From Our Board President and Executive Director: Grassroots organizers around New England have trusted the Grassroots Fund for 23 years to provide resources and support for their projects. However, the mounting challenges we face – environmental, social, and political - require that we re-imagine not only the what, but the how, of our work.
Ita Meno is a part of CQ Strategies, a “Vermont-based training collective committed to justice, equity, cultural proficiency and social justice work with local and regional organization.” Ita is a part of the team that trains our grant readers and grantmaking committee members on implicit bias and white supremacy culture, with the hopes of disrupting some of these tendencies in our participatory grantmaking process. We spoke with Ita about their work and our training ahead of our Spring grant reader cycle.
In December, we announced the results of our Fall Grow Grant round. We distributed over $100,000 to 47 grassroots groups who are building projects across our region. Here, we take a look inside our participatory grantmaking program as we attempt to put those most affected, those doing the tireless work on the ground, at the forefront of decision-making about distributing dollars, and "revolutionize philanthropy" in the process.
Participants at both events shared that they appreciated the informal networking time with like-minded community members. Others were glad to have had the space for for new and critical thinking about where we are and where we can be headed. Many said they left the event with new collaborative ideas, and new resources and energy to grow their current projects or bring new ones to life. The critical feedback included
Our new Catalyst Conversation Series gives organizers the opportunity to sit at the intersections of numerous issues and to dig into cross-issue conversations. They are interactive events for community members and groups to strengthen cross issue-area collaboration and to create space for new and creative ideas to emerge.