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Regional Leadership and Capacity Building

The NC Rural Center launched the Western Regional Leadership and Capacity Building Initiative in January 2021, with funding support from the Golden LEAF Foundation. The initiative is building diverse regional leadership teams in the state’s Western Prosperity Zone and provides leadership training to project teams to identify untapped regional opportunities for economic growth and development.

This program is helping the region to broaden its leadership base, enhance community and regional collaborations, and develop strategic, innovative projects to transform the economy.

The results of the work will enable the region to better compete for national, state, and private resources, including strengthening the quality and reach of grant proposals for Golden LEAF’s anticipated 2021-22 Community Based Grant Initiative (CBGI) in the Western Prosperity Zone.

Golden LEAF’s CBGI supports the building blocks of economic growth in local communities, focusing on communities in a Prosperity Zone. CBGI focuses on projects that address: agriculture; workforce preparedness and education; job creation and economic investment; and community competitiveness, capacity, and vitality. The competitive application process is designed to identify projects that are ready for implementation at the award date and have the potential to make a significant local economic impact.


Western Region Information Session:


If you are interested in learning more about this initiative and how to get involved, but missed the informational meeting on January 26, see resources below.

Watch the webinar here. 

Download the Informational PowerPoint.



Western Region Kick-Off Training:


If you are interested in the Golden LEAF Foundation and the NC Rural Center for the Community-Based Grants Initiative (CBGI) and Regional Leadership and Capacity Building Kick-Off Training, but missed the meeting on February 17, see resources below.

Watch the webinar here.


Western Region Interest Area Meetings:


The NC Rural Center hosted six interest area meetings March 8 – 11, 2021.  The purpose of the meetings was to facilitate networking with others from across the region, generate and share potential project ideas for funders to invest in, and to explore alignment and opportunities for collaboration.  If you missed any of these meetings, see resources below.


Western Regional Funder Forum:

If you are interested in how to leverage funds for your project ideas but missed the Funder Forum on May 26, see resources below.



Community-Based Grants Initiative Workshop:

If you are interested in an in-depth look at the CBGI application process and funding timeline, but missed the Community-Based Grants Initiative Workshop on June 15, see resources below.



Counties in the Western Prosperity Zone that are eligible to participate in this initiative include:

  • Buncombe
  • Cherokee
  • Clay
  • Graham
  • Haywood
  • Henderson
  • Jackson
  • Macon 
  • Madison
  • Polk
  • Rutherford
  • Swain
  • Transylvania

News & Updates:


Community-Based Grants Initiative launches January 26, 2021 in Western Prosperity Zone
Golden LEAF Foundation

Read more.