Groundwork Organizer Network
The anchor of Groundwork’s engagement model in our focus states is providing capital, community and capacity to local frontline organizers, creating a unique and powerful Groundwork Organizer Network. Through our flagship Organizer Grant Program, we deliver multi-year, unrestricted grants to the Network, as well as significant wraparound support for all of our Network partners, from trainings to 1:1 mentorship and other technical assistance.
Partner states targeted for multi-year investment in grassroots organizing and democracy protection
Funds committed to organizers working year-round on democracy's frontlines in the 'real battlegrounds'
Frontline organizations receiving capital, community and capacity support from Groundwork to scale their work
Our flagship Groundwork Organizer Grant Program was formally launched at the end of 2021 and seeks out local organizers closest to the ground. We target the movement-makers, base-builders and progress-seekers who are doing the work year-round in the most under-resourced and overlooked regions of the country, with little to no recognition or funding. Through the Groundwork Organizer Grant Program, we offer unrestricted, multi-year general operating capital to these emerging leaders to support and scale their efforts. Our current grant level is $100,000 over four years, or $25,000/year for four years.
In addition, through our Groundwork Mini-Grant Fund, we are supporting organizers in our network with rapid response capital for smaller, short-term, programmatic needs, from training and technology to events and education.
Groundwork Grant Opportunities
Are you an organization in Groundwork's 4 partner states of Alabama, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and West Virginia? You might be interested in our grant programs.
Critically, we offer more than just financial resources to our organizer network, serving our frontline organizing partners with critical capacity to help them grow healthy, sustainable organizations. This is an essential part of our commitment to make smart investments that might take longer to mature but will ultimately be much more impactful than short-term spending. Utilizing what we call wraparound support, we deploy our full networks, experience, and expertise on behalf of our partners, from assisting with donor cultivation and skills training to organization development and digital content creation. We are intentional about listening and responding to what our hyperlocal partners need. To date this has included technical assistance on key organizing tools, 1:1 coaching and mentoring, access to pro bono legal support and technology tools, and community trainings on topics ranging from legal compliance to digital security.
Our community is what we are most proud of. It is a diverse, vibrant, and joyful space for frontline organizers from the toughest regions anywhere in the country; one we are confident does not exist elsewhere. Pro-democracy organizing in the states where we focus is difficult, often dangerous work. Helping our partners access a national support system of like-minded leaders has proven central to our efforts to build truly sustainable capacity. In addition, bringing our partners into community with one another is how we invest in infrastructure that is national, not just state-based.
With this in mind, we are intentionally building an unparalleled support and peer learning system between our partners, hosting regular convenings that create cross-state, cross-region and cross-country ties. From monthly state-based calls to quarterly network calls and 1:1 relationship-facilitation, we work hard to ensure our partners are able to share best practices, work through challenges, and celebrate victories together.
In addition, Groundwork is proud to support growing organizing infrastructure efforts on the ground in each of its focus states, understanding the critical role these tables, coalitions and alliances can play in supporting frontline organizers day-to-day.
Groundwork Narrative Studio
We challenge boom-and-bust civic spending and dismantle the false narrative that tough regions are not worth investment, aggressively elevating the work of our state partners in front of our national networks and on our large digital platforms. Within our states, where anti-democracy voices can dominate public discourse, we utilize our digital assets and external communications vehicles to elevate pro-democracy voices and resource them to expand the reach of their voices.
Groundwork TV is an interview-style social media series where, true to the Groundwork mission, we are working to spotlight amazing organizers at work in historically overlooked, under-resourced and excluded communities and regions of the county.
This opportunity is open to any organization in Alabama, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and West Virginia. If you're interested in participating, you can sign up below.
Organizer Takeovers gives organizations in the Groundwork Organizer Network an opportunity to takeover Groundwork's social media accounts and showcase the work they are doing on the ground across Alabama, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and West Virginia.
The series gives our audiences a glimpse into some of the toughest battles of our generation, and shows how true change can be accomplished — through grassroots organizing.
Fund the Frontlines
Fund the Frontlines is a recurring social media and email fundraising campaign that directly supports organizations closest to the ground in the states where it matters most. The inspiration is simple: Directly resourcing local organizers in the single most impactful civic investment any of us can make.
All donations to a Fund the Frontline campaign goes directly to participating organizations, split evenly between them.
Get connected with us!
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The Organizing Accelerator
We invest in the local leaders that change depends on, helping them build full-time organizing careers where they are challenged, cared for and compensated fairly. Pro-democracy work in Groundwork States is difficult, often dangerous work. We know that getting more resources, community and support to local leaders is essential to building the long term organizing capacity required to win. Through the Groundwork Organizer Network and The Organizing Accelerator, a first-of-its-kind partnership with the NAACP, Groundwork is training and mentoring the next generation of organizing leaders working on democracy’s frontlines.
By organizers, for organizers.
In June of 2023 the Organizing Accelerator graduated its first class of 16 fellows, representing 11 states. Over the course of the 20-week program, fellows participated in three in-person training weekends, as well as biweekly virtual training sessions, receiving instruction on topics ranging from data management and media relations to self care and storytelling. As alumni, they will now gain access to an Accelerator-specific mini-grant fund to help fuel their ongoing organizing work as well as an active alumni network to keep them supported and connected.