Civic engagement

Mission Statement

The New England Grassroots Environment Fund (Grassroots Fund) seeks to energize and nurture long term civic engagement in local initiatives that create and maintain healthy, just, safe and environmentally sustainable communities. The Fund uses stories, tools and dollars to fuel local activism and social change.

How we define Civic Engagement:

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.

How we fund according to this definition:

The Grassroots Fund will support civic engagement requests within our issues areas and that align with our guiding values. Requests can include environmentally focused projects that involve community led efforts to explain the political process, encourage participation in civic life, as well as requests that provide information regarding either positive or negative community impacts of a local policy being proposed or currently in place.

Examples of civic engagement activities related to environmental projects that the Grassroots Fund might support:

  • Public education campaigns regarding a local policy or issue that do NOT promote a specific voter action

  • House parties and potlucks to build strong community connections
  • Educating legislators
  • Nonpartisan voter education and general encouragement to take part in voting
  • Leadership trainings
  • Educating about and addressing corporate behaviors
  • Influencing regulations (not legislation)


The Grassroots Fund will not provide direct support to any campaign fund, lobbying or activities categorized by the IRS under 501(c)4 activities. The Fund will not fund protests or actions that constitute illegal activities. Grassroots Fund’s working definition of Lobbying: Attempting to influence legislation, including supporting or opposing ballot measures.