Grassroots & Groundwork 2012 Conference
    Call for Proposals

    Now Closed. Thank you for submitting a session.

    Submit your proposal

    Poverty is complex. Working to reduce poverty is tough and complicated. That’s why communities all across the country are using integrated approaches to attack poverty at its roots.
    On June 6-8, 2012, the Northwest Area Foundation will sponsor the fifth national conference devoted to showcasing the innovative models and tools communities are developing to get out and stay out of poverty.

    The goal is to “working together to reduce poverty and build prosperity.” The purpose of the conference is to provide a unique opportunity for participants to roll up their sleeves and examine some of the best and brightest programs working in communities all across the country to address long-term poverty.

    You are invited to share your model with conference participants – community residents, policymakers, legislators, business leaders, service providers, and researchers committed to poverty reduction. Your presentation will contribute to the body of knowledge, systems and tools conferees can consider as they work to reduce poverty and build assets in their own communities.

    Who Should Apply

    We are looking for organizations, nonprofits, government agencies, social entrepreneurs or community members who are engaged in poverty reduction and who have developed formal programs or approaches, have in place the systems to demonstrate results, and have the ability and interest to share it with others. Urban, rural and reservation-based models are requested. Models emphasizing work in Native American and immigrant populations are also requested.

    • Various members of a single community can apply as a single unit to describe their model from a number of perspectives (private citizen, policymaker, business leader, service provider, etc.).
    • Several communities can apply together to form a panel to examine a certain aspect of community-based work. For example, you can examine the challenges, successes and failures in integrated solutions, staffing, resource allocation, moving to policy, etc.
    • Nonprofits that have engaged in a collaborative effort to reduce poverty.
    Acceptable Types of Models

    Proposals will be accepted for the following model types:
    • Breakthrough ideas in poverty reduction and asset building. Many organizations are taking a stand against poverty and are just beginning to implement action plans. While these models will not have been evaluated, please indicate your overall strategy and program(s) and the plan to measure individual and community outcomes and results.
    • Practical solutions: proven models, programs, or tools in poverty reduction and asset building. Proposals that demonstrate successful programs, which have been evaluated and that can be replicated or adapted by others, will transfer knowledge about those ideas to conference attendees. We require that programs be evaluated for at least two years. These proposals require the applicant to cite and describe the evaluation process and outcomes, as well as the significant interventions and tools used in the model. All models presented must include practical tools or resources used in delivering the model, take care to fully describe materials available.
    • Public policy solutions for poverty reduction and asset building. Advocacy encompasses efforts on the local, state and federal levels to work with policymakers to enhance their understanding and actions to support community-wide poverty reduction. These proposals require the applicant to cite and describe the approach, tools and outcomes used in the model.

    Requested Session Topics

    We all know that poverty is multifaceted and requires a number of approaches to effectively address its many dimensions. Here are some possible session topics that could be submitted for presentation at the conference:

    • Microenterprise development
    • Workforce development
    • Asset building
    • Community capacity building
    • Affordable housing
    • Leadership development
    • Social entrepreneurship
    • Public policy
    • Green enterprise
    • Predatory lending
    • Health care models
    • Coalition building
    • Small-town development
    • Integrated asset development approaches
    • Combined microenterprise & workforce development
    • Credit building/financial literacy
    • Traditional and Native Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs)
    • Food systems as economic models
    • Alternative energy
    • “Buy local” campaigns
    • Farmers markets
    • Rural development
    • International marketplaces
    • Culturally focused social entrepreneurship

    Presentation Format and Length

    • Each presentation session is 70 minutes long. This is the total time allowed for both the presentation and for questions and answers from session attendees.
    • If you are interested in presenting an aspect of an innovative community model (i.e., moving to policy, engaging community, identifying community assets) as a member of a panel of communities, please indicate this.

    Selection Criteria

    • The proposal and presentation methods are clearly described.
    • History of success and demonstrated outcomes (if a promising model - the proposal should indicate evaluation plans).
    • Ability to share lessons learned and offer tangible resources or tools.
    • Potential for practical replication/adaptation.
    • Relevance to poverty reduction.
    • Potential to attract an audience.
    • Addresses basic problems, root causes.
    • Focuses on sustainable approaches for lasting changes.
    • Describes community challenges and solutions: practical work, field work, your work.

    Presenter Benefits

    Presenters are responsible for providing their own materials, handouts and laptop (an LCD will be provided).  It is expected that presenters will provide their own travel-related expenses to attend the conference. By submitting a proposal, the presenter expresses intent to fulfill the presentation role, if accepted.

    Models and presenters chosen for the conference will receive:

    • Exposure to a national audience that represents a wide array of organizations and individuals working to reduce poverty.
    • A $1,000-$2,000 honorarium (depending whether the model is presented one or two times at the conference) to encourage ongoing sharing of the model with other communities. If a community is presenting its model, a tax-exempt nonprofit organization or a unit of government must be designated to receive the funds. If a joint session is submitted, one organization should be identified as the fiscal recipient.
    • Registration for Grassroots & Groundwork 2012 at a discounted rate.
    • Participation in a 30-minute webinar to outline presentation goals, requirements, and expectations.
    • Training on how to conduct a webinar
    • One-on-one presentation coaching with a Northwest Area Foundation consultant to assist you in developing and/or fine-tuning the content and format for your presentation.
    • Invitation to attend a short welcome reception prior to the conference to meet other presenters and build your network of contacts.
    • The Northwest Area Foundation will provide:
    • Presenter compensation (as outlined above).
    • A consultant to assist you in developing and/or fine-tuning your presentation content and format.
    • Presentation materials and contact information to attendees and the larger public via the Grassroots & Groundwork Online Community.

    Proposal Submission

    Please use the online application form to submit your proposal.

    For additional information, contact Lisa Keske at (include “Grassroots & Groundwork Session” in your subject line).

    Submit your proposal.

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