Issue 1: October 2018

New Executive Director
Website Relaunch
Seeking New Board Members
Member Thank You


New Executive Director

Today, Grassroots Grantmakers, a national professional development and membership organization serving foundations and grassroots leaders collaboratively working to positively impact communities, announced Roderick D.S. Wheeler as its new Executive Director. In this role, Wheeler will be responsible for expanding Grassroots Grantmakers’ membership and national influence, developing new products and services, strengthening the organization’s fundraising efforts and fiscal position and advancing the overall mission of the organization.

As its third director in 20 years, Wheeler comes to Grassroots Grantmakers with extensive experience in community philanthropy, population health, public service and neighborhood strategy development. Prior to joining Grassroots Grantmakers, Wheeler served two years as Senior Program Director for Strada Education Network, a national nonprofit dedicated to improving lives by catalyzing direct and promising educational and employment pathways. His professional career also includes 10 years with Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF), where he held progressive positions including Grant Officer, Senior Grant Officer and Director of Community Impact. While at CICF, Wheeler helped lead the foundation’s Community Crime Prevention Grant program and helped launch its city-wide education initiative.

In addition to this role, Wheeler previously served as Community Outreach and Engagement Manager for IU Health, spearheading community grantmaking and system-wide volunteerism for one of the largest health care systems in the country. While serving in this role, Wheeler successfully advocated for the creation of what is believed to be the first Deputy Mayor of Public Health position in the country. With a career in public and community service, Wheeler also received an appointment as a state commissioner where he worked to improve youth services in the state of Indiana and successfully introduced legislation that provided financial assistance to foster youth attending college.

 “I am honored to be selected to lead Grassroots Grantmakers at this exciting, yet critical time, in the organization’s history,” says Wheeler. “My primary focus will be to grow the organization’s membership base by adding unique value to the community philanthropy and investment fields and developing personal relationships with our members and strategic partners.”

Wheeler has a bachelor’s and masters of public affairs degree from Indiana University with an emphasis in nonprofit management and urban studies and a master of business administration degree from Franklin University. He is also a veteran of the United States Army where he served in Operation Enduring/Iraqi Freedom.

As Grassroots Grantmakers enters a new era of leadership, please connect with us via social media and our website to learn more about the new direction of Grassroots Grantmakers. You can contact our new executive director at

Website Relaunch

Grassroots Grantmakers Website Preview
Elevating Residents’ Voices:
Grassroots Grantmakers Relaunches Website to Focus on Communities

Grassroots Grantmakers, the nations’ leading philanthropic membership and professional development organization that connects place-based funders and residents, will relaunch its website to specifically focus on how communities and their residents address social and economic issues by leveraging community assets and philanthropic support. Please update your membership information so that Grassroots Grantmakers can share with you exciting new news in the field of inclusive philanthropy. Please contact Amanda Wolf at to update your membership information.

Seeking New Board Members

As we celebrate and welcome our new Executive Director, Roderick Wheeler, Grassroots Grantmakers is seeking new board members to support our mission and expand our national reach. Over the next 12 months, Grassroots Grantmakers will strategically expand its board of directors to represent (1) the diversity of the communities we support, (2) geographical regions where we seek to expand, and (3) the skills needed to achieve organizational excellence and exceptional membership services.

We are specifically inviting those members with expertise in financial management, human resource and talent development, marketing and legal services. The full board meets monthly and board members are invited to serve on one of two committees. If you are interested in joining the board of directors of Grassroots Grantmakers for a three year term, and you are an active member, please contact our board chair DeAmon Harges at:

Thank You Members for Your Continued Support

This year has been a year of transition for Grassroots Grantmakers. We would like to thank all of our members who continued to support and provide their memberships while we conducted a national search to find the right executive director to lead our organization. Grassroots Grantmakers looks forward to acknowledging its members in unique ways for their continued support. If you have not already submitted your membership dues, please email to secure your membership today.

In the next

2019 ‘On the Ground’ National Conference Update
Grassroots Grantmakers Named Leader in Field

How Residents in One Neighborhood Chose to Fight Crime

New ED Shares Strategic Direction for Organization


About Grassroots Grantmakers

Grassroots Grantmakers is a national membership organization comprised of place-based funders, advocacy organizations and community organizers that values and leverages resident and civic engagement as a catalyst for creating and driving sustainable community improvement strategies. 

We believe that effective community investment strategies – public, private, or philanthropic – must include residents to leverage community assets and resources needed to transform vulnerable communities and address social, racial, and economic justice issues that stifle positive place-based change efforts.

Grassroots Grantmakers provides education and engagement opportunities for its members to improve and maximize community investment strategies while also developing and promoting effective grassroots leadership and organizing strategies. Together, by leveraging community investments and resident leadership, Grassroots Grantmakers believes, together, we will help transform communities while addressing critical issues facing our residents.
Copyright © 2018 Grassroots Grantmakers, All rights reserved.

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