Does one person matter?

Julia Dundorf

Dear Friend of the Grassroots Fund:

We are at a pivotal moment in human history. Grassroots work at the intersection of social, economic and environmental justice efforts is moving steadily, rooting deeply, and gaining momentum. We are asking you to join in solidarity with your fellow changemakers by becoming a part of the Grassroots Fund’s monthly giving program which supports and sustains our work.

Do one person’s actions matter in the context of a movement?

Consider Maura, a professional American Sign Language interpreter, mom of two, and founder of the community group Citizen Action for Exeter's Environment.  In 2017 she was part of a Grassroots Fund grantee group doing land and water work. She dropped into a workshop at our RootSkills Conference that introduced her to the ‘community rights movement’. 

Inspired by what she learned, and pushed to action by the 2016 election, Maura went to ‘democracy school’, consulted with neighbors, and eventually formed Citizen Action. This past March, thanks to the group’s advocacy, Exeter passed a ‘Right to a Healthy Climate Ordinance’. The town now has a right to “be free from all corporate activities that release toxic contaminants into the air, water, and soil,” important legislation as citizens work to defend a proposed fracked gas pipeline. 

“It feels small and it is small,” said Maura. “I got into this because of something that impacted me and my family. But everything has a ripple effect. Passing local laws is piecemeal, and grassroots, but it’s where the power needs to lie.”

Maura’s journey is unique, but it is connected to the journey of so many of us who are working to engage and transform our communities. At the Grassroots Fund we’re working to help changemakers build individual capacity and to help communities build resilience. 

If you’ve been part of a grantee group, you know that being awarded a Grassroots Fund grant is not just about money, but about joining a network of diverse stakeholders, an array of support services, and a figurative megaphone to disseminate your stories and practices. And if you’ve joined our participatory processes for grant application evaluation or event planning you have been part of shaping our justice work. Your experience and perspective enhance our program design and strategic decision making, and perhaps your time with us somehow influenced your own changemaking efforts as well. 

This movement is made up of people on journeys, doing what feels right, responding to what seems wrong, inviting growth that is often uncomfortable, learning and sharing as we go along. People in this movement stand their ground when, for instance, planned fossil fuel pipelines are routed through their backyard and over their water source. 

So if you believe in the unifying power of civic engagement...

If you believe in reserving seats at the table – or building a new table – for those who are underrepresented, marginalized, or who don’t have a voice at all...

If you believe in changemaking that depends on the solidarity of the many rather than the generosity of the few...

...please, join our Spring Appeal and consider becoming a sustaining donor today. Monthly giving provides a budget-friendly way to support Grassroots Fund operations, and the steady income allows us to plan and grow the offerings that matter to you, your community and your fellow changemakers across the region. The sum of our sustaining donors is a true representation of community support. 

Does one person matter? Yes, Maura does. And so do you. 


Rev. MariamaWhite-Hammond                    Julia Dundorf

Board President                                           Executive Director


Join us today to ensure that the Mauras of the future can find what they need to fulfill their potential in our collective movement.