History[ edit ] The earliest origins of the use of "grass roots" as a political metaphor are obscure. In the United Statesan early use of the phrase "grassroots and boots" was thought to have been coined by Senator Albert Jeremiah Beveridge of Indianawho said of the Progressive Party in"This party has come from the grass roots. Perry has issued the following terse platform:
Knowledgebase What is a grassroots organization? Below are excerpts from and www. In addition, not all "grass roots" organizations lack formal governance structures and paid staff. Nor do all "evolve" from informal meetings of like interested parties to Webarian bureaucracies.
In my experience, "grass roots" generally refers to local people working together to find solutions to problems in their communities. So, for example, the CDC and NAC system originally drew participation from local "grass roots" communities impacted by poverty to develop housing solutions in those communities.
These solutions were considered better than public housing or city-wide development efforts because they drew on local participation. Although it may stretch academic definitions, "grass roots" is also used as a euphemism to the people served by a particular program.
For example, when a local settlement house in Milwaukee decided that it needed more "grass roots" participation, it brought a public housing tenant leader who had been served by the organization onto its board.
Did this make it a grass roots organization? But it did represent an effort to give those served by the organization some voice in its governance.
That said, many organizations that rely on grass roots participation rely on outsiders, paid staff, and formal development and governance systems as they develop and grow. Sometimes these efforts evolve into formal social service organizations that still rely on people from the "grass roots" meaning local community members as staff, board, etc.
Other national organizing efforts like Accorn or local advocacy networks also use similar tactics. For a good reference on governance and activities in these types of organizations, see Richard Wood "Faith in Action.
The CDCs and settlement houses are another good example. They were chartered as formal organizations with paid staff in order to develop housing or provide various community activities for their constituent communities.
And sometimes these organizations were founded by outsiders interested in developing the grass roots in those communities. For example, an upper class Latino lawyer started one organization that hires almost exclusively from the neighborhood, has local people in governance roles, and provides job opportunities as well as housing for the Latinos in that neighborhood.
Another CDC in another sector of that neighborhood was founded by a white grandmother who got tired of trying to find housing for herself and seven children in her neighborhood. For anyone interested in that example and more ethnographysee Goode and Schneider Reshaping Ethnic and Racial Relations in Philadelphia: Immigrants in a Divided City.
Let me end by addressing another thread in the original query. Very often, "grass roots" is also confused with "multicultural" when organizations attempt to expand their governance structures, I suspect on the presumption that people who are the same color as those served by an organization all come from the same community.
As any scholar of race or ethnicity - particularly in the U. As a result, changing the complexion of the board may not necessarily mean that "grass roots" voices participate in organization governance.
For example, let me return to the settlement house I mentioned earlier. That organization brought the tenant leader who was in fact a grass roots community member onto that board at the same time that it reached out to a number of middle class professionals from the same racial group as most of the people served by the organization.
Diversifying the board certainly changed its governance practices and perspectives, but it did not do much to raise the level of grass roots participation in the upper staffing levels or governance of the organization. I think we need to be careful to understand that these kinds of terms often have political meanings as much as theoretical and practical uses.
Americans have been on the cutting edge of business and politics in the twentieth century. We were the first to get down not only to brass tacks but also to grass roots. The latter we originally talked about in regard to mining. But by the turn of the century we thought of grass roots as more than just a place to dig.
Beneath the visible blades of grass, keeping the grass alive and making it grow, are the simple roots.
Getting down to grass roots meant looking at the "underlying principles or basic facts of a matter," in the words of Charles Earle Funk, the lexicographer, who remembered the phrase from his Ohio boyhood in the late s. It was in the grass roots where you could truly understand a situation and effectively respond to it.
They also talked about themselves, and the measures they favored, having support from the grass roots, that is, from their constituents--ordinary people, the salt of the earth.
Grass roots lobbying takes the form of letters, phone calls, and visits from these constituents. In the s, fake grass roots were labeled by their opponents with the trademarked name for artificial and rootless grass, Astro Turf. Ruth McCambridge, editor of the Nonprofit Quarterly see http: I can claim editorial prerogative to declare a word-of-the-day or even of the century for this sector it is "grassroots.
Grassroots groups are organizations that do not just reflect the voices of those people most affected by the issue being addressed but are responsive to and largely led by these constituencies.How to start successful grassroots organizations in your political campaign, issue advocacy group, or political party.
Five smart tips and tricks. Grassroots organizations are a great tool in the arsenal of successful issue advocates, political campaigns, party organizations, and more use these five secrets to help you build a strong and sustainable grassroots organization. Grassroots organizations function at the different levels and are driven by a community politics.
All in all, MADD has significantly grown over its history that helped them to diversify their programs, get more respect with the crowds, and thus, obtain more funding.
Terrorism is just a word in English, but it is a hazard for mankind. India faces the problems of poverty, population, hunger and literacy. But spread of terrorism is the most frightening of all. The first structural difficulty grassroots organizations may have when applying for funding is the absence of applicable information requested by the funding source that needs to be included in an abstract or executive summary.
That said, many organizations that rely on grass roots participation rely on outsiders, paid staff, and formal development and governance systems as they develop and grow.
For example, the various Alinsky organizing networks (IAF, PICO, Gamaliel, etc.) all develop grass roots organizations through a highly structured system that involves paid.