Grassroots Grantmakers is pleased to announce that we will begin planning our 2019 ‘On the Ground’ National Conference and have selected Indianapolis, Indiana as the host city to relaunch our unique professional development and networking event. ‘On the Ground’ is a non-traditional, neighborhood-based, resident-led conference experience that features a number of “learning journeys” imbedded within the host community. ‘On The Ground’ is intended to serve as the antithesis of a traditional conference while providing various community stakeholders with the same enriching learning and networking experiences needed to advance both personal and professional goals related to community philanthropy and resident engagement strategies.
“I think where Grassroots Grantmakers can be most impactful within the filed is to identify smaller community markets to host our national conferences – places where we would love to visit, but for whatever reason have not had a chance to venture to these smaller communities,” says BOARD MEMBER
Next year’s conference will feature at least four (4) all-day learning journeys that will specifically highlight this history of traditional institutions that invest in communities. Members will visit faith-based institutions, community centers, community development corporations (CDCs) and engage with local residents to discuss strategies to reinvent community investment and improvement strategies that meet the needs of today’s residents.
Day two will be headlined by the launching of our new professional development and membership recruiting strategy, The Grassroots Institute. Conference participants will have the opportunity to apply what was learned during the learning journeys to professional development opportunities aimed at improving community grantmaking and resident engagement strategies. Workshops will include, but not limited to: effective grantmaking practices, systems change, community healing, Asset-Based Community Development and Results-Based Accountability training, the power of storytelling, effective listening, inclusive grantmaking, developing small-grants initiatives, diversity, equity and inclusion in philanthropy, qualitative analysis, and citizen-sector leadership.
Day three will conclude conference events with specific sessions designed to improve institutions’ ability to partner with residents and develop impactful and sustainable community improvement strategies.
Our 2019 conference will mark the first year we seek to leverage entertainment options by selecting dates that coincide with a local community celebration. We will send out “Save the Dates” notices with additional details regarding specific days of our conference, which will be held in the month of July next year.
“Community celebrations is what binds residents together, they often reaffirm what is unique about a community or they honor shared experiences that make each community different. Going forward, Grassroots Grantmakers will schedule its conferences to coincide with local community celebrations that honor the contributions of residents and the spirit of philanthropy.
– Roderick D.S. Wheeler, Executive Director of Grassroots Grantmakers.
In 2018, Grassroots Grantmakers decided not to host its signature event due to conducting an extensive search for its new executive director. However, we are excited to re-launch ‘On The Ground’ and look forward to providing you with updates on events. We welcome members to serve on our ‘On The Ground’ committee as well as consider becoming a strategic sponsor to help relaunch the conference in Indianapolis. Thank you members for your continued support and we look forward to seeing you “On the Ground’ in Indianapolis next year.