Commonwealth/Worcester Green Low-Income Housing Coalition aims to introduce changes and best practices into the fabric of housing and other opportunities for homeless people. They are currently working on a “Green Homes for the Homeless” campaign to ensure the antiquated shelter and housing stock in greater Worcester takes advantage of multiple efficiency and energy programs, alleviating the stress on housing and program dollars, while also reducing the carbon footprint of the social service housing stock. Grassroots Fund spoke to Dave McMahon, one of their founders, to learn more.
Grassroots group No LNG in PVD knows that some common organizing practices must be changed in order to fight environmental racism in their community. Recognizing the barriers to the political process that exist in this neighborhood, they use community education, canvassing, childcare, translation, and legal support to ensure that the community of South Providence has the power to fight this facility.
DOT-I is a leadership development and organizing training program for Vietnamese American young adults (16-30) in Fields Corner, Dorchester. DOT-I provides leadership development and organizing training in a culturally-specific frame with the intention to move participants towards engaging in organizing issue-based campaigns.
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.
Thousands of grassroots initiatives across New England are leading transformational efforts in their communities every day. Utilizing volunteer power and very little funding, they are identifying needs, experimenting with solutions, learning lessons, and accomplishing their objectives. They are finding each other – across issue areas or across community lines - and sharing notes. Together we can make these continued successes possible; we hope you will join us as a donor before 2018 draws to a close.
“These are complicated, unpredictable times, with so much competing for our attention and energy. After more than 20 years in the field, one thing we are certain of is that local action works. It’s worth the investment.”
The end of the year is a great time to look both back and forward, to both ask for support and to celebrate those who have already given. It’s not too late to produce some end of year activities related for your group! First, decide on your goal. Are you trying to ask for donations from those who already know about you? Encourage new donors and/or volunteers to join you?
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
Tess Beem joined us as the Events and Seed Grants Program Manager this past summer. We caught up with her recently to learn more about her, her role at Grassroots Fund, and to hear plans for the upcoming RootSkills Conference.