Places Of Promise EXESUM Cover

Building Up Middle America’s Organizing and Communications Capacity

Working closely with Jane Bloch of Tusculum Consulting, the McKnight Foundation embarked on an effort to examine on-the-ground grassroots organizing and communications capacity, across multiple sectors, in five Midwest states: Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, and Ohio.

Over the course of three months in early 2018, 123 people from more than ninety different organizations working in these states, as well as groups with regional and national expertise, shared their time and insights. These qualitative conversations traversed the ideological spectrum, incorporating interviewees’ diverse perspectives and experiences that range from holding public office to expertise in community organizing, policy, communications, and public affairs. Each individual interview provided input that, when combined, paints a multilayered overview of each state’s advocacy landscape.