March 2017                                                                                                               Newsletter
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Community Foundations Leading on Rural Economic Development 
With our partner, the Aspen Institute Community Strategies Group (Aspen CSG), we are pleased to announce the nine community foundations from across the US selected to participate in an 18-month peer learning network exploring philanthropy's role in rural economic development - the Rural Economic Development Philanthropy Innovator's Network (REDPIN). REDPIN will expose participants to a range of economic development practices and provide them with an environment of peer advising and support. As part of the network, each participating foundation will analyze their local economy and apply community and economic development tools to improve their region's prospects, with a special emphasis on helping low-income families, communities and businesses do better. The network is being launched with initial funding provided by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and by participating foundations.

The network was developed following the success of two national workshops Aspen CSG and the Center offered in 2015 and 2016. These workshops explored innovative roles place-rooted foundations are taking in economic development (learn more
here ). CRE and Aspen CSG also outlined the potential for community foundations to play economic leadership roles in A New Domain for Place-Rooted Foundations: Economic Development Philanthropy (The Foundation Review, September 2016). This article provides an overview of the thinking and approach that underlies REDPIN. The first gathering of selected foundations will take place in late spring. Congrats to the following participating foundations:

Barry Community Foundation (Michigan)
Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque (Iowa)
Community Foundation of South Central New York
Galesburg Community Foundation (Illinois)
Golden Belt Community Foundation (Kansas)
Greater Salina Community Foundation (Kansas) -- replaces Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation (West Virginia) 
Kern Community Foundation (California)
Southeastern Illinois Community Foundation
Southwest Initiative Foundation (Minnesota)
Other Center News
Re-envisioning Natural Resource Economies is the topic of the next panel discussion of the 6-part series, America's Rural Opportunity, put on by the Rural Development Innovation Group . This 3rd session will be Thursday, April 20, 2017, 12-1:30 p.m. at the Aspen Institute, Washington, D.C. and via livestream. More details and registration information will be available soon HERE. To access a recording of the 2nd session, Supporting Entrepreneurial Economies, held on March 17, click HERE.

The Stanislaus Community Foundation has commissioned the Center for Rural Entrepreneurship to complete 10 and 40-year Transfer of Wealth™ Opportunity analysis for Stanislaus County and five communities within the County. This research will be used by the Foundation to advance donor development, legacy giving, endowment building and community betterment strategic grantmaking within this central California community (home to Modesto). The Center is also completing TOW analysis for rural Maryland and Kentucky.  Other projects are pending that could make this one of the Center's most active TOW research years! To learn more about this service and others related to philanthropy, contact Don Macke at .
Who's providing leadership for rural impact investing? While some larger foundations have provided significant national visibility and leadership on impact investing (check out this update on Heron Foundation's 100% for mission commitment), an innovative community foundation in rural Wisconsin, Incourage Community Foundation, has a deep commitment to "values-aligned, long-term systemic change in the region." The foundation is connecting and leveraging multiple forms of capital - human, social, intellectual, moral, reputational...and financial. They are demonstrating how to invest for impact in multiple dimensions. According to Kelly Ryan, President and CEO, "Along with national platforms and marketplaces that add efficiency, we must build impact investing infrastructure from the ground up-through the engagement of local communities." Read more about Incourage in this article by Kelly Ryan.
Field News 
In a new podcast from Infinite Earth Academy , Erik Pages, president of EntreWorks Consulting , discusses topics such as place-based economic development, entrepreneurship, workforce strategies, and efforts to diversify local and regional economies, including in coal-reliant places. From the podcast: "Every community in the United States has entrepreneurs. Not every community has a major university or major corporation, but every community - no matter how poor or distressed - has people who are entrepreneurs and have the entrepreneurial spirit. Finding those people in your community is an important part in getting started."  Click here to listen to the podcast.

The Kauffman Foundation's 8th Annual State of Entrepreneurship Address highlights the rise of entrepreneurship post-recession but points to some troubling characteristics of the entrepreneurial population - less diversity compared to the overall population; lower startup rates in rural places; jobs not scaling as entrepreneurial ventures scale.

"Entrepreneurship is local." Maria Meyers responds to recent opinion piece by Steve Case in this SourceLink Best Practice post.

Data-driven decision making is important for local communities. Headwaters Economics provides community leaders with easily accessible, high quality data reports on a range of topics from federal lands to manufacturing to populations at risk. Check out the latest Know Your Economy tools.

Resiliency in uncertain federal policy times is the message shared in this piece by Storm Cunningham offering ideas for communities trying to craft development strategies that are not reliant on uncertain federal funding for success.

Try This WV! Check out this creative site designed to share ideas about building strong, healthy communities across the state. Loaded with good ideas about community building, it offers some easy ways to "get started" in your community.
In This Issue
Quick Links
On the Road
Don Macke will be in...

Hayes, KS Mar 30 - High Performing Teams Workshop with NetWork Kansas

McCook, NE April 19-20 for an e-ship conference

Lincoln, NE April 26-27 for a Dean's retreat at UNL

Deb Markley will be in... 

Upper Kanawha Valley, WV March 29-April 1 for community listening sessions, Seizing Opportunity - Your Voice/Your Valley 

Raleigh, NC April 20 to do a presentation on value chains to the NC Rural Center's REDI leadership class

Lynchburg, VC April 25-26 for a presentation to members of the VCC board

Canton, NY May 7-9 for the North Country Symposium

Incourage Community Foundation...helping to shape a community that works well for all people. 

Center for Rural Entrepreneurship
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