Grassroots Leadership Development Institute

The Grassroots Leadership Development Institute (GLDI) is a seven-month leadership development program designed to equip participants with the knowledge, skill-set, and resources to be effective in leading positive change throughout the greater Spartanburg County community and beyond.

How does GLDI help our community?

Building upon the Spartanburg County Foundation’s vision that all Spartanburg County residents achieve their human potential through continuous improvement in quality of life, educational achievement, and economic mobility, GLDI participants participate in learning sessions connecting them to the local structures impacting each of these areas and providing leadership training to learn how to become instruments of positive change in each. GLDI is designed to empower the community to assume responsibility for positive social change and equip them with the tools needed to make a difference. Participants meet monthly for workshops The Grassroots Leadership Development Institute has become a nationally recognized best-practice model that continues to garner interest from groups throughout the country.


Participants meet one Saturday a month April through October to increase their ability to make a positive difference on the local, regional, and national levels. Since its inception in 2004, more than 450 individuals have graduated from the Institute and currently serve the community in various leadership roles.

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

  • 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; and
  • Leverage community assets and resources.

Grassroots Leadership Development Institute FAQs

How do I become involved in GLDI?
Do I have to work in a nonprofit organization to participate in GLDI?
Does it cost anything to be a part of GLDI or the Alumni Association?
What is the time commitment for GLDI?
What information do I need to gather before I complete my GLDI application?

Grassroots Leadership Alumni Association

Grassroots Leadership Development Institute graduates are invited to become members of the Alumni Association. The purpose of the Grassroots Leadership Alumni Association (GLAA) is to continue to engage Institute graduates by creating opportunities for networking and collaboration, connecting alumni to leadership positions within the community, keeping them informed of pressing community needs, and providing continued leadership training.


4 leadership training sessions & networking events per year

membership fee

Annual fee for graduates is $25


500+ graduates have completed the program

Submit / Renew your GLAA Membership

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