Inspiring, Connecting & Supporting: Stories, Tools & Dollars
Focused on all things local, the Grassroots Fund is the only organization of its kind dedicated to inspire, connect, and support community-based environmental projects throughout New England. Grassroots Fund's niche is to help those on-the-ground, everyday people for whom grassroots work is a passion and whose volunteer time is a priceless contribution to the common good.
We define civic engagement as any community driven effort that endeavors to improve the quality of life by increasing community member knowledge and involvement. We seek to empower our grantees and the communities they represent to become effective practitioners of grassroots democracy by providing resources, connections, trainings and inspiration to grassroots groups.
Today, place-based local initiatives are using volunteer capital to find creative and innovative paths to a sustainable future. It is the unmistakable deeply-rooted sense of place between neighbors and their vested interest in their home base that give grassroots groups their legitimacy and sustenance. Grassroots work is an effective social change solution because community members themselves step up to establish the long-term resilience of our neighborhoods and towns.
Capturing the rich information through our grant application process, Grassroots Fund seeks to support groups with:
Dollars (financial capital)
- Seed grants - grants up to $1,000 to New England community-based groups with newly evolving local projects
- Grow grants - grants up to $3,500 to groups working to expand existing projects and broaden their scope
- Harvest grants- special opportunity grants, by invite only
- Fiscal sponsor program - additional grants to grantee groups that are unincorporated, ad hoc (i.e. no 501(c)(3) charitable designations). Funds for these special grants come from individual or foundation gifts specifically designated to these groups but given to Grassroots Fund to administer. Each group can have an online donation form on their group profile to assist in community fundraising. Contact us for more information.
Stories (social capital)
- RootShare news bulletins - regular email service sharing stories, resources, events, etc.
- Group profiles - interactive map with each grantee group, seachable by state and issue area
- Feature stories - news articles on exciting and inspiring on-the-ground efforts across New England
- PEP Talks - short videos highlighting grassroots efforts and volunteer leaders
Tools (intellectual capital)
- Technical resources -How To's, manuals, videos and links designed to assist with project implementation
- Process guides - resources designed to help with the people and governance side of organizing
- Events - overview of partners conferences, gatherings and workshops
- Trainings - Grassroots Fund's annual gathering, rootSkills, is a skills-building and networking opportunity with workshops and activities led by professional leadership and community organizing trainers