Think Layers, Not Ladders
Grassroots grantmaking programs are built on the community-level engagement of residents. A layering strategy means that the work of stimulating and supporting active citizenship is never done, and serves as the important foundational layer to work that is focused on building community capacity and supporting citizen-centered change.
Effective grassroots grantmakers maintain their commitment to the fundamental work of stimulating and supporting active citizenship and build other work on this platform like adding layers to a cake. They also realize that more layers require more resources and more institutional commitment (and risk taking).
Thinking layers, not ladders, suggests that “building on” rather than “moving on” (as in stepping up the rungs of a ladder) is the most effective strategy for grassroots grantmaking.