Detroit—October 7-8, 2010 In partnership with The Skillman Foundation

Sharing the Learning: Resident-led Grassroots Grants Program

A Genuine Democratization & Engagement Strategy

A Special Publication from Grassroots Grantmakers

Grassroots grants are an effective way to get residents engaged and invested in their own communities. Now a number of funders

are taking the idea one step further, turning the grantmaking decisions over to the residents who live and work in the community that the grants are intended to benefit.

This publication shares insights on this emerging practice from two funders – The Cleveland Foundation and The Skillman Foundation – who utilize resident-led decision making as a core component of their grassroots grantmaking work.

Our thanks go to Tom O’Brien, Joel Ratner, Lisa Leverette and Dawn Wilson for their generosity in sharing their learnings and to Kristin Senty for bringing her diarist experience to the production of this document!

Embedded Funders and Community Change: Issue Brief

This issue brief on embedded funders and community change, published by Chapin Hall Center for Children in 2007, provides the research teams’ current perspective on embedded philanthropy.

Embedded Funders and Community Change: Profiles

Embedded Funders and Community Change: Profiles, published by Chapin Hall Center for Children in 2006, provides descriptions of twelve foundations included in a second cohort of funders.

Moving Forward While Staying in Place: Embedded Funders and Community Change

In Moving Forward While Staying in Place, published by the Chapin Hall Center for Children in 2004, the embedded funders research team drew preliminary generalizations based on an initial cohort of embedded funders and profiled those eleven funders.

Sharnita Johnson on Value-Added from Grassroots Grantmaking

Sharnita JohnsonFour years ago, Sharnita Johnson, Program Officer at the Skillman Foundation in Detroit, was asked to design a small grants program that would provide a new community change avenue for the foundation and more directly address the concerns and wishes of neighborhood residents. Sharnita designed and launched a new grassroots grantmaking program and then selected a local intermediary to manage the program.

Read what Sharnita (Grassroots Grantmakers board member) shared with us recently about launching a grassroots grantmaking program and what she has learned about the value-added of working from a “we begin with residents” perspective.

Lisa Leverette on the Power of Small Grants

Lisa_LeveretteLisa Leverette manages The Skillman Foundaiton’s Community Connections Grants Program.

Read what Lisa had to say in response to one of our “questions of the week” – this one about demonstrating the potential and power of relative small amounts of money, and to change the focus from the amount of money to the strategic investment of money?


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