“It was a great group of people with a wide variety of interests and backgrounds and I was honored to be included in the presentation.” — workshop presenter, Liberty
“The workshop in Snow Hill was an outstanding event.” — workshop attendee, Snow Hill
“Many plans are underway in Hayesville as a result of the impetus from that meeting.” — workshop attendee, Canton
“The energy was apparent.” — workshop attendee, Snow Hill
What great feedback! Our latest workshops, The Next STEP: Harnessing Assets Near and Far, gathered rural leaders from across the state to connect them with the resources they need.
As most of you are aware, there have been a lot of changes in the funding and technical assistance landscape across the state in the last few years, and it is often difficult to know what resources still exist and where they exist. The Rural Center organized three regional workshops designed to help local leaders figure out how to locate and access not only financial resources — including philanthropic — but also technical assistance and specialized expertise.
Approximately 140 people gathered in Canton, Liberty and Snow Hill to learn how they can tap their local and regional resources and assets, while realizing that there are a lot of resources in their own communities with which to strengthen their local economies and quality of life. Rural communities don’t have to rely only on Raleigh and Washington, whose resources have been diminishing.
Panelists representing community foundations, regional health care foundations and corporate philanthropy explained how to build relationships with private funders, and the ways in which communities can approach their respective foundations to help move community and economic development projects. It’s a two-way street: Foundations are looking for good initiatives in which to invest.
Representatives from the N.C. Department of Commerce, N.C. Cooperative Extension, Rural Forward N.C. and regional universities explained their funding and technical expertise programs. Each workshop ended with inspiring stories from individual small town leaders who have consistently worked toward revitalizing their communities.