More than halfway to our year-end goal

Julia Dundorf


December 2019

Dear Friend:

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The primary goal of our 2019 year-end fundraising is participation. We’re more than halfway to our goal of 150 donations by January 1 and we hope you’ll choose to join our community of donors.

Here are some reasons Grassroots Fund donors give:Participants circled up for the 'Authentic Community Partnerships: How to Build and Strengthen Community’ workshop at Grassroots Fund's RootSkills Workshop in Providence, RI last month. Over 100 change makers representing all six New England states attended.

  • Grant making: We’re proud to have been the first source of grant funding for hundreds of grassroots groups across the region. In addition to needed funds, grantees say they received legitimacy with their award, and an entry point to our other resources and programming. For nearly 25 years we’ve been intentionally assuming the ‘risk’ of funding volunteer driven, place based, nascent ideas usually not funded by traditional funders. We do it because those same groups are where we believe some of the most important work and thinking on social and environmental justice solutions happens.
  • Disrupting philanthropic norms: We’ve placed decision making power about how we distribute funds with our community members. The ‘norm’ is for that power to be with the holder of funds -- but time after time we see some of the greatest wisdom coming from communities most affected or with the most to gain from action. We’re working hard to change this dynamic that distances those with resources from those living the realities of environmental and social justice challenges. We’re spending increasing time talking to and advising funders across the country that are receptive to similar process evolutions. 
  • Convening changemakers: Those who attend our convenings remember them. They are intentional spaces for testing ideas, finding solutions, having hard conversations and celebrating possibilities. Participants say they leave with new skills and contacts to help them do their work better, and energy and inspiration to carry them forward. Our program team plans convenings year-round and across the region to help existing work and networks progress. 
  • Our deliberate, process-focused approach prioritizes humility, self-awareness and nimbleness. We are grounded in place, striving to support every community member’s agency, especially those who are often marginalized and underrepresented in decision-making spaces. 

If our work speaks to you, please join fellow changemakers as part of our community of donors before the year draws to a close.


Rev. Mariama White-Hammond, Board Chair                               

Julia Dundorf, Executive Director


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RS PVD small group talk Images from our RootSkills Workshop in Providence, RI last month. Over 100 change makers representing all six New England states attended. Nearly a third of attendees were new to our work (or us, to theirs!).