Donate Now

Make a difference in rural North Carolina

PayPal secure payments.

 


 

 

LEADERSHIP

 

Join the New Generation


NewGenInitiatives_Logo_white

The Rural Center’s New Generation Initiative is up and running. The initiative is a three-year, $3.6 million effort to transform rural communities through youth and young adult engagement. Encompassing four distinct programs, it offers opportunities in entrepreneurship development, on-the-job training, leadership development and community service.  Learn how you can become involved.

 

Apply now:

New Generation Ventures: Applications accepted on a rolling basis. Learn more.

 

Are you REDI? Apply now for leadership program


The center is accepting applications for the spring 2013 class of the Rural Economic Development Institute. With nearly 900 graduates, the institute has earned national recognition for its combination of economic development education and leadership training. Prepare to lead positive change in your community. Apply today, or read more about the program. Applications are due by Jan. 15. The class begins March 13.

  

After slight improvement, rural unemployment rises again


Following a month in which North Carolina's rural jobless numbers dipped below 10 percent, the unemployment rate climbed back to double digits in May. More than 219,000 people in the 85 rural counties are unemployed, and federal regulators anticipate no quick fixes. Read more.

  

Statesville company starts shakable yogurt business


frushWith help from a Rural Center building reuse grant, the dairy operation has begun producing yogurt shakes. The $7 million facility, which brought a vacant truck stop back to life, employs 25 and may expand. Read more.

  

Harmony's sewer system primes town for new investment


Harmony1After years of steady perseverance, town officials managed to accumulate the funding to construct a sewer system in the tiny Iredell County town. The new wastewater system solved the problem of overloaded septic tanks while making it possible for restaurants to step up their service. Read more.

  

Rural Center grants to boost youth engagement, create 450 jobs


The Rural Center has awarded 25 New Generation Initiative grants to encourage rural young people to become more engaged in community improvement and train others for skilled jobs in high-demand fields.


They were among 50 grants totaling $5.9 million approved by the board of directors June 20. Altogether the grants will assist projects in 39 counties, place over 500 young adults in permanent jobs, create an additional 450 jobs, and support water and sewer improvements. Read more.

  

Entrepreneurship conference to showcase can-do spirit


Bijoy Goswami, founder of the Bootstrap Network, will keynote the 2012 North Carolina Entrepreneurship Summit Sept. 24-25 in Asheville. The Rural Center is a summit cosponsor. Follow the latest news about the summit. 

 

11 towns begin NC STEP process


dan1 Approximately 100 small town leaders came to Raleigh June 6-7 to launch their communities into a two-year revitalization process. The leaders represent 11 towns accepted this year into the Rural Center’s N.C. Small Towns Economic Prosperity Program. Read more.

 

28 complete leadership program


redi blurb photo

Twenty-eight rural leaders completed the Rural Center’s Rural Economic Development Institute in May. The three-month institute enhances leadership skills and increases understanding of economic and community development. Read more.

 
 
 

News & Updates

Presenting our New Logo:

NewLogo
We wanted a logo concept that expressed a sense of energy, progress, diversity, and innovation, yet harkened back to traditional rural imagery. Thank you for your patience as we transition our logo and begin moving forward! Happy 30 years to the NC Rural Center!
 

The 2017 NC Rural Assembly, November 16-17

Rural Assembly 2017 Logo FINAL 2

Claiming our Future: Inspiring leadership, driving change was two days full of content and conversations focused on how communities can engage the next generation of rural leadership to build the foundation for a better and brighter tomorrow. 
 
Presentations, materials, and videos will be available on the Rural Asssembly website shortly.
 
The future is what we dare to make it. Will you help lead the way. 

 Learn More

Rural Center Announces New Rural Church Initiative

The NC Rural Center has received a five-year grant from The Duke Endowment to work with United Methodist churches in rural North Carolina to build more economically dynamic and socially inclusive communities.

The Faith in Rural Communities initiative will initially partner with 64 Methodist churches throughout the state to assess their congregational assets and opportunities for community engagement. A smaller subset of congregations will then receive in-depth coaching to develop local outreach projects that support community growth and nurture laity and pastoral leadership in rural communities. 
 

Learn More 

The Rural Center Launches Small Business Recovery Program

CC1
(Flooded downtown Fair Bluff after Hurricane Matthew. Photo credit: Jody Johnson)
 
The North Carolina Rural Center has selected Fair Bluff, Kinston, Lumberton, Pembroke, Princeville, Roseboro, and Whiteville to participate in the new Small Business Recovery ProgramEach participating community will receive an initial $100,000 investment in a local loan fund. Additional resources are available to increase those funds to nearly $300,000 to meet the local demand for small business loans.  
 
Rural Center business coaches will help each community create a tailored program to expand their capacity to identify, build, or invest directly in the assets needed to create an entrepreneur-friendly infrastructure in their community and to rebuild and strengthen their small business economy. The Small Business Recovery Program is part of the Rural Center's larger effort in helping rural communities through disaster recovery, for more information click here.
 

 

The Economic Impact of Closing the Insurance Coverage Gap

The NC Rural Center has launched a new county-level database that lets users explore who would benefit from closing the health insurance coverage gap, and the possible economic impact it could have for the state.
 
 

RuralDayHorizontalLogo

On Tuesday, May 9, we hosted the first-ever statewide Rural Day. Attendees were able to learn about the issues facing rural North Carolina, meet with state leaders, and network with other rural champions. Speakers included Governor Roy Cooper, Lt. Governor Dan Forest, Commissioner Steve Troxler, and many more state leaders working towards improving rural North Carolina. Learn more how we put rural NC's best foot forward!
 
 

 

ImpactReport Copy

The numbers are in and we are pleased to share with you our 2016 Impacts Report! Take a look and learn more about our programs, people, and the communities we work with across rural North Carolina. Together we will continue to improve the quality of life of all rural North Carolinians, from the mountains to the coast.
 
 
 

Bridging the Rural/Urban Divide Webinar, April 5th

Missed the webinar? Click below to listen to the discussion about breaking down the idea of the "divide" between rural and urban, and giving ideas about how to incorporate messages about the important connections among all our communities in your advocacy.
 
 
 

Community Allies for Disaster Recovery

On Tuesday, February 28th, the Rural Center and a group of partner organizations hosted a training event for local nonprofit and grassroots leaders serving communities affected by Hurricane Matthew. The event provided updates on immediate recovery needs, connected participants to experts and resources, and explored long-term community revitalization strategies. The gathering started a partnership between community leaders and the key agencies leading the recovery process.
 
 

 

 Post-Election Webinar December 15th

The Rural Center hosted the first in a series of ongoing advocacy webinars designed to inform and engage rural communities across the state. We introduced the center's new Advocacy Director, John Coggin, and analyzed the outcome of  the national and state election and the impact they may have on rural communities. We looked ahead at what we anticipated from upcoming sessions of the General Assembly and Congress. We discussed the status of long-term hurricane recovery packages at the federal and state levels (action anticipated in early to mid-December).  We also gave the latest information on court ordered legislative redistricting and the 2017 special election. 
 

Click Here For More Information 

 

Letter to Congressional Delegation

ThisLetter Thumbnail

This week, the Rural Center hand-delivered letters to members of the North Carolina Congressional Delegation supporting federal emergency supplemental funding for disaster recovery. Hurricane Matthew made landfall on October 8th and record-breaking rainfall followed causing devastation for families, infrastructure, businesses, and whole communities. The letter outlines specific priorities including the Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery Fund, multiple USDA programs and other critical needs for recovery in eastern North Carolina. 

 

 

Emergency Bridge Loan Program Activated for Small Businesses Impacted by Hurricane Matthew

 
dixoncombined   
 
Derria and Barry Dixon (left) are working to recover from flood Damage at the offices of Dixon Social Interactive Services in Kinston (right).
 

The Rural Center made the first loan from the N.C. Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program to Derria and Barry Dixon of Dixon Social Interactive Services. Dixon Social Interactive Services is a provider for Mental and Behavioral Health offering counseling, day treatment, and therapy to individuals as well as families with offices in Greenville, Kinston, New Bern, and Rocky Mount.

Click here to continue reading this story.

Click here to apply for the Emergency Bridge Loan.

 

The 2016 N.C. Rural Assembly

 

2016 assembly logo

On behalf of the Board of Directors and the entire staff of the N. C. Rural Center, we want to thank you for making the 2016 N. C. Rural Assembly a success.  Our front porch conversation with rural leaders continued with great speakers, great resource organizations and presentations from the candidates seeking to lead our state in the years to come as Governor and United States Senator.  We managed to celebrate some rural success through our six annual award winners, and we even enjoyed a trip down memory lane with Andy, Barney and Aunt Bea as we previewed a new documentary on "The Real Mayberry".  It reminded us all of why we love and cherish our small rural North Carolina towns.  We'll be posting all our conference presentations and content online shortly, and we'll be sending you a survey seeking your feedback in helping us plan for the 2017 N. C. Rural Assembly.  It's less than a year away!

 

All the best from all of us,

Patrick

 

Read More

 

Check out our #RuralCounts download center


Rural Counts Square website LOGO
 
The Rural Center has released its first-ever comprehensive advocacy agenda,
Rural Counts: 10 Strategies for North Carolina's Future.
 

           Download the 10 Strategies for North Carolina's Future.

           Endorse Rural Counts and help us advocate on behalf of rural North Carolina's

            4.3 million people.
 
           To request a Rural Center speaker to talk with your group about Rural Counts,
           please drop a note to info@ncruralcenter.org.
 
           The Rural Center is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization. Donate now to help 
           give Rural Counts the biggest audience possible.
 
           Are you ready to help? More info is available in our Advocacy Toolkit.
 

 

 

The Rural Center is a nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of rural North Carolinians through the development, promotion and implementation of sound economic strategies.

How can we help your community? The center trains rural leaders from all walks of life to recognize and embrace economic opportunities. We help rural entrepreneurs of all ages start their own businesses, and we provide access to capital so established businesses can grow and create new jobs.

We are passionate about this work. Recent challenges have only strengthened our dedication to it.

If you have a question about current Rural Center initiatives, please contact a staff member. If you have a question about past grant programs, please see this FAQ.

  

Definging a rural N.C. advocacy agenda: We need you!

ncrc-mountains2

Last year we heard from you, our Rural Partners, that rural North Carolina needs to begin speaking with a clearer and more united voice. You asked us to help coordinate an effort to do exactly that, and we took your charge to heart. This summer, we will be traveling to six North Carolina towns to gather your input as we craft a rural advocacy agenda to benefit the entire state. Read more in our June newsletter.

 

Woodie joins new N.C. Rural Health Alliance


Rural Center President Patrick Woodie has joined the newly formed N.C. Rural Health Leadership Alliance as an inaugural member. Read more.

 

 

Check out our 2015 training and event schedule

We have an ambitious and thorough schedule mapped out for the rest of the year. It is constantly being updated, so don't forget to bookmark it. Read more.

 

 

"A further reason to hope comes from the Rural Center"


In a recent newspaper column that was published throughout the state, Tom Campbell of "N.C. Spin" praised the Rural Center's resiliency and refocused dedication to serving rural North Carolina. "We're all in this effort together," he says. Read more.

   

 

 

 

LEADERSHIP

 

Join the New Generation


NewGenInitiatives_Logo_white

The Rural Center’s New Generation Initiative is up and running. The initiative is a three-year, $3.6 million effort to transform rural communities through youth and young adult engagement. Encompassing four distinct programs, it offers opportunities in entrepreneurship development, on-the-job training, leadership development and community service.  Learn how you can become involved.

 

Apply now:

New Generation Ventures: Applications accepted on a rolling basis. Learn more.

 

Are you REDI? Apply now for leadership program


The center is accepting applications for the spring 2013 class of the Rural Economic Development Institute. With nearly 900 graduates, the institute has earned national recognition for its combination of economic development education and leadership training. Prepare to lead positive change in your community. Apply today, or read more about the program. Applications are due by Jan. 15. The class begins March 13.

  

After slight improvement, rural unemployment rises again


Following a month in which North Carolina's rural jobless numbers dipped below 10 percent, the unemployment rate climbed back to double digits in May. More than 219,000 people in the 85 rural counties are unemployed, and federal regulators anticipate no quick fixes. Read more.

  

Statesville company starts shakable yogurt business


frushWith help from a Rural Center building reuse grant, the dairy operation has begun producing yogurt shakes. The $7 million facility, which brought a vacant truck stop back to life, employs 25 and may expand. Read more.

  

Harmony's sewer system primes town for new investment


Harmony1After years of steady perseverance, town officials managed to accumulate the funding to construct a sewer system in the tiny Iredell County town. The new wastewater system solved the problem of overloaded septic tanks while making it possible for restaurants to step up their service. Read more.

  

Rural Center grants to boost youth engagement, create 450 jobs


The Rural Center has awarded 25 New Generation Initiative grants to encourage rural young people to become more engaged in community improvement and train others for skilled jobs in high-demand fields.


They were among 50 grants totaling $5.9 million approved by the board of directors June 20. Altogether the grants will assist projects in 39 counties, place over 500 young adults in permanent jobs, create an additional 450 jobs, and support water and sewer improvements. Read more.

  

Entrepreneurship conference to showcase can-do spirit


Bijoy Goswami, founder of the Bootstrap Network, will keynote the 2012 North Carolina Entrepreneurship Summit Sept. 24-25 in Asheville. The Rural Center is a summit cosponsor. Follow the latest news about the summit. 

 

11 towns begin NC STEP process


dan1 Approximately 100 small town leaders came to Raleigh June 6-7 to launch their communities into a two-year revitalization process. The leaders represent 11 towns accepted this year into the Rural Center’s N.C. Small Towns Economic Prosperity Program. Read more.

 

28 complete leadership program


redi blurb photo

Twenty-eight rural leaders completed the Rural Center’s Rural Economic Development Institute in May. The three-month institute enhances leadership skills and increases understanding of economic and community development. Read more.

 
 
 

News & Updates

Presenting our New Logo:

NewLogo
We wanted a logo concept that expressed a sense of energy, progress, diversity, and innovation, yet harkened back to traditional rural imagery. Thank you for your patience as we transition our logo and begin moving forward! Happy 30 years to the NC Rural Center!
 

The 2017 NC Rural Assembly, November 16-17

Rural Assembly 2017 Logo FINAL 2

Claiming our Future: Inspiring leadership, driving change was two days full of content and conversations focused on how communities can engage the next generation of rural leadership to build the foundation for a better and brighter tomorrow. 
 
Presentations, materials, and videos will be available on the Rural Asssembly website shortly.
 
The future is what we dare to make it. Will you help lead the way. 

 Learn More

Rural Center Announces New Rural Church Initiative

The NC Rural Center has received a five-year grant from The Duke Endowment to work with United Methodist churches in rural North Carolina to build more economically dynamic and socially inclusive communities.

The Faith in Rural Communities initiative will initially partner with 64 Methodist churches throughout the state to assess their congregational assets and opportunities for community engagement. A smaller subset of congregations will then receive in-depth coaching to develop local outreach projects that support community growth and nurture laity and pastoral leadership in rural communities. 
 

Learn More 

The Rural Center Launches Small Business Recovery Program

CC1
(Flooded downtown Fair Bluff after Hurricane Matthew. Photo credit: Jody Johnson)
 
The North Carolina Rural Center has selected Fair Bluff, Kinston, Lumberton, Pembroke, Princeville, Roseboro, and Whiteville to participate in the new Small Business Recovery ProgramEach participating community will receive an initial $100,000 investment in a local loan fund. Additional resources are available to increase those funds to nearly $300,000 to meet the local demand for small business loans.  
 
Rural Center business coaches will help each community create a tailored program to expand their capacity to identify, build, or invest directly in the assets needed to create an entrepreneur-friendly infrastructure in their community and to rebuild and strengthen their small business economy. The Small Business Recovery Program is part of the Rural Center's larger effort in helping rural communities through disaster recovery, for more information click here.
 

 

The Economic Impact of Closing the Insurance Coverage Gap

The NC Rural Center has launched a new county-level database that lets users explore who would benefit from closing the health insurance coverage gap, and the possible economic impact it could have for the state.
 
 

RuralDayHorizontalLogo

On Tuesday, May 9, we hosted the first-ever statewide Rural Day. Attendees were able to learn about the issues facing rural North Carolina, meet with state leaders, and network with other rural champions. Speakers included Governor Roy Cooper, Lt. Governor Dan Forest, Commissioner Steve Troxler, and many more state leaders working towards improving rural North Carolina. Learn more how we put rural NC's best foot forward!
 
 

 

ImpactReport Copy

The numbers are in and we are pleased to share with you our 2016 Impacts Report! Take a look and learn more about our programs, people, and the communities we work with across rural North Carolina. Together we will continue to improve the quality of life of all rural North Carolinians, from the mountains to the coast.
 
 
 

Bridging the Rural/Urban Divide Webinar, April 5th

Missed the webinar? Click below to listen to the discussion about breaking down the idea of the "divide" between rural and urban, and giving ideas about how to incorporate messages about the important connections among all our communities in your advocacy.
 
 
 

Community Allies for Disaster Recovery

On Tuesday, February 28th, the Rural Center and a group of partner organizations hosted a training event for local nonprofit and grassroots leaders serving communities affected by Hurricane Matthew. The event provided updates on immediate recovery needs, connected participants to experts and resources, and explored long-term community revitalization strategies. The gathering started a partnership between community leaders and the key agencies leading the recovery process.
 
 

 

 Post-Election Webinar December 15th

The Rural Center hosted the first in a series of ongoing advocacy webinars designed to inform and engage rural communities across the state. We introduced the center's new Advocacy Director, John Coggin, and analyzed the outcome of  the national and state election and the impact they may have on rural communities. We looked ahead at what we anticipated from upcoming sessions of the General Assembly and Congress. We discussed the status of long-term hurricane recovery packages at the federal and state levels (action anticipated in early to mid-December).  We also gave the latest information on court ordered legislative redistricting and the 2017 special election. 
 

Click Here For More Information 

 

Letter to Congressional Delegation

ThisLetter Thumbnail

This week, the Rural Center hand-delivered letters to members of the North Carolina Congressional Delegation supporting federal emergency supplemental funding for disaster recovery. Hurricane Matthew made landfall on October 8th and record-breaking rainfall followed causing devastation for families, infrastructure, businesses, and whole communities. The letter outlines specific priorities including the Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery Fund, multiple USDA programs and other critical needs for recovery in eastern North Carolina. 

 

 

Emergency Bridge Loan Program Activated for Small Businesses Impacted by Hurricane Matthew

 
dixoncombined   
 
Derria and Barry Dixon (left) are working to recover from flood Damage at the offices of Dixon Social Interactive Services in Kinston (right).
 

The Rural Center made the first loan from the N.C. Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program to Derria and Barry Dixon of Dixon Social Interactive Services. Dixon Social Interactive Services is a provider for Mental and Behavioral Health offering counseling, day treatment, and therapy to individuals as well as families with offices in Greenville, Kinston, New Bern, and Rocky Mount.

Click here to continue reading this story.

Click here to apply for the Emergency Bridge Loan.

 

The 2016 N.C. Rural Assembly

 

2016 assembly logo

On behalf of the Board of Directors and the entire staff of the N. C. Rural Center, we want to thank you for making the 2016 N. C. Rural Assembly a success.  Our front porch conversation with rural leaders continued with great speakers, great resource organizations and presentations from the candidates seeking to lead our state in the years to come as Governor and United States Senator.  We managed to celebrate some rural success through our six annual award winners, and we even enjoyed a trip down memory lane with Andy, Barney and Aunt Bea as we previewed a new documentary on "The Real Mayberry".  It reminded us all of why we love and cherish our small rural North Carolina towns.  We'll be posting all our conference presentations and content online shortly, and we'll be sending you a survey seeking your feedback in helping us plan for the 2017 N. C. Rural Assembly.  It's less than a year away!

 

All the best from all of us,

Patrick

 

Read More

 

Check out our #RuralCounts download center


Rural Counts Square website LOGO
 
The Rural Center has released its first-ever comprehensive advocacy agenda,
Rural Counts: 10 Strategies for North Carolina's Future.
 

           Download the 10 Strategies for North Carolina's Future.

           Endorse Rural Counts and help us advocate on behalf of rural North Carolina's

            4.3 million people.
 
           To request a Rural Center speaker to talk with your group about Rural Counts,
           please drop a note to info@ncruralcenter.org.
 
           The Rural Center is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization. Donate now to help 
           give Rural Counts the biggest audience possible.
 
           Are you ready to help? More info is available in our Advocacy Toolkit.
 

 

 

The Rural Center is a nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of rural North Carolinians through the development, promotion and implementation of sound economic strategies.

How can we help your community? The center trains rural leaders from all walks of life to recognize and embrace economic opportunities. We help rural entrepreneurs of all ages start their own businesses, and we provide access to capital so established businesses can grow and create new jobs.

We are passionate about this work. Recent challenges have only strengthened our dedication to it.

If you have a question about current Rural Center initiatives, please contact a staff member. If you have a question about past grant programs, please see this FAQ.

  

Definging a rural N.C. advocacy agenda: We need you!

ncrc-mountains2

Last year we heard from you, our Rural Partners, that rural North Carolina needs to begin speaking with a clearer and more united voice. You asked us to help coordinate an effort to do exactly that, and we took your charge to heart. This summer, we will be traveling to six North Carolina towns to gather your input as we craft a rural advocacy agenda to benefit the entire state. Read more in our June newsletter.

 

Woodie joins new N.C. Rural Health Alliance


Rural Center President Patrick Woodie has joined the newly formed N.C. Rural Health Leadership Alliance as an inaugural member. Read more.

 

 

Check out our 2015 training and event schedule

We have an ambitious and thorough schedule mapped out for the rest of the year. It is constantly being updated, so don't forget to bookmark it. Read more.

 

 

"A further reason to hope comes from the Rural Center"


In a recent newspaper column that was published throughout the state, Tom Campbell of "N.C. Spin" praised the Rural Center's resiliency and refocused dedication to serving rural North Carolina. "We're all in this effort together," he says. Read more.