We believe in the power of the community. On the Ground is an engagement and outreach consulting firm. We specialize in engaging and collecting feedback from communities historically left out of governmental planning and budgetary processes.
We hire local people to help with community outreach and engagement. We have an in house team of on-call experienced canvassers available for any size of project. By working with local governments, political candidates and non-profits we open up a dialogue between community and decision maker.
We are an NCDOT pre-qualified firm in General Meeting Facilitation and Public Involvement.
Equity Focused Engagement
Work with us to maximize your engagement effort and your budget.
We understand that community engagement isn't linear, but your project timeline and budget is. We offered tailored engagement strategies to ensure information is delivered to the community quickly and accurately. We provide on the ground outreach by administering surveys on the bus, tabling at local businesses, festivals or events, knocking on doors and much more. We are here to meet the community where they are to bring the planning process to them.
We work with local food vendors, printers, event venues and other local professional services to plan and facilitate non-profit and government public meetings. We believe every aspect of your engagement process can act as a multiplier for your results. If your budget includes food, buy locally first and bring the business into your planning process. When the meeting is held in a church or other venue, we work with the Pastor or Center Director to make sure they are advertising it through all their channels. Engagement can involve a lot of little moving pieces, that's what we're here to manage.
On the Ground outreach
Our staff are available for door to door canvassing, distributing fliers to local businesses and tabling at festivals, parks or other public spaces. We will meet the community where they are.
Intercept surveys to collect feedback for transportation, parks, housing and other planning or budgetary efforts.
Yard Sign Placement
In compliance with local ordinances, locations selected using census data.
Peer to Peer Outreach
We recruit and hire local members of the community to help with outreach and engagement efforts.
Hybrid Meeting Coordination
Snack & Meal Packages
Happy meeting attendees means better feedback. Snack and meal packages delivered to your meeting or event.
Let us manage your meeting and outreach logistics.
Venue rental focused on locally (where possible), ADA accessible meeitng spaces. A/V coordination to help meet your event goals. Room setup and breakdown.
Knocking on doors.
Sara has more than six years of experience in planning and local government, and more than ten years of experience with community and grassroots engagement. She holds a master's of Urban Planning and Policy from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She got her start in engagement work co-managing a neighborhood led redevelopment effort of a community garden. Since then, she's worked in private sector planning, non-profit management and wants to increase the diversity of response rates on municipal planning and budgetary surveys.
Sara helped develop the City of Raleigh Planning and Development Department's first program to pay community members to help with outreach in 2021. She started On the Ground Consulting in 2022 with the idea that listening and talking directly to impacted communities can result in better outcomes for everyone.
Director of Engagement
Alexandria Webb migrated from South Eastern North Carolina to the Triangle to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Since attending she has found herself celebrating her body, life, and spirit by using the art of Drag as revolutionary trans leaders have done in the past. She has organized communities in the triangle as an advocate for black trans lives, police reform, and to elect candidates that understand how important it is to not only protect but enrich LGBTQIA+ lives.
As a black/indigenous woman of trans experience from the Tuscarora tribe, she wants to use her life and experiences as a communal healer to break generational curses and teach the revolutionary act of loving on oneself as a daily practice. In addition to that, she has skills in community engagement that she uses for outreach to build sustainable community relationships.
Amethyst is a BIPOC female originally from Mexico. She grew up in the RDU area and come from a very humble upbringing in a Mexican, immigrant family. Currently, she lives in Lillington because she couldn't keep up with the rent in the Triangle so she relocated to the country. During her free time, she likes to create costume pieces, cook and play with her baby.
She is passionate about outreach work because she believes no one should be in the dark about neighborhood changes. Our community is beautiful and diverse, which means it's important to use different tools to keep them informed. Rents have been rising as Cities grow and governments invest in them, so we need to keep people informed about the changes.
She believes knowledge is power and preparation is critical.
My experience working with Sara Ellis over the past few years, and more recently with her firm On the Ground has been excellent. She delivers work on time and keeps in touch as she works on projects. I will definitely work with On the Ground again for my next community engagement project.
Eric Braun, Raleigh Forward