“Thank you Groundswell, for believing in and investing in our vision for Black women in Pennsylvania and Ohio. And for the foresight of the IVE [Integrated Voter Engagement] program. In a global COVID-10 pandemic while we organized for Black lives, we outreached nearly 800,000 times to Black women voters in both states – over half a million times in PA – reaching 40k Black voters through nearly 590,000 calls, 95,000 texts, and other efforts.”
– La’Tasha D. Mayes, President and CEO of New Voices for Reproductive Justice
Grassroots power is built and maintained through strong organizations with the infrastructure and agility to deliver material changes in the lives of people in their communities, and maintain a vibrant and organized grassroots base with the power to defend key victories and win again, year after year. With that core belief in mind and the ask of our grantee partners to support them in leaning into this opportunity to skill and scale their grassroots power, Groundswell responded with the Grassroots Organizing Institute (GOI) and an Integrated Voter Engagement (IVE) program. Both of these programs have delivered major gains for participating organizations and the cultivation of a new generation of women of color (WOC) leaders who bring an intersectional race and gender analysis to RJ.
The constituencies of our grantees span many communities, including Black, Indigenous, Transgender, non-conforming or intersex, or LGBTQ, immigrant, youth, incarcerated or previously incarcerated community members. The underlying principle of our capacity-building work is that all programs are opt-in for grantee partners, and organizations will not be required to participate in these programs to receive other grant support.
- Integrated Voter Engagement, which blends community organizing and nonpartisan voter engagement to boost the scale, power, and ability of grant partners to win systems change;
- Grassroots Organizing Institute, which supports the nuts and bolts of organizing and the fundamentals of advocacy, including how to identify issue priorities and demands, conduct community asset mapping, analyze the political landscape, and much more; and
- Organizational Development, designed according to grantees’ needs, in order to focus on areas such as stronger financial management and leadership succession.
Our new Blueprint goal is that between 2020 and 2025, 64 women of color-led and TGNC people of color-led organizations in our capacity building programs will lead impactful grassroots power building campaigns that shape the social movements of our generation while allowing leaders to be cared for, whole, and seen.
Under our new Blueprint, we will continue our two flagship programs: 1) The Integrated Voter Engagement Program will maintain its focus on building strong community bases rooted in a clear race, class, gender, and decolonization analysis and year-round grassroots organizing. 2) The Grassroots Organizing Institute will continue to support organizations that are in the early stages of incorporating a grassroots organizing strategy into their work.
We will also support the field with political education, data management, legal support, healing justice, and organizational development.