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Facilitated Learning Experiences for Individuals and Teams

Case Study: Urban Strategies Council Partnership

For nearly 7 years, rootid has been co-designing learning groups for nonprofit leaders, providing a safe and supportive environment for peer collaboration and exploration. One such partnership took place with Urban Strategies Council through their Violence Prevention Grant. This particular cohort aimed to address the specific needs of the participating organizations, while equipping them with the necessary tools to engage funders effectively.


Needs Assessment:

  • rootid began by surveying participants from various organizations within the cohort to understand their unique challenges, requirements, and aspirations. This comprehensive needs assessment provided valuable insights into the specific areas where support was most needed.

Learning Sessions:

  • Based on the needs assessment results, rootid designed a series of tailored learning sessions that addressed critical topics such as identifying and understanding target audiences, mapping their needs and motivations, and how to create clear and values aligned communications assets such as one-sheets and slide decks to effectively communicate with various audience groups. These sessions fostered open dialogue, knowledge sharing, and skill-building among participants, enabling them to develop a deeper understanding of equity-centered communications strategies and their application within their organizations.

One-on-One Coaching:

  • In addition to group sessions, Rootid provided personalized one-on-one coaching to each participant. This individualized support allowed for a more targeted approach to address unique challenges and provided a confidential space for leaders to explore complex and vulnerable topics related to their audience groups and communications challenges.


By the end of the cohort, participants gained valuable insights and practical resources to incorporate equity-centered values into their organizations’ communications both within their teams as well as outwardly to their communities. Some notable outcomes include:

Messaging and Templates:

  • Participants received templates and guidance to create impactful one-sheets and pitch decks to effectively communicate their mission, goals, and impact to funders. These tools will enhance their ability to secure funding and support for their initiatives for years to come.

“I really appreciated the conversations and am glad to walk away with some templates, especially on organizing a more systematic approach.” - USC Cohort Participant

Peer Networking and Collaboration:

  • The cohort's limited size, capped at 10 organizations, allowed participants to establish meaningful connections with one another. The safe and intimate environment fostered trust, encouraging open discussions, sharing of best practices, and collaborative problem-solving among peers.

Increased Capacity for Change:

  • Participants developed a greater capacity to develop more effective communications materials for varying audiences. They gained the confidence to implement changes within their organizations to promote their missions clearly and authentically.

“This process was so collaborative… You all created the space and really have helped me.” - USC Cohort Participant

Call to Action:

rootid is dedicated to supporting professional development and fostering deeper embodiment of equity-centered values within nonprofit organizations, coalitions, foundations, and intermediaries. Our custom cohorts, designed in collaboration with various community partners, guide nonprofit leaders through values-alignment, audience discovery and internal as well as external communications exercises—building deeper understanding of equity-centered practices and translating them into actionable strategies.

Through the design and implementation of custom cohorts, Rootid has successfully supported nonprofit leaders in their professional development while cultivating spaces for peer collaboration and exploration. By providing tailored learning sessions, individual coaching, and practical resources, Rootid empowers organizations to embody anti-racism and inclusion, ultimately fostering more equitable and impactful nonprofit work.

We are now inviting foundations, coalition members, and teams to partner in the co-designing of a custom cohort for your community members. By collaborating with rootid, organizations and individuals can benefit from the expertise, resources, and tailored support to embark on a transformative journey towards embodiment of equity-centered communications practices within your community.

Together, we can create a more just and equitable nonprofit sector!

Collaboration Deliverable Samples:


Val Neumark Mickela - director of strategic initiatives & education, founder, headshot

Val Neumark

Val is a brand strategist, educator, facilitator and coach focused on co-designing more relational communications strategies to transform our systems. Through partnerships and collaborations, Val hopes these anti-racist, anti-oppressive spaces and tools will more effectively facilitate connection, strategic-thinking, community building and sustainable growth for non-profits and social impact organizations.

Val has a Bachelor's Degree in Visual Arts & Media from University of California, San Diego, a Master's Degree in Education from Pepperdine University, and was a 2016 recipient of Pepperdine University's inaugural 40 under 40 Award. In their free time Val plays soccer, loves to hike, and both read and practice karate with their kid.