Building Up trainees and supervisor carrying out a painting project for a local affordable housing provider. Building Up is one of the five Metcalf Opportunities Fund grantees invited into Grounded Leadership. Photo: Kieran Wallace
Grounded Leadership: Underpinning Strategic Experimentation and Success

Significant social change takes time — and follows a path that is neither straight nor smooth. Organizations require financial predictability to plan and deliver effectively, as well as time to think, collaborate, innovate, and develop leadership. A consistent theme we heard from grantees in our Inclusive Local Economies program 10-year review was the importance of stable and flexible funding to underpin strategic experimentation and success.

We responded to this feedback by creating Grounded Leadership, a new funding envelope for Opportunities Fund grantees whose strategies focus on changing systems and building innovative models, with the potential for outsized impact on the lives of low-income people in Toronto.

By invitation only, Grounded Leadership enables organizations exemplifying the components of success identified through the review — strengthening the voice and capacity of leaders, organizations, and networks; improving economic opportunities for people; changing systems for the better; and making progress on longer term change — to access a three- to five-year runway of funding to enable and maintain momentum and traction in their strategies.

We invited the following organizations to join us in Grounded Leadership, committing approximately $2.5 million over the next three years to their strategies:

These community organizations have the leadership, credibility, and engagement with low-income people and communities, strategies with the potential to have significant and sustainable impact, and a strong understanding of the landscape. They provide leadership in the inclusive economic ecosystem and have demonstrated consistent leadership and effective organizational capacity.

Grounded Leadership will also include additional annual resources for each organization to invest in enhancing the leadership skills of their staff and to support collective learning among their teams and communities — all with the aim of achieving more empowered and effective organizations.