At Philanthropy Potluck we love featuring the outstanding work of our MCF members. Here’s a recent West Central Blogger post written by Kim Embretson, West Central Initiative vice president of development.
How do you create success in rural communities? A small group of foundation leaders from all over the nation have been tackling this question. They have discovered that when you combine the features of economic development, community development and philanthropy you unlock the secret to success.
Often rural community leaders struggle alone trying to build the systems that will make their community successful. Eight years ago, four community foundations all working with rural economic development were brought together as part of an Aspen Institute learning community. They discovered a common thread of activities that influenced the success of rural communities. They decided to work together to help rural communities all over the nation.
West Central Initiative, The Nebraska Community Foundation, The Humboldt Area Foundation in California, The East Tennessee Foundation, The Black Belt Community Foundation, The Aspen Institute Community Strategies Group, The Center for Rural Strategies, and North Carolina Rural Economic Development Center have formed the Rural Development Philanthropy Collaboration steering committee. They have been able to compare years of experience working with successful rural communities to collect the most effective actions that lead to success.
The Rural Development Philanthropy is no longer a secret. Now the core documents are available for anyone interested in the success of their rural community at http://www.wcif.org/?page=Publications#RDP. Learn how your rural community or region can benefit from combining economic development, community development and philanthropy.
Grant support from the Ford Foundation, California Endowment, Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the community foundations on the steering committee has helped underwrite the cost of meetings and materials to date.
Visit West Central Blogger for more regional community foundation news.