We are changing the political landscape of rural America.
Rural Democracy Initiative (RDI) connects rural leaders with national and regional funders to build powerful, permanent civic and political infrastructure in small towns, small cities and rural areas of the US. Our coalition of rural innovators and funders is working in states where progressive rural civic action will most affect public opinion, elections, and redistricting. We're building sustainable organizations to support rural people working to transform rural America — and therefore the entire country — for decades to come.
We support powerful and sustained organizing to mobilize neighbor-to-neighbor in rural areas, connected to voter data, digital outreach tools, and leadership development for even greater impact.
RDI is investing in research, content, and narrative development while building a collaborative network of communications platforms with credibility in rural areas.
RDI provides capacity for rural groups and leaders to link to state political plans and tables, share with colleagues in other states, and to experiment. We are a network for sharing rural opinion research, technology and tactics.
We know how to win in small towns and rural communities
LEAD began where many good ideas do—at a happy hour.
"The grant from the Heartland Fund to Poder NC Action will contribute to the building and sustainability of permanent and solid organizing infrastructure with and for Latinxs in rural North Carolina. Poder will be able to live into the legacies of North Carolinian youth organizing that leads to transformative community change, one rural community at a time."
Irene GodinezFounder, Poder NC Action
"With RDI support, We The People - Michigan can add organizers who are building power linked across rural and urban communities in Michigan to challenge the divide-and-conquer strategies of the Right."
Art Reyes IIIExecutive Director of We The People Michigan
"RDI helps me and other donors produce the highest return on investment in building civic and political infrastructure in rural communities, by helping leverage local, state, and national funds to match my investments, and also by providing expert guidance on which local organizations are in the position to have the biggest impact."
"In 2018 local rural groups, first time candidates, and grassroots efforts stood up for a rural America that is empowered, thriving, and equitable. The swing in rural America toward more progressive candidates and ideas was larger than any other geography (6% overall). Imagine if they had the sustained help of national resources and a coordinated political program."