Grassroots Leadership

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Grassroots Grants

At a workshop hosted by Connecticut Community Foundation’s grassroots grants program, attendees learned tools and tactics for working together to advocate for community change.

We recognize that healthy communities have civically-engaged residents, community organizers, and civic groups. Funding civic efforts requires responsiveness and flexibility and should be done by those closest to community issues. As a result, a committee made up of Waterbury residents reviews requests in this grant area and applicants have the opportunity to meet with the committee to talk through their proposals. These grants are currently focused on resident leaders and organizers in Waterbury.

Our approach focuses on

  • Supporting equitable efforts to revitalize communities, influence local systems and foster youth leadership
  • Supporting a robust and collaborative network of multi-generational residents in Waterbury who are working together toward a shared vision
  • Expanding the availability of tools and resources that support organizing efforts and increase the connection between organizers in Waterbury with the rest of the region, state, and country

Efforts we support include

  • Nonpartisan voter registration and engagement efforts
  • Campaigns that aim to increase marginalized voices at the neighborhood level or across the city of Waterbury
  • Neighborhood and community-building activities, such as community conversations and celebrations that increase connection between people
  • Community organizing and leadership training that support emerging resident leaders in achieving their goals
  • Educational campaigns that promote increased engagement in local systems 

Possible Projects

  • You and your local neighborhood association decide to host a block party for neighbors and residents to get to know each other and have a good time, for the purpose of community building. Funds can be used to create marketing materials, rent tents or hire a photographer to capture the event.
  • You and other parents work together to support more equitable access to educational services and programs for students in Waterbury. Grassroots grant funds can be used to rent meeting space, buy refreshments or create mailings to invite or educate others about the work.
  • You and your friends want to create a bipartisan website to share information about candidates in an upcoming local election, so the information is clear, accessible and provides ways to contact the candidates. Funds can be used to create the website, advertise or host candidate forums.
  • You and your classmates want to create a web series (e.g. a vlog) in which you discuss current events, share your viewpoints and invite local residents to engage in conversation. Funds can be used for a webcam, to create flyers or website content or to design branded items to distribute for free.
Apply Now

Grassroots Leaders grant proposals are accepted on a rolling basis but are only reviewed in odd-numbered months.

See Previous Grassroots Leaders Grantees

Download the informational flyer in English and Spanish

Ellen Carter
For more information, please contact:
Ellen Carter, Vice President of Program and Strategy,
ecarter@conncf.org | 203.753.1315, x114