Posted on December 6th, 2016

SPARTANBURG– The Spartanburg County Foundation is currently accepting applications for the 2017 Grassroots Leadership Development Institute (GLDI), a tuition-free leadership training program open to residents of Spartanburg County. The Institute is seeking 32 dedicated individuals, deeply rooted in their communities, to take part in the seven-month development experience that promises to be both educational and exciting.

Each year, GLDI selects individuals to take part in the intensive training program designed to equip participants with the knowledge, skill-set, and resources to be effective in leading change at the grassroots level. Participants meet one Saturday a month, from March to August, to engage in a hands-on curriculum that focuses on topics such as developing leadership and organization skills, strengthening communication, leveraging community assets, and thinking strategically.

Since 2004, GLDI has graduated over 300 leaders who continue to serve the community in various ways.

For the past 10 years, the City of Spartanburg has joined the Foundation as a sponsor by sending several of the City’s local neighborhood leaders through the Institute.

“The Grassroots Leadership Development Institute is a wonderful opportunity for individuals who are passionate about making a difference in their community. Grassroots leaders are anchored in their neighborhoods,” said Mary Thomas, chief operating officer of the Foundation. “This learning experience empowers and encourages participants to seek out opportunities to positively impact the lives of others.”

To learn more about GLDI and to apply for the Class of 2017, visit All applications must be submitted online by 5:00 p.m., Wednesday, December 21, 2016. Please contact Tara Weese, director of grants and initiatives, at or (864) 582.0138 with additional questions.

The Spartanburg County Foundation is dedicated to improving the lives of Spartanburg County residents by promoting philanthropy, encouraging community engagement and responding to community needs. Established in 1943, The Spartanburg County Foundation is the oldest community foundation in South Carolina. Additional information about the Foundation is available at