Rural Investment and Prosperity Project

Strengthening and Expanding Philanthropy’s Impact on Rural Equity

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Project Overview

MDC is working in collaboration with the United Philanthropy Forum (UPF) —a national network of 86 regional and national philanthropy-serving organizations (PSO’s)—to strengthen and expand philanthropy’s impact in promoting opportunity, health and equity in rural and Tribal communities, with particular focus on the intersections of racial, geographic and economic equity. This effort is supported by a grant to UPF from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Project Goals

The goals of this project are:

  1. To increase the awareness and understanding of, relationship with, and investment in rural communities by funders that are not currently prioritizing rural outcomes
  2. To increase the visibility and influence of, connection among, and impact of funders that are prioritizing rural outcomes.

There is no other national entity that is elevating philanthropic giving to advance rural equity; this represents an important initiative for the field. In facilitating his initiative, MDC draws upon our strengths in equity-centered philanthropy, rural capacity building, and place-based change.

Our Impact

This initiative is guided by a 15 member Working Group of PSO (philanthropic serving organization) leaders and is making a direct impact to date by:

  • Advancing a set of philanthropic principles for how funders should show up and invest in rural equity.
  • Making the case for investing in rural equity within the philanthropic sector, by, among other things, having data that tracks funder investment. MDC is enjoying working with Candid on this effort and is drawing on the strong work of the Center on Rural Innovation.
  • Exposing funders to the importance of building rural capacity to advocate for and take advantage of federal dollars, especially those available through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

If you are interested in more on this program, please contact Vice President of Partnerships and Programs, Calvin Allen.

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Contact the Project Team

Calvin Allen, Vice President of Partnerships and Programs

Email Calvin Allen