strategy

The Strategy of Grassroots Grantmaking

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.

FOCUS

TOOL

Supporting
citizen-centered change

  • Connecting groups to policy discussions
  • Building political will and muscle
  • Creating a shared vision and an action agend

Community organizing
Deliberation
Training
Leadership development
Larger grants
Technical assistance
Convening
Recognition/celebration

Building community capacity,
strengthening resident voice

  • Building organizational strength and resiliency
  • Identifying and nurturing leaders
  • Strengthening horizontal and vertical connection

Deliberation
Training
Leadership development
Small Grants

Community Planning
Technical assistance
Convening
Recogntion/celebration

 

Stimulating and supporting
active citizenship

  • Strengthening social capital
  • Providing incentives to citizen-initiated action
  • Investing in people-powered project

Small project-oriented grants
Technical assistance
Convening
Recogition/celebration

 

 

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