Solve problems from the ground up, support grassroots advocacy

Grassroots organisations are community-based groups who advocate for change at a local, national or international level and often use a bottom-up approach [1-4]. Despite demonstrating holistic, sustainable and inclusive responses to global issues, they still face a number of challenges [5,6]. They often have a hard time accessing relevant resources and are overlooked by institutional actors [6,7]. Large institutional actors don’t adjust to the needs of local community groups and prefer formal procedures, causing grassroots organisations to waste time establishing legitimacy rather than focussing on their projects [8].

Facts and Figures

  • Grassroots innovations, alternative solutions developed by local communities and promoting diversity, are receiving increasing recognition globally  [9].

  • In the past two decades, global grassroots movements have started gaining recognition and are now seen as transnational actors for global issues [10].

The solution with the most impact is raising more funds for grassroots organisations. In addition, governments must build supportive infrastructure and include these organisations in budgeting and policy design and implementation [11,5]. The policies must be adapted in favour of grassroots organisations and local communities [8]. This way organisations can devote their time to their communities and make sure their projects have a positive long-lasting impact [5].


  1. Britannica - Grassroots Advocacy (thesaurus

  2. Grassroots Associations (book)

  3. UNHCR - Grassroots organizations are just as important as seed money for innovation (link

  4. Unite for Sight - Module 2: Why Bottom-Up Instead of Top-Down (link

  5. Swedish International Center for Local Democracy - Organising grassroots initiatives for a more inclusive governance: Constructing the city from below (research report

  6. United Nations - Why Organized Grassroots Women Matter in the Sustainable Development of Rural Communities (article

  7. Mama Cash - Resourcing feminist movements (link

  8. Urbanet - New solutions to existing problems: The role of grassroots organizations in community development (link

  9. Scidevnet - Supporting grassroots innovation: Facts and Figures (link

  10. Grassroots Movements as Transnational Actors: Implications for Global Civil Society (research paper

  11. National Committee for responsible philanthropy - Cultivating the Grassroots: A Winning Approach for Environment and Climate Funders (report

  12. Civicus: Understanding the resourcing landscape for small and informal civil society groups in the global south (research analysis)