• A Purposeful Engagement Firm

    Movements, campaigns, causes and adventures: however people aim to create just and equitable communities, Grassroots Solutions is in. People make great things happen and we help turn their passion into action. We believe in the power of collective action to drive social change and achieve great wins.

What We Do

Engagement strategy and evaluation: that’s what we do. We create strategies that advance progressive change and we evaluate programs so you can keep learning. Our team helps you find the right people, increase participation, inspire new leadership, collaborate more effectively and measure your impact.

  • Analyze

    Data is everywhere. Putting it to work for you is what matters. We leverage data to help you assess opportunities, track your progress and make real-time program adjustments.

  • Strategize

    Curiosity and creativity drive smart strategy. We design impactful and inventive engagement strategies that help you build greater power and get more people involved in your cause or campaign.

  • Engage

    Connection is a catalyst for change. We help convert your strategy into action by offering expertise on the newest and best ways to connect with your supporters and sustain their participation over time.

  • Evaluate

    Learning is power. We approach our evaluation work through a people-centered lens that results in rich data, participant buy-in, stronger programs and ultimately greater impact.

  • Innovate

    Our lab light is always on. We’ve dedicated a team to inventing new models and tools to advance positive social change.

Specialty Areas

Democracy works when people participate. Unfortunately, voter turnout is declining and voter suppression has increased. But elections are still a critical way to contest for power. To us, increasing participation, facilitating authentic conversations and welcoming new people into campaigns is not just the best way to win elections—it’s the right way to do politics.

Climate change is a reality and a new energy economy is the key to our future. We believe that effective organizing and the engagement of new allies represents the best path towards leaving a healthy planet for future generations.

Good health is the foundation for powerful communities. We want to disrupt the root causes of health inequity. That means working with the people and organizations that directly engage those harmed by health disparities to build greater health within their communities.

Over half of the world’s population is under the age of 30. Creating jobs and economic stability, along with pathways to civic and political participation for young people, are the keys to implementing long-term progressive change.

It’s time for all of us to grapple with issues of injustice and inequality. Whether it’s strategizing for LGBTQ liberation, advocating to end racism, or pushing for policies that increase economic security, we align our expertise with communities fighting for greater equity.

Clients

Meet The Team

Founded in 1999, Grassroots Solutions was one of the first engagement consulting firms in the country. We are an experienced team of strategists, evaluators, innovators, campaigners and organizers (who also love animals, karaoke and fried foods on a stick) and we have dedicated our lives to social change work. We would love to get to know you.

  • Huda Ahmed Senior Strategist

    Huda Ahmed

    Senior Strategist

    Fun Facts

    My brush with fame: Being interviewed by HBO vice news!

    When I’m on the road, I don’t leave home without: My kindle

    If I didn’t work at grassroots solutions I’d be a: Baker

    Hobbies: Reading and baking

    Favorite quote: “Go in search of people. Begin with what they know. Build on what they have”

    Huda Ahmed is a Senior Strategist at Grassroots Solutions. Her work is focused in the Community of Health specialty area where she works with clients to design smart strategies for getting people involved in causes that lead to equitable and healthier communities for all.

    Huda has spent over a decade in the public service sector engaging diverse community voices to drive policy, systems, and institutional change to address the root causes of health inequities.  She’s trusted as a highly effective agent of change by grassroots organizations, policy leaders, and the academic community alike.

    When not at work, Huda enjoys spending time with her family and loves to read.

  • Courtney Lee Evaluation and Learning Project Manager

    Courtney Lee

    Evaluation and Learning Project Manager

    Fun Facts

    Favorite place in the world:

    El Chalten, Argentina – Patagonia!

    My pets are:

    A 3 year old Lab-Rhodesian mix named Koda.

    Favorite animal: 

    Penguins! – They are goofy and curious creatures on land but fiery and fast in water.

    Courtney Lee is the evaluation and learning project manager based in Colorado.  She works on a multi-national evaluation and learning project for a philanthropic partner helping to evaluate their climate change strategy and theory of change.  As the project manager, Courtney provides overall management of the project workflow, coordinates and develops various evaluation projects and deliverables, and conducts data collection, research and analysis.

    Courtney has much experience in the renewable energy and climate sector.  Prior to joining Grassroots Solutions she analyzed and tracked electricity regulations at state public utility commissions for a small start-up company, E9 Insights, researched clean energy technologies at the National Renewable Energy Lab and developed congressional budgets for the Department of Energy.  In addition, Courtney also has customer surveying and data analytic experience from RRC Associates, a consulting firm in the ski and outdoor recreation industry. Courtney currently volunteers for the International Rescue Committee, as an ESL tutor to newly welcomed refugees in Colorado.

    When not at work, she is either hitting the slopes, skiing the fresh powder, out for a hike with her yellow Lab-Rhodesian dog Koda, or at home testing out a new recipe.

  • Kurston Cook Senior Strategist

    Kurston Cook

    Senior Strategist

    Fun Facts

    Nickname:

    KC

    Favorite Activist(s):

    Bayard Rustin & Cesar Chavez

    Favorite Book:

    Haroun and the Sea of Stories ~ S. Rushdie

    Sports teams I follow:

    Michigan Football, Barcelona FC & Manchester United FC, and the Los Angeles Dodgers

    Favorite Place in the world:

    Barcelona Spain and New Orleans Louisiana

     

     

    Kurston Cook is a Senior Strategist with Grassroots Solutions based in Oakland, CA. He works with organizations to increase political participation, provide programmatic analysis, and implement organizing strategies.

    Kurston is a graduate of the UC Berkeley Goldman School of Public Policy where he earned his master’s degree in public policy with a focus in labor economics. While in school he served as policy analyst for PolicyLink, where he provide legislative analysis on economic issues facing young Black men; and assisted the Goldman School in developing the Berkeley Institute for the Future of Young Americans. Prior to attending school, Kurston worked the Special Programs Manager Generation Progress, The youth arm of the Center for American Progress (CAP). In that role, he was responsible for developing national programming to address economic inequality and electoral issues facing underserved communities. Kurston has worked with progressive organizations, think tanks, labor unions, academic institutions, and municipal government agencies.

    Kurston’s areas of expertise relate to millennial engagement, economic and quantitative analysis, policy implementation, electoral campaigns, and community organizing. When Kurston is not working, he is usually spending time with his lovely partner Leila and their dog Bernie.

  • Dan Cramer Co-founder

    Dan Cramer

    Co-founder

    Fun Facts

    Favorite activist:
    Paul Wellstone

    Favorite animal:
    Three-toed sloth

    Hidden talent:
    I can touch my tongue to my nose

    Favorite food:
    Chicago deep dish pizza

    If I didn’t work at Grassroots Solutions, I’d be:
    A restaurant critic

     

    Dan is a co-founder of Grassroots Solutions, where he currently oversees the firm’s Innovations Lab, as well as working with clients to address complex strategic and engagement challenges. Dan also works on evaluation projects, and he brings a practitioner’s perspective to measuring impact and effectiveness. He is currently obsessed with leveraging the power of personal conversations to drive social and organizational change.

    Before starting Grassroots Solutions, Dan held a number of leadership roles for U.S Senator Paul Wellstone, served as an Executive Assistant to Minnesota House Speaker Phil Carruthers, worked as a government affairs attorney for Gray, Plant, Mooty, organized an anti-drug coalition in Chicago, and worked as a scooper for Baskin and Robbins.

    Dan got his start in social change and political work as a geeky nine-year-old boy when he volunteered for Jimmy Carter’s first presidential campaign.

  • Grace Bouwer Content Director and Special Projects Manager

    Grace Bouwer

    Content Director and Special Projects Manager

    Fun Facts

    Nickname(s): 

    Gracie

    Favorite activist(s): 

    A tie between Saul Alinsky, Jane Addams, and Bryan Stevenson

    Favorite place in the world:

    Bluffton, South Carolina, and more specifically, my parents’ front porch

    Favorite Book: 

    Another tie! Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson and Love Does by Bob Goff

     

     

     

    Grace is the content director and special projects manager at Grassroots Solutions. Previously, she held the role of campaign coordinator at Public Citizen, focusing on climate policy and financial reform advocacy as part of the U.S. Chamber Watch program. Prior to that, she worked at the Center for American Progress, both in the CAP Action War Room as a state advocacy associate, and as a special assistant for Generation Progress, the youth arm of the Center. Grace has worked for the South Carolina Democratic Party and began her career in politics in the office of Senator Debbie Stabenow. Grace is a graduate of Calvin College, and currently resides in Washington, DC. In her spare time, she enjoys being outside with her husband and pug.

  • Pablo Duran Senior Strategist

    Pablo Duran

    Senior Strategist

    Fun Facts

    Favorite book:
    A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

    Favorite food:
    My mother’s green chile chicken enchiladas

    Little known fact:
    Since 1875, over 1,500 baseball players made it all the way to the major leagues—then only got to play in one single, solitary game. The lesson? Make the most of the time you have

    People or topics you follow on Twitter:
    @aeonmag, @exploreplanets, @readingpartners, and, of course, @JohnDingell

    Political hero:
    Robert Kennedy

    Pablo joined Grassroots Solutions in 2013 as a senior strategist. He helps clients work through engagement goals and methods, design and implement evaluation plans, and execute organizing strategies. Pablo has particular expertise in applying creative engagement and field strategies to political campaigns.

    Prior to Grassroots Solutions, Pablo worked on the national political staff of President Obama’s re-election campaign. Pre-Obama, Pablo served as political director for Senator Tom Udall, as New Hampshire State Director for Governor Bill Richardson’s presidential campaign, and he managed local and statewide field campaigns across the country. Pablo also spent several years working in both the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House as a policy advisor.

     

     

  • Candace Falk Director of Finance

    Candace Falk

    Director of Finance

    Fun Facts

    Nickname:
    None – especially not Candy!

    My brush with fame:
    I got a hug from Giada De Laurentiis in a coffee shop at Rockefeller Center

    Favorite place in the world:
    Granada, Spain – beauty, history, and free tapas!

    Favorite play:
    Fun Home—who knew you could make a graphic memoir into a stage production that is both moving and funny

    Favorite local restaurant:
    New Scenic Café in Duluth, MN

    Candace is Grassroots Solutions’ director of finance. She engages with clients through contract development and invoicing; in other words, people are always “happy” to receive her emails. Candace also serves her co-workers through payroll management, benefits administration, and the development of internal company policies.

    Candace’s previous work as a finance associate at the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP), and as a counselor and accounts receivable associate at Robbinsdale Clinic prepared her well for her current responsibilities. Candace is happy that her work to help make the world a healthier and better place is continuing at Grassroots Solutions.

    When her joy of spreadsheets is running low, Candace is happy to get away for weekends on the North Shore of Lake Superior.

  • Lindsay Hanson Principal

    Lindsay Hanson

    Principal

    Fun Facts

    Nickname(s):
    Linds, Binz, Reina, Roopert, Mini, and Tiny (Caution: Only my brothers get to call me Mini or Tiny!)

    Favorite activist(s):
    Madres de Plaza de Mayo

    My brush with fame:
    Around age 9, I was featured in a local newspaper for catching a massive large-mouth bass in an unlikely pond in suburban Chicago

    Favorite place in the world:
    The next exciting spot I haven’t visited yet, and Lee’s Liquor Lounge in Minneapolis (the place I met my husband)

    First protest:
    The Gulf War (1991)

    Lindsay is a principal based in New York City where she leads the firm’s evaluation practice. Lindsay collaborates with organizations to assess advocacy and electoral campaigns, grassroots efforts, and civic engagement initiatives. She also provides guidance to groups seeking to engage people effectively in community problem-solving and organizational development projects. Lindsay is a well-known engagement and evaluation expert who has co-authored articles, spoken at numerous conferences, and appeared as a guest with news organizations.

    Prior to joining Grassroots Solutions, Lindsay was the director of operations and technology for the 2002 Wellstone for Senate campaign. She also worked for international education and staffing companies in Boston.

    Lindsay’s idea of the perfect day involves reading, watching baseball or soccer, playing tennis (albeit not very well), listening to music, and eating cheese.

  • Anne Johnson Managing Principal

    Anne Johnson

    Managing Principal

    Fun Facts

    Nickname(s):
    AJ, or Annie

    My pet(s):
    A 17 year old cat named Spango

    If I didn’t work at Grassroots Solutions I’d be:
    A gymnastics coach. It was my job during college, and it was a second job for many years after I graduated. I loved it!

    Favorite place in the world:
    Lake Pepin in Minnesota, though Puerto Morelos, Mexico is a very close second

    Favorite book:
    Anything Nordic noir, but I really love Henning Mankell and Camilla Läckberg’s books

    Anne is the managing principal at Grassroots Solutions, overseeing firm strategy and operations. She also maintains an active client portfolio and focuses on increasing participation for those who are traditionally underrepresented in the political and advocacy processes.

    Previously, Anne was the executive director at Generation Progress, the youth arm of the Center for American Progress. In that role, she created some of the nation’s most successful millennial-focused campaigns, including It’s On Us, a national effort to stop sexual assault. Anne has worked with progressive organizations, think tanks, labor unions and political parties in Canada, Belgium, India, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States to develop grassroots engagement programs for electoral and issue-based campaigns.

    Anne got her start in politics on Paul Wellstone’s 2002 campaign, where she fell in love with organizing. When not working, she can be found hanging out at her cabin in Red Wing, Minnesota with her family.

  • Christina Kuo Senior Strategist

    Christina Kuo

    Senior Strategist

    Fun Facts

    Nickname:
    Kuo, CK, Chris

    Favorite activist:
    Helen Keller

    Hidden talent:
    Opening a can with a pot and butter knife

    Greatest fear:
    Brain eating amoebas

    Best advice:
    There are very few things in life that can’t be undone

    Christina Kuo is a Senior Strategist with Grassroots Solutions based in Washington, DC. She works with organizations to better understand and expand the impact of their work through evaluations and organizational development.

    Prior to joining Grassroots Solutions, Christina was the State and Local Campaigns Manager for the U.S. Green Building Council, where she focused on advocacy capacity building with their state-based chapters and state and local government relations. She started down the path of issue advocacy and campaigns while at the University of the Michigan (Go Blue!) as a community organizer for NARAL Pro-Choice Michigan. Since then, she has worked on numerous issues ranging from redistricting reform to increasing the civic engagement capacity of direct service nonprofits.

    Like most Washingtonians, Christina is a transplant from Michigan by way of Taiwan and England. She is human to her Morrisey-esque dog, Huck, and rabbit, Joey. When not at work, she is trying out the hundreds of recipes she has bookmarked, planning trips with her friends, and discussing the virtues of action movies.

  • Robert Richman Co-founder

    Robert Richman

    Co-founder

    Fun Facts

    My brush with fame:
    I and another guy initially found the Wellstone “Green” bus

    If I didn’t work at Grassroots Solutions I’d be:
    A stay at home dad

    Birthday wish:
    That I see in my next birthday with my family, all of us healthy and happy

    Best advice:
    • “If you fuck up, raise your hand”
    • “If you don’t want to go into burning buildings, don’t become a fireman”
    •  “Never give a campaign your credit card number”

    Sports teams you follow:
    White Sox, Bulls, Bears, and any team my son plays on

    Robert is a co-founder of Grassroots Solutions. He works with campaigns, unions, advocacy groups, funders, and coalitions to develop strategies and build infrastructure at the state and national levels to expand the progressive voting base and increase organizations’ supporter and activist bases.

    Robert started in politics right out of high school with the Illinois Democratic Party, and he was an organizer for Paul Wellstone’s first U.S. Senate campaign. He then managed a variety of field operations and campaigns, including congressional races in Illinois and Oregon, statewide campaigns in Minnesota and Ohio, and he served as the National Field Director for Bill Bradley’s presidential campaign in 2000.

    Robert lives in St. Paul with his wife, Kristin, and kids, Ethan and Becca. If Robert isn’t in the office, he is likely hanging out, transporting, coaching, or cheering on one or both of his kids. Someday he plans to open up a Grassroots Solutions office in Key Biscayne, FL.

     

  • Ann Wiesner Principal

    Ann Wiesner

    Principal

    Fun Facts

    First protest:
    In response to a junior high principal’s ban on headbands (because #roachclips), I organized fellow ninth-graders to wear headbands in protest (because #fashion)

    Favorite quote:
    “Mom, can you please leave me in peace now so I can think about what it would be like if dragons were real?” – Lucy, age 8

    Favorite movie:
    Princess Bride

    People or topics you follow on Twitter:
    John Oliver, Bucky Badger, Totoro (on Facebook, he’s old school), Paula Fynboh, Jezebel, Bitch media, Jay Smooth, Black Lives Matter MPLS, Free Range Kids, Feministing

    Most embarrassing moment:
    When I ran into a parked car riding my bike while simultaneously reading a book

    Ann is a principal at Grassroots Solutions where she focuses on our Community Health practice, as well as broader engagement strategy. Some of Ann’s most interesting work centers on helping organizations re-think how they involve community members in shaping the health of their communities. Her passion is for transforming the way organizations interact with their stakeholders.

    Ann has always been drawn to work that leverages the power of collective action. In her home state of Wisconsin, and later in Minnesota, Ann has worked on early childhood, mental and behavioral health, addiction, cancer advocacy, health care, and more.

    Ann got her commitment to community from her mother, who is a professional volunteer; her love of a good meal and robust political debate from her father; and her ability to connect with people working as a bartender in Las Vegas, Nevada.

     

Connect

  • October 10, 2018
    @GRSolutions

    A big congrats to our very own Senior Strategist Huda Ahmed on being selected for @RWJF @CultureofHlthLd & leading… https://t.co/q3T062r2jw

  • October 03, 2018
    @GRSolutions

    RT @lindsayhan: In (eager!) anticipation of #Eval18, revisited some nuggets from #Eval17 that really hit home: https://t.co/1fwk0wUc5y @chr…

  • June 22, 2018
    @GRSolutions

    Funders can help secure the next generation of activists, voters and grassroots movement leaders – https://t.co/nIh29WsMuE

  • Reflections on the AEA Conference

    We were excited to attend the American Evaluation Association’s annual conference in Washington, DC, which we jokingly–and affectionately–referred to as Eval-Con. A week later we are still processing. But here are some nuggets that really hit home. Don’t worry, we’ll spare you the super technical and methodological stuff! Maybe that’ll be our next post…or not.

  • Minneapolis, MN

    861 East Hennepin Ave., Suite 350
    Minneapolis, MN 55414
    P: 612-465-8566

  • New York, NY

    22 Cortlandt Street, Suite 1615
    New York, NY 10007
    P: 212-419-0515