Our Strategic Philanthropy practice helps foundations and grant-making organizations develop the focus, strategy, capacity, and culture the South requires to reduce poverty by advancing equity in education, community development, health, and family economic security.
Funded by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, RuraLead is designed to help funders and the field of stakeholders interested in helping rural places understand how to better support rural leadership. MDC seeks to learn what leaders are struggling with; what they see as needs and gaps; and what the role of national players and funders could be.
We’ve worked since 2004 to help foundations and other grant-making organizations deploy philanthropic capital to address systemic barriers and catalyze shared wellbeing by advancing equity in education, community development, health, and family economic security. Our 2007 The State of the South report, "Philanthropy as the South's "Passing Gear," and its 2017 iteration, "Philanthropy as the South's Passing Gear: Fulfilling the Promise," calls upon the region’s philanthropic organizations to think more creatively and act more boldly to help the South address its dual challenges of equity and competitiveness.
After 15 years equipping individual foundations to increase their impact, MDC offers its proven approach and methodology to cohorts of Southern foundations through the new Passing Gear Philanthropy Institute. The goal: Create a network of at least 30 Southern grantmakers actively employing Passing Gear principles and deploying philanthropic capital to address systemic barriers and catalyze shared wellbeing for all people in the South.
Rural Forward supports individual leaders, their organizations, and the county coalitions that are actively working to make their rural counties healthier and more thriving. Rural Forward envisions healthier, more sustainable rural communities with increased capacity to solve their own health problems. With an overall goal of improving the major health indicators in North Carolina over the next ten years, Rural Forward carries out its mission to build capacity and develop resources that amplify the impact of rural leaders, organizations, and coalitions.
The North Carolina Inclusive Disaster Recovery Network (NCIDR) is a collaborative of public, private, non-profit, and faith organizations seeking avenues for community voice and equitable access to resources in a disaster recovery system. Working with the network is a great way for statewide organizations to be good allies for community-based organizations engaged in on-the-ground disaster recovery. Rural Forward, a program of MDC serves as convener for NCIDR.
MDC managed this Ford Foundation initiative designed to develop resources and community capacity, particularly in the American South, to promote social and racial equality. MDC supported local, regional, and national nonprofit organizations engaged in this initiative through a peer learning network, resource development, and technical assistance.