Designing from the Bottom Up: Grassroots Growth Report

From the Bottom Up: A Growth Strategy for Grassroots Groups in Ontario

In this report designed by Now Creative Group, The Grassroots Growth Project has used a number of research approaches to construct a glimpse into the state of volunteer-run non-profits with small budgets across Ontario, in an effort to highlight their achievements and learn how Volunteer Toronto can best help them increase their impact through volunteer engagement.

“Despite facing significant barriers to accessing resources and support, Ontario’s robust and expanding networks of grassroots organizations are defying expectations, becoming the driving force behind cultivating inclusive, empowered communities through a passionate, volunteer-led commitment to change,”

The Grassroots Growth team at Volunteer Toronto explains;

“Too often over-looked, grassroots groups have traditionally flown under the radar of the non-profit management community, which has provided non-profits and charities with invaluable support, particularly in terms of managing one of the most critical components to any organization— their volunteers.”

To properly address this gap and to devise new capacity-building solutions, Volunteer Toronto believes it is critical to develop a deeper understanding of grassroots groups, acknowledging and building on the traits and characteristics which make them so similar to and yet so different from larger non-profits.

Now Creative Group worked with the Grassroots Growth team at Volunteer Toronto to design the 70-page report including a series of infographics to better explain the research results. The launch party for the report was hosted at the Centre for Social Innovation in Toronto:

While it is essentially common knowledge that a lack of time and money affect grassroots groups’ capacity significantly, this report has found that there are structural, technological and practical solutions that can ease those burdens while addressing other barriers entirely.

Through the analysis of first-hand accounts, as well as through academic and sector-support channels, Grassroots Growth identified 10 characteristics, 7 trends and 20 themes, all of which have led to the discovery of important considerations and helped identify the most relevant best practices: Twenty Themes

You can browse the full report below or download it and learn more from Volunteer Toronto here.

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