Janis opens with a brief hello, introduces Shannon, and tells a short story.
Shannon:Ask the group to brainstorm together about common ingredients from each story. Flip chart these.Ask the group to talk about what was the magic spice – if it was missing, the story wouldn’t have been so amazing. Flip chart those ideas.
JanisSegue from previous brainstormingIf we asked everyone in Newport to share a story of people powered possibilities – or even everyone in Vermont – even New Hampshire! – and we listed the ingredients, my hunch is that like the basic ingredients in a cake – flour, sugar, butter – we would find the same basic things.We would hear about something about the place itself – the land, the buildings, the parks, the sidewalks and streets.We would hear something about the places or business or commerce or service in the place – the town hall, the hospital, the library, the rec center, the schools, the storesMy hunch is that we would hear a lot about what people were doing – especially what people did when they got together about something they cared about.We might not hear much about one other ingredient but it would be there somewhere – often in the background – the local economy – the money that was moving around in the community or sometimes starting in the community but flowing right out of the community to other places.Like butter, flour and eggs, these are the basic ingredients that people have to work with to make their community all it can be – a place that is both delicious and nutritious!The thing that happens when people get together gives us some clues about the secret spice……for it’s only when we’re together – in relationship with each other – that we have a chance to share – what we know, what we can do, and what we care about so deeply that we are willing to get out of our comfort zone to act if needed. And when we share what we have, the amazing thing is that we grow what we have instead of giving it away. And we discover that in us, in our group, and in the community, there is a lot more there than we ever imagined.
JanisSo let’s imagine that we are in a place of more abundance than we can even begin to imagineLet’s also imagine that Newport was picked up and plunked down just as it is on another planet – that Newport is the only town on that planetAnd that we are together this afternoon to begin building a road to the future that we want for Newport – and have what is in Newport and out in the great unknowns on this planet to work with.So let’s start imagining – in very concrete ways, what we could do with what we have and a few more resourcesLet’s pair up again, grab some sticky pads and markers, and spend the next 10 minutes doing some if-then brainstorming as fast as we can – writing 1 if-then statement on each sticky note, and doing as many as you can without letting your inner critics slow you down. Put them up on the wall.Shannon – Ask people to do a gallery walk, first looking at all of the if then statements. Then work on putting them in groups of things that go together because of either the if or the then.Facilitates some debrief about what shows up – making the point about the different type of resources (or ingredients) that showed up on the if side as segue to next section on grassroots grantmaking.
JanisLink back to community building ingredients and the importance of people connecting to share and grow their gifts – and to the if/then statements.Note that this begins with people and what they believe in so much that they will vote with their feet – and time, talent and treasure – and that the money involved is money that makes up the gap – often the last-in money – building on the abundance that people already have.Also note that because the money involved usually is given in small amounts – for things vs. salaries or all the expenses that go with running a business like utility bills or rent – this is an affordable type of grantmaking that is within anyone’s reach. That’s why there is so much creativity – and why it is showing up in so many interesting ways. It’s a type of grantmaking that is for and about people powered possibilities – on the giving and the receiving side.
One important insights is that small grants are most powerful when they are positioned as an invitation – inviting people to get off their couch and connect with a neighbor to move a dream into action. As an invitation, working on projects – especially first projects that are funded with a small grant – is all about discovering possibilities – possibilities in yourself as a leader, in the group of neighbors who are working together and in your community. Your first project may suggest something to you and hadn’t occurred to you before – and so put together, small grants projects look more like a meadow than a garden. That means there may be different ideas sprouting vs neat predictable rows of ideas that were evident before you got started.
All about people powered possibilities – things people care about enough to act – done via contributing what they have and finding what else they need…..if/then
A small grant can lead to various pathways of discovery:Explain with emphasis that all contribute to active citizenship and all add value to the host organization.
Shannon – Facilitate closing conversation where group identifies possible next steps
Grassroots grantmakers presentation for community matters in newport vermont
GRASSROOTS GRANTMAKING:A COMMUNITY FRIENDLY TOOL FORPEOPLE POWERED POSSIBILITIESPresented by Grassroots GrantmakersJanis Foster Richardson & Shannon DixonCommunityMatters in Newport, VTFebruary 4, 2013
People powered possibilitiesin Newport • Tell us about a time when you were part of a group where no one was paid and you did something amazing together.
Common Denominators• What were the core What was the magic ingredients? spice?
WHATIF…. If Then • If we had this • Then this or could do good thing this could happen
What is grassroots grantmaking?• defn: a resourcing approach that focuses on helping people powered organizations turn possibilities into realities in the community that they call home.• Distinguishing characteristics: focuses on what people can do better together than what agencies or institutions can do for them helps people move from dreaming to doing, from their couch to an active citizen role invests in people and associations as critical change-makers and resilience builders in communities
Grassroots Grantmaking:The Premise Premise Impassioned people change their communities, and community involvement changes people. Call it the hopeful cycle of public progress. The Silicon Valley Community Foundation
Who are grassroots grantmakers?Where can I find one?Foundations Community groups Non-groups• Community • Church groups • Mobs• Family • Neighborhood groups • Soups• Independent • Women’s groups• Corporate • Youth groups On-line groups • Ioby A vehicle that you Local governments • Kickstarter • Neighborland invent United Ways Giving circles
What they have in common People powered Money as possibilities an invitation Itch to act 3 or more peopleGood idea
One SmallWhat sprouts Grant/Manyfrom PossibilitiesgrassrootsgrantmakingMore likea meadowthan agarden
We see a lot of….. Gardens Music Murals Festivals Community Activities for Clean-ups Beautification planning youth Inter- Celebrations Mutual aid Welcoming generational of local history activities activities activities and culture Community Crime Extras at identity Pocket parks prevention school projects and safety
One small grant, many possibilities New relationships & perspectives for the Entrepreneurial Test out small sponsor venture/job business idea Small creation Grant More responsive More people Try out idea for a "community connecting and community- friendly" service contributing based service system Changed Build power & policies/power capacity to shifts/people create change have a voice
Grassroots Grantmakers: Who We Are• Community of practice for ppp • Community foundations investors • Independent foundations• Locus for learning • Family foundations• Information & referral • Giving circles • Corporate funders• Knowledge bank • United Ways• Advocate for funding from a • Local governments people powered possibilities • Community-based perspective organizations• “We begin with residents” • Crowd-funding groups orientation • People who believe in people powered possibilities
Resources from Grassroots Grantmakers Connections Personal help Action learning Webinars Document bank Stories Blog
Good places to startBegin with: People you know/relationships you have Assets you have or can access A clear sense of your “if/then” equation Funders that focus their work in your place Your community foundation Other local fundersApproach conversations with funders from asense of curiosity, not a need to “sell”: How do they do their work? What are they interested in? What resources do they have other than money? Networks Expertise Access to information Where is the “match”?
What’s on your mind? What is the opportunity? What can What you you imagine can you do for a year now? from now? People powered possibilities What help Who would do you you like to need? talk to next? What would work for Newport?
Working to strengthen and resource the work of everyday people and citizen-led groupswww.grassrootsgrantmakers.org