>>Back to Local Control of AssetsRural Development Philanthropy Resources

Keeping and using local assets in Central Appalachia requires diverse leadership. It needs strong organizations rooted in the cultures of our communities. Many rural areas have not yet created organizations that can manage local assets, and rural communities are often perceived as reliant on corporations and government agencies to support community development.

CARN supports regional and national conversations about the role of local assets in distressed communities. We need to build a broad base of community leaders, elected officials, policy advocates, and philanthropists to share resources, case studies and best practices for building organizations. This directory compiles some work that has already been done to understand and encourage rural development through community philanthropy.

Rural Development Philanthropy Learning Network
"[A] diverse group of community foundations and funds, and philanthropic and rural development organizations that exchange experience, knowledge and skills to increase rural assets and improve rural livelihood."

Rural Fund Development 101
Guide for community leaders in rural places on community endowment funds; focus on practical tools and samples for the startup, maintenance, and leadership of a community endowment.

RDP Learning Network's Thinking and Action Framework
"[S]tep-by-step guides to help people who lead community foundations ... create and strengthen locally controlled endowment, grantmaking and community programs that can improve rural livelihoods, economies and community vitality."

Of particular interest to communities in Central Appalachia considering a permanent endowment:

Selected Rural Community Foundation Mission Statements

Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers Definition of "Community Wealth"

...[E]veryone is a prospective donor, and everyone is a beneficiary. This type of philanthropy is democratic and works to change community perspective from focusing on what the community lacks to looking positively on its assets. Using this strategy, communities create new, permanent resources.

Rural philanthropy helps rural residents:

  • Organize their whole community around common goals
  • Change community self-perception from deficit and need to assets and opportunity
  • Provide a new local giving choice for both wealthy and modest donors
  • Leverage new resources from outside the community
  • Bridge racial and class divides
  • Create a permanent community asset for generations to come

Three Strategies To Leverage A Community Endowment
This guide explores strategies for working with professional financial advisors, promotion of the endowment concept in communities, and challenge grants.

Rural Philanthropy: Funding Process
Brief outline of a typical grantmaking process.

Rural Philanthropy: Relationship Development
The Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers lists categories of stakeholders in rural communities (e.g. retirees, business owners, working people, youth, 'community alumni') and suggests ways of making connections between their interests and a community endowment.

Selling the Endowment Concept
"[Y]ou need a small organizing group or board that gets what a community endowment is and wants to grow it. Once you have that, here's how you can help educate the community about what an endowment is—and help them believe they can do it."

Rural Philanthropy Resources
A directory of information about rural philanthropy on the the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers website.

Growing Local Philanthropy 2009 Survey
This report presents findings from a survey of community foundations across the United States, conducted in the summer of 2009 by the Aspen Institute Community Strategies Group designed to learn about emerging trends in the incidence of and experience with geographic affiliates of community foundations in the United States.