Grassroots Leadership Development Institute

The Grassroots Leadership Development Institute is an intense seven-month leadership training program designed to equip participants with the knowledge, skill-set and resources to be effective in leading change throughout the greater Spartanburg County community and beyond.  Participants meet one Saturday a month to increase their ability to make a positive difference on the local, regional, and national levels.  Since its inception in 2004, over 300 individuals have graduated from the Institute and currently serve the community in various leadership roles.


The Institute is designed to inspire participants to assume ownership of critical issues in their community and equip them with the tools needed to make a difference in Spartanburg.

Session topics include: developing leadership and organizational skills, strengthening communication ability, leveraging community assets, and strategic thinking and planning.

Grassroots Leadership Development Institute participants are equipped with a solid skill-set that better enables them to:
–  Lead community improvement throughout the city, county, state, and nation
–  Increase levels of communication and understanding between grassroots individuals and mainstream leaders
–  Effectively organize people for positive outcomes
–  Think strategically to create innovative solutions to address community needs
–  Serve on non-profit and for-profit boards
–  Leverage community assets and resources

Participants come from diverse cultures and backgrounds. Each class is comprised of predominantly grassroots individuals, deeply rooted in their communities, who desire to make positive social change in their neighborhoods and in their community. Participants also include emerging nonprofit and mainstream leaders actively working to strengthen their individual and organizational effectiveness, and who seek to become more effective community leaders.

Institute participants may join the Alumni Association which allows graduates to remain informed about the work of their fellow Alumni, become civically engaged as a collective group, and stay informed of the needs of the Spartanburg community.

To learn more about the Grassroots Leadership Alumni Association and pay membership dues, please click here.

How To Participate
The Spartanburg County Foundation issues a call for nominations annually in the fall.  Self-nominations are encouraged, as well as those of others.  In order to be considered for the Grassroots Leadership Development Institute Class of 2018 applications must be submitted by Friday, October 13, 2017, 5:00 p.m.

More Information
For more information on the Grassroots Leadership Development Institute, please contact Tara Jane Weese, director of grants and initiatives, at 864.582.0138 or

CLICK HERE to read why Zaina Green applied to the Grassroots Leadership Development Institute and graduated in 2017.