Dear Rural Partner,
For more than 30 years, we at the Rural Center have operated from one key principle: Sustainable, long-term change and vibrant economic growth cannot happen in a community, a small town, or even a bustling metro, without visionary leadership.
But we know leaders are not born fully formed. They are nurtured. They are encouraged. They need resources. They need support. Yet it is in our rural places where visionary leaders may feel the most isolated and most ill equipped to lead their communities to a better and brighter tomorrow.
It is in those very places where the investment in a single individual or group of individuals can have the greatest return. And it is also in those places where the loss of a capable and well-equipped leader can have the gravest consequences.
We at the Rural Center call those individuals our "community spark plugs," the men and women dedicated to the places they call home and willing to do what it takes to drive the local economy in a way that is equitable and enduring.
Now, at the end of 2018, we need your help to make sure our rural spark plugs continue to run in harmony, firing on all cylinders to carry rural North Carolina into a better and brighter new year.
The Rural Center has identified a donor who will match every donation that you make dollar-for-dollar, up to $100,000, so we can expand our leadership programming and help more of our rural spark plugs. We hope you will consider making a tax-deductible donation to the Rural Center this holiday season, to help us expand programs that train rural leaders like
, a graduate of our
Rural Economic Development Institute
(REDI) and the 2018 Rural Leader of the Year.