Investment efforts need to respond to, address, and be accountable to the visions, needs, and aspirations of the community itself. They should not happen “to” communities, but “with” them.
Grassroots Community Engaged Investment (GCEI) is a strengthening trend in community development and mission-aligned investment that presents a new way for how to invest so as to shift power dynamics and build an economy that works for communities. It achieves this by placing grassroots stakeholders at the fulcrum of control and agency. This approach provides an opportunity for funders and investors to drive equity through capital by seeding and supporting projects that have community members and grassroots organizations designing and governing the investment process.
This session will:
- Discuss how GCEI is building power and creating long-lasting social change for communities by incorporating wider support for and deeper involvement of the grassroots.
- Explore the additional impact of GCEI – including de-risking through increased community buy-in, spillover effects in civic participation and stronger relationships between place-based capital holders and grassroots organizations.
- Share examples of funds and other place-based investment projects that are using a range of community engagement in their capital deployment, and use a case study to detail how they can work and who is involved.
- Provide some of the main recommendations we have for funders and investors to support and strengthen this work.