On the Ground

Thank you!

Our On The Ground 2017 is behind us and we are so grateful to the good people of Pittsburgh’s Northside neighborhoods and beyond for hosting us and sharing their experiences with us.

Our special thanks go to Mac Howison of The Sprout Fund (and now of The Heinz Endowments). The Sprout Funds’ work provided the foundation of our visit to Pittsburgh.

Thanks also to the very special Northside resident leaders –  Lisa Freeman, Maria Searcy and Renee Rosensteel – who opened their homes to an evening of conversation and relationship for participants.

We thank key sponsors The Buhl Foundation and NeighborWorks for their very generous support.

We were so grateful to learn from the participants and staff of ONE Northside and Neighborhood Allies.  Thank you as well to the Pittsburgh Foundation and The Heinz Endowments for their support.

And of course, thank you to the participants – funders and resident leaders from 17 cities and 12 states who jumped in and shared, challenged and learned together.

Deep On-Site Learning on Building Vibrant Communities

Intentionally small to facilitate networking and peer exchange, “on the ground” gatherings use the work of a field-leading place-based investor as a platform for learning on a particular theme. Balancing time devoted to understanding the host organization’s context, strategy and learning journey with exploring “going deeper” questions that relate to participant’s “back-home” work – matching time out in the community with time for discussion and reflection – “on the grounds” are important professional development, skill-building, and team-building vehicles for people and organizations who are working to increase the vibrancy of local communities by authentically engaging and resourcing the groups that everyday people form for mutual aid and collective action in the place where they live. Grassroots Grantmakers’ On the Ground learning gatherings are designed to begin where standard conference workshops end and go deeper.

Registrations are limited to 100 participants to maximize opportunities for peer to peer connections and to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to contribute. Registrations are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Who can attend?

On the Grounds are designed for funders and others who are working to strengthen and help resource the work of everyday people and the groups that they form for mutual aid and collective action. Membership in Grassroots Grantmakers is not required to attend. We especially welcome teams that include people from resident-led organizations or committees associated with a funding or resourcing organization.

“On the Ground” Archives

Materials from past “on the grounds” are posted to facilitate on-going learning and to give prospective participants the opportunity to  enhance the value-added of attending.


Contact Lisa Duran for anything else you need to know. You can reach Lisa via email or phone (720.634.6227).


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