September 22, 2011

So Obvious It's Not Obvious

Have you ever had the experience of spotting something and then suddenly seeing it everywhere?  That's what's happened to me recently.

In my work with Grassroots Grantmakers, I have found myself becoming more and more tuned in to how "issues" show up in the grassroots grantmaking world, and what happens when grassroots grantmaking and issue-specific funding - funding focused on education, health, environment, aging, arts, housing, economic development, disabilities, etc - are occupying the same space.  What I have noticed is that many times, funders are doing excellent grassroots grantmaking/resident engagement work on one side of the fence, and very thoughtful issue-specific work on the other side of the fence, with very little visiting between staff, much less grantees, across the fence.