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2019 Grassroots Fundraising Trainings Series

This fall the NYC Funders Capacity Building Collaborative is offering the annual grassroots fundraising training series. The series titled “Engaging Organizational Stakeholders in GRF” will engage participants to explore the values and principles of grassroots fundraising through a social justice lens. From exploring the impacts of capitalism and class on our ability to fundraise to devising fundraising strategies that empower and engage organizational stakeholders (members, board, volunteers). 

This series builds off the work of traditional individual donor engagement strategies while exploring the learnings and teachings of various grassroots groups and individual’s innovative applications of these strategies. This will allow participants to think more broadly and expand on the ways we think of raising dollars for our work that is relevant to the communities we serve. The series offers a training for trainers (T4T) to support participants to engage their larger organization in the work of grassroots fundraising. Additionally, there will be two 3-hour workshops to engage organizational participants to determine and implement a grassroots fundraising strategy.  

Overall Goals

  • Provide participants the opportunity to delve into the values and principles of grassroots fundraising through a social justice lens and how to incorporate them into their organizational fundraising strategies. 
  • Support participants to explore and gain skills in various types of grassroots fundraising strategies that may be incorporated into their organizational fundraising plans. 
  • Train participants on how to train and engage their stakeholder groups to discuss, plan, and implement grassroots fundraising strategies 
  • Increase exposure of participant stakeholder groups to the theory and practice of grassroots fundraising to increase organizational capacity and competency to effectively develop and implement grassroots fundraising strategies
  • Through coaching provide support to participants on fundraising projects to support success. 


The training consist of eight sessions – five full-day sessions, and three 3-hour sessions

  • Four 6-hour sessions focusing on GRF skill development and political education.
  • One 6-hour Training for Trainers (T4T) session: Participants learn and practice how to facilitate a GRF 101 session in their organization.
  • Two 3-hour multi-stakeholder trainings: Organizational participants would choose one of the two trainings dates/times. This would allow participating organizations to send their members, board, and other stakeholders to learn how to plan and implement GRF strategies in addition to co-planning their fundraising project.
  • One 3-hour session to debrief and celebrate: This would be the final session to evaluate and celebrate the successes of their projects.  
  • Coaching: Each organization would receive one 45 min coaching session and up to 15 min of email support.
Participant Expectations
  • To plan and execute a grassroots fundraising event or campaign before the end of the year. 
  • Each organization accepted into the program is required to identify a minimum of 2 stakeholders to participate in all 6 trainings. They can be board members, staff, members, and/or volunteers. 
  • Recruit 2-5 organizational stakeholders to attend the 3-hour multi-stakeholder training on 10/16/19 from 11a – 2p or 4p – 7p 
  • Facilitate a 2-hour intro to grassroots fundraising for stakeholders in your organization during the week of 10/2/19 – 10/18/19.
  • Include in your application a letter from organizational leadership that states their understanding of the course and its requirements and a statement of commitment to support the attending participants from the organization in designing and implementing the project strategy.

Participant Criteria

This training is suited for groups who 1) are currently engaging in or want and have the capacity to implement grassroots fundraising strategies into their work, and 2) have committed organization stakeholders to engage in grassroots fundraising. This could be your members, volunteers, or board members. Each organization accepted into the training is expected to create and implement an end of year fundraising grassroots fundraising strategy. The training curriculum creates space for groups to plan and implement their grassroots fundraising activity.

We recommend that the applying stakeholders discuss with organizational decision makers on the capacity of the organization to support participants ability to implement training learnings into the organization. Participation in all sessions is mandatory as each session builds on one another. Please note while board members are invited to participate this is not a board grassroots fundraising training. Additionally, the training does not cover corporate fundraising strategies or content dedicated to large event planning. 

​​​​This training is free to grantees of the Andrus Family Fund, Brooklyn Community Foundation, Cricket Island Foundation, Daphne Foundation, Korean American Community Foundation, Mertz Gilmore Foundation, New York Foundation, New York Women's Foundation, NYC Fund for Girls and Young Women of Color, North Star Fund, Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, Scherman Foundation, and Stonewall Community Foundation.


The sessions will be held on:
  • Session 1: 8/28/19, 10a – 4p 
  • Session 2: 9/4/19, 10a – 4p
  • Session 3: 9/18/19, 10a – 4p
  • Session 4 T4T: 10/2/19, 10a – 4p
  • Stakeholder Training: 10/18/19, Afternoon 1p – 4p or Evening 6p – 9p 
  • Session 5: 11/6/19, 10a – 4p 
  • Celebration and Evaluation: 1/8/20, 1p – 4p

Location: Midtown

This training will be conducted by Krystal Portalatin. Krystal is a Queer Femme Nuyorican. Currently, as a consultant, she brings her knowledge of organizational development, program development, leadership development, fundraising, non-profit finance, and operations to support grassroots organizations to build their capacity and functionality. Her approach to consulting draws from the skills she cultivated while working for social justice organizations that are rooted in an anti-oppression and intersectional analysis.  


Applications are due no later than August 12th, 2019 and accepted organizations will be notified via email the week of August 19th, 2019. Please note the training starts the following week on August 28th, 2019. One application per organization applying.