organizers for non-profits. [13] According to Inside Philanthropy, its first funding round in 2019 would provide eight left-progressive nonprofits that provide “racial equity training” with $150,000 grants.[14]

Racial Equity in Philanthropy Fund (REP)

The Racial Equity in Philanthropy Fund seeks to end supposed racial disparities in the non-profit world by creating a “more nuanced” approach to philanthropy. The REP Fund is a collaboration between Ford Foundation and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. [15]

Their recipients are as follows:

  • Alliance to Mobilize Our Resistance (AMOR)
  • BoardSource
  • Brooklyn Community Bail Fund
  • California Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance
  • CFLeads – Community Foundations Leading Change
  • CHANGE Philanthropy
  • Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights (COLOR)
  • Detroit Future Youth
  • Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy (EPIP)
  • Equity in the Center (EiC)
  • Exponent Philanthropy
  • Foundation Center
  • Freedom Cities
  • Funders for LGBTQ Issues
  • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (GEO)
  • GuideStar
  • Hispanics in Philanthropy
  • Juntos
  • Khmer Girls in Action
  • National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP)
  • Native Americans in Philanthropy
  • New Voices Pittsburg
  • None All Years
  • Nonprofit Quarterly
  • PEAK Grantmaking
  • Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity (PRE)
  • Revive Love Tour
  • Southern Vision Alliance
  • SPARK Reproductive Justice Now
  • Spark reproductive justice now
  • T Services
  • Third Wave Fund
  • TPS Committee for Permanent Residency
  • Trans ID Fund
  • United Philanthropy Forum
  • University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service Center on Community Philanthropy
  • VAYLA New Orleans
  • Women with A Vision
  • Young Women United

Disability Inclusion Fund

The Disability Inclusion Fund is a 5-year $10M fund that supports U.S. groups run by and for disabled people to advocate for policy change. The funds stated objectives are to strengthen the disability community/movement, facilitate racial inclusion, boost fundraising capacity, integration philanthropy, share best practices, and collaboration of the “mainstream” with disability groups.[16]


Margarita Rubalcava leads Borealis Philanthropy. Prior to joining Borealis, Rubalcava worked throughout left-of-center advocacy philanthropy, most prominently for the Four Freedoms Fund, a project of pass-through funder NEO Philanthropy focusing on liberal expansionist immigration policy.[17]


Borealis Philanthropy’s funds are financially supported by the Ford Foundation, JPB Foundation, NoVo Foundation, Open Society Foundation, Reis Foundation, Arcus Foundation, Cricket Island Foundation, Foundation for a Just Society, the Overbrook Foundation, Nathan Cummings Foundation, the Public Welfare Foundation, Barr Foundation, the Bush Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, the Grove Foundation, the Heising-Simons Foundation, the James Irvine Foundation, the Meyer Memorial Trust, the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, and the S.D. Bechtel Jr. Foundation, and many other anonymous donors. [18][19][20][21][22]



  1. Associated Press. “Black Lives Matter Partners with Charity in a Sign of Growth .” Los Angeles Times. September 06, 2016. Accessed July 12, 2019. ^
  2. “Margarita “Magui” Rubalcava.” Borealis Philanthropy. Accessed July 12, 2019. ^
  3. Associated Press. “Black Lives Matter Partners with Charity in a Sign of Growth .” Los Angeles Times. September 06, 2016. Accessed July 12, 2019. ^
  4. “Frequently Asked Questions.” Borealis Philanthropy. Accessed July 08, 2019. ^
  5. “Frequently Asked Questions.” Borealis Philanthropy. Accessed July 08, 2019. ^
  6. “Frequently Asked Questions.” Borealis Philanthropy. Accessed July 08, 2019. ^
  7. “Black-led Movement Fund.” Borealis Philanthropy. Accessed July 04, 2019. ^
  8. “Fund for Trans Generations.” Borealis Philanthropy. Accessed July 04, 2019. ^
  9. Willis, Raquel. “How Sylvia Rivera Created the Blueprint for Transgender Organizing.” OUT. June 21, 2019. Accessed July 15, 2019. ^
  10. “Immigration Litigation Fund.” Borealis Philanthropy. Accessed July 06, 2019. Archive: ^
  11. “Transforming Movements Fund.” Borealis Philanthropy. Accessed July 05, 2019. ^
  12. “Communities Transforming Policing Fund.” Borealis Philanthropy. Accessed July 05, 2019. ^
  13. “Racial Equity to Accelerate Change Fund.” Borealis Philanthropy. Accessed July 08, 2019. ^
  14. Remaley, Michael Hamill. “”Nothing Is Standard About What We’re Doing.” A New Fund Aims to Boost Racial Equity Training.” Inside Philanthropy. June 05, 2019. Accessed July 15, 2019. ^
  15. “Racial Equity in Philanthropy Fund.” Borealis Philanthropy. Accessed August 15, 2019. ^
  16. “Disability Inclusion Fund.” Borealis Philanthropy. Accessed July 08, 2019. ^
  17. “Margarita (Magui) Rubalcava.” Borealis Philanthropy. Accessed July 12, 2019. ^
  18. “Black-led Movement Fund.” Borealis Philanthropy. Accessed July 04, 2019. ^
  19. “Fund for Trans Generations.” Borealis Philanthropy. Accessed July 04, 2019. ^
  20. “Transforming Movements Fund.” Borealis Philanthropy. Accessed July 05, 2019. ^
  21. “Communities Transforming Policing Fund.” Borealis Philanthropy. Accessed July 05, 2019. ^
  22. “Racial Equity to Accelerate Change Fund.” Borealis Philanthropy. Accessed July 08, 2019. ^

Directors, Employees & Supporters

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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: July 1, 2014

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2016 Dec Form 990 $7,141,853 $4,070,090 $7,008,768 $819,684 N $7,100,000 $36,254 $5,483 $354,406
    2015 Dec Form 990 $4,400,500 $1,383,460 $3,359,613 $242,292 N $4,366,953 $30,978 $246 $113,067 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990EZ $127,541 $27,260 $101,114 $833 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF

    Borealis Philanthropy

    PO BOX 3295
    MINNEAPOLIS, MN 55403-0295