Press

The Importance of Rural Voters

Sarah Jaynes’s op-ed in Newsweek makes the case for engaging rural voters during this election.

Program

Early Investment Spurs Civic Engagement

We know the importance of staffing up to run outreach efforts well ahead of election day.

Announcement

Analyzing the Farm Bill

See how the House and Senate proposals meet the priorities of rural communities.

Press

Rural Democracy Initiative in The New York Times

Rural voters tend to be “economic populists” who overwhelmingly agree the government shouldn’t call the shots on abortion.

Press

Sustainable Coalitions Key to Rural Youth Voter Turnout in Wisconsin

“63% of rural youth are infrequent or uncommitted voters.”

Press

Montana Grantees Tapping into Young Voter Turnout

Montanans aged 18-35 make up more than a quarter of potential voters.

Press

Local Ohio News Highlights Rural Youth Voter Fund

In rural Ohio, the Pike County News Watchman is taking notice of RDI’s efforts around young voter engagement.

Press

RDI Poll Points to Rural Voters’ Role in Pa. Election

Rural voters tend toward economic populism, and they overwhelmingly resist government interference in private decisions like abortion.

Press

Executive Director Calls for Small Town Investment

We’re actively advocating for deepened philanthropic support for these often-overlooked areas.

Program

Rural Poll Results

The results of a new survey of small-town and rural Americans demonstrate that rural people are economic populists and support…

Press

Building Civic Infrastructure in Rural Places

“When you increase investment is when you’re seeing those kind of unlikely alliances and really positive results,” said Sarah.

blue tent logo over a town and mountain backdrop

Press

Blue Tent Recommends RDI

Blue Tent strongly recommends the Rural Democracy Initiative and believes donors should make it a priority.

Courtroom with text Rural Warrant Clinics

Grantee Spotlight

Improving Rural Courts

Too often, people accused of minor offenses are incarcerated.

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Announcement

2023 Impact Report

Lessons from 2023, priorities for 2024, financials, and grantee spotlights.

Grantee Spotlight

From Organizing to Governing Power

Pennsylvania United has been building progressive organizing infrastructure to create communities that work for everyone.

Grantee Spotlight

Grantee helps media organizations pivot into better local coverage

Pasa la Voz–an independent Spanish-language newspaper serving coastal Georgia and South Carolina–started as a Facebook page in 2018.

Press

The Organizers Forging a Rural Action Plan

Barnraiser covers our Rural Policy Action Report

Sarah Jaynes - Insights Solutions Lab

Press

Leading Philanthropy to Invest in Rural

Rural Democracy Initiative Executive Director Sarah Jaynes spoke with Solutions Insights Lab about our unique approach.

Grantee Spotlight

‘People Power Is how We Win’

Iowa CCI rallies Iowans to protect communities from dangerous pipeline projects.

Grantee Spotlight

Rural Ohio Turns out for Democracy and Reproductive Rights

RDI grantees RuralOrganizing.org, Red Wine and Blue, and Freedom BLOC reached thousands of rural Ohioans in 2023.

Grantee Spotlight

Pro-Democracy Local News

COURIER is building trust in rural communities and changing the landscape of rural media.

Este Poder

Grantee Spotlight

Rural Youth Building Power

In 2020, three friends founded Este Poder, a youth Latine-led organization building power for their rural East Texas communities of color.

Grantee Spotlight

Decade of Organizing Bears Fruit in Minnesota

The progress Minnesotans saw in 2023 resulted from a decade of organizing efforts by ISAIAH and Faith in Minnesota.

Grantee Spotlight

Reining in Unchecked Corporate Greed

Work by Farm Action and Institute for Local Self-Reliance led to major policy wins in 2023.

people with groceries

Program

Winning Jobs, a Narrative that Works

RDI consultant Bobby Clark shares the latest research and message testing on the economy and inflation.

Press

Rural Pa. Mayor Gets Creative to Support Local Grants

Meadville Mayor Jaime Kinder talks with Public News Service about RDI’s work.

Press

Rural Democracy Initiative in The Hill

Sarah Jaynes calls for policies that support the small businesses, farmers, workers, and caregivers.

Press

Rural Democracy Initiative in Cardinal & Pine

The newsroom reports on RDI’s Rural Policy Action Report and interviews RDI-grantee CURE about a major policy victory.

Press

Report Offers Roadmap for Growth in Rural Georgia

RDI’s 2023 Rural Action Policy Report contains input from approximately 50 organizations advocating for improvements in rural communities.

Press

Main Street Alliance discusses Rural Policy Action Report

Leaders who participated in RDI’s Rural Policy Action Report process included Wisconsin organizers with Main Street Alliance.

Press

RDI on NPR

Sarah Jaynes highlights the importance of rural voters to establishing governing majorities.

Press

RDI in Barnraiser

Rural groups are building multi-racial majorities to build power, win elections, and implement local-led solutions.

Program

Building Multi-Racial Power (and Winning!) in Rural Communities

Rural Democracy Initiative hosted a panel at Netroots Nation, the country’s largest conference of progressives.

Program

Grantmaking for Shared Prosperity and Policy Solutions

Highlights from our Summer 2023 grantmaking.

Press

Rural Democracy Initiative in Nonprofit Quarterly

Nonprofit Quarterly recommends supporting RDI.

Press

Roadmap for Rural Renewal in The Daily Yonder

RDI convened more than 50 diverse rural leaders from across the country.

Press

Rural Democracy Initiative Convenes Rural Advocates to Take on Monopoly Power

The 2023 Rural Policy Action Summit helped more than 50 rural organizers come together.

Press

Rural Voices Reflect on Policy Summit

Public News Service covered RDI.

Grantee Spotlight

Youth Organizing in Georgia

In 2022, we supported Collective Renaissance Georgia (CRG) to expand their scope and impact dramatically.

Grantee Spotlight

Policy Victory in Rural Texas Leads to Statewide Shift

Mano Amiga organizes alongside immigrants and low-income residents in the rural I-35 corridor in Guadalupe, Caldwell, Hays, and Comal counties.

Grantee Spotlight

Migrant Workers Helped Flip the State House in Michigan

In 2022 Michigan won sweeping victories at the state and local level.

Grantee Spotlight

Youth Campaign to Protect the Right to Abortion Care

Loud Light organizers know the dangers of extremism.

Program

The Farm Bill & the Rural Democracy Initiative Network

RDI grantees, partners, and donors participated in a lively and fast-paced discussion on the 2023 Farm Bill.

Grantee Spotlight

Protecting Public Schools

SOSAZ empowers parents, teachers, and community members.

Program

Rural Democracy Initiative Kicks off 2023 with Webinar

There are no off years for RDI.

Program

Rural Democracy Initiative Builds Power for 2023 and Beyond

Highlights of our early 2023 grantmaking.

Grantee Spotlight

Swiftly Mobilizing in East Palestine

River Valley Organizing has documented local experiences of the environmental disaster in East Palestine.

Grantee Spotlight

Alaska Grantees Strengthen Democracy

Alaskans transformed their civic landscape in 2022.

Press

RDI in The Forge

Rural Democracy’s Sarah Jaynes outlines the strategic lessons behind this year’s rural gains.

Press

RDI in Associated Press

People in rural communities are concerned about flooding, the water crisis, extreme weather, and other impacts of climate change.

Program

The Midterm Elections and What’s Ahead

We changed electoral outcomes and built power that will endure past the election.

Press

RDI in Newsweek

In Newsweek, Erica Elelson cites Rural Democracy’s election coverage and the importance of engaging working families.

Program

2022 Election Analysis

As we look ahead, we know there are no “off years.”

Press

RDI in Rolling Stone

Rural Democracy Initiative is featured in Rolling Stone.

Siembra

Program

Stories from the Field

With the Midterm Elections just one month away, RDI held a briefing for our funding partners.

Program

Safety and Security Support

We recently held a training for our grantees.

Program

Vote Tripling Workshop

Our friends at the Vote Rev Action Fund reviewed how to launch a vote-tripling campaign.

Engaging Working People in the Midterm Elections with a graphic of a group of people

Program

Engaging Working Families in the Midterm Elections

We recently hosted a donor briefing.

Grantee Spotlight

Co-Governance in Action

RDI grantee Faith in Indiana has replicated its co-governance model in Gary, Fort Wayne, South Bend, and Indianapolis.

Program

Building Grantee Capacity

This summer we’re piloting two new programs to increase our impact.

Program

Grants Engage Voters ahead of 2022 Elections

RDI grants support organizations at a critical moment.

Announcement

Moving from Rage to Action

Most Americans, including those in rural areas, support comprehensive health care.

Program

Rural Voters Surge to Polls

Voters in Enfield, North Carolina chose a new direction in the May 2022 election.

Press

Inside Philanthropy Highlights Rural Democracy Initiative

70% of rural residents don’t have a college degree.

Press

Inside Philanthropy Advises Giving to Rural Democracy Initiative

Founder and editor David Callahan writes about RDI.

Program

Grants Boost Civic Engagement

Highlights from our Spring 2022 grantmaking

Press

Today’s Edition Podcast Interview

Serious engagement with non-metro voters is essential.

Program

Directing Federal Funds to Your Community

RDI grantee United Today, Stronger Tomorrow led a workshop for RDI grantees and partners.

Press

Rural Democracy Initiative Editorial in The Daily Yonder

Sarah Jaynes discusses the tectonic shifts we are seeing in rural America.

Grantee Spotlight

Helping Rural Schools to Thrive

WPEN is a non-partisan organization focused on the goal of creating thriving public schools.

Grantee Spotlight

Connecting Voting with Everyday Issues

Native Peoples Action Community Fund teamed up with The Mobilization Center to build lasting relationships with Alaska Native communities.

Program

Innovations in Rural Civic Engagement

RDI hosted The Fight for our Democracy: Innovations in Rural Civic Engagement.

Grantee Spotlight

Transforming Local Government

After mobilizing Western Pennsylvania voters in 2020, Pennsylvania United had momentum.

Grantee Spotlight

Organizing for Sustainable Rural Power

To learn more about Rural Electric Cooperatives and the transition to clean energy, see our Rural Policy Action Report. 

Press

The Great Battlefield Podcast Interview

Working with rural groups around the country, we have unique insight into the tactics and strategy of rural civic engagement.

Program

2021: Highlights, Lessons, and Challenges

2021 has been a momentous, often stressful, and exciting year.

Program

Racial Justice in Rural Communities

Groups around the country are leading powerful racial justice organizing in rural communities.

Grantee Spotlight

Federal Assistance To Fund Rural Solar

The Northern Plains Resource Council organizes across Montana.

Program

Watch Clips from the Force Multiplier Fundraiser

Sharing the latest research with grantees.

Announcement

Historic Federal Funding in National Infrastructure

Leaders in the federal government are currently negotiating a historic investment in the nation’s infrastructure.

Announcement

Executive Order Promoting Competition a Historic Win for Rural Communities

The order calls for new and better rules to lower prices, increase wages, and promote innovation.

Press

Rural Margins Matter

RDI Director Sarah Jaynes notes five key observations about the 2020 election.

Program

Rural Democracy Initiative’s COVID-19 Response

We’re in continuous contact with grantees.

Grantee Spotlight

These Progressive Women Are Reshaping the Politics of the Northern Plains 

LEAD began where many good ideas do—at a happy hour. 

Grantee Spotlight

Farmers and Ranchers Rally against Corporate Power

Family Farm Action and allies rallied farmers, ranchers, and rural communities against corporate power.

Grantee Spotlight

How Free Haircuts Are Transforming Communities in Rural Appalachia

IAO offers services to low-income families, youth, and seniors through various programs based on needs identified through community engagement.

Tools & Resources

Learning from our work with partners and grantees, RDI creates and curates tools to showcase best practices and address priority needs.

Network Tool

Rural Battleground Poll

The poll explores rural attitudes and points toward ways to engage rural communities.

Read more
Election dashboard maps

Network Tool

Election Results Map and Dashboard

View and analyze rural voting patterns.

Read more
Rural dashboard on laptop

Network Tool

Rural Map and Dashboard

Rural classifications to the country’s census tracts, counties, congressional districts, and states.

Read more
Report Cover

Policy Tool

Rural Policy Action Report

Featuring priority legislation and executive action that supports working families and strengthens rural communities. The report also highlights numerous policy successes and the ongoing challenges people in rural communities face.

Read more

Communication Tool

Winning Jobs Narrative

A narrative framework for working people across race and place

Read more

Network Tool

Investing in Rural and Small-Town Voters

Voting trends show the importance of rural voters and inform effective strategies for funding rural civic engagement.

Read more

Network Tool

What Works in Rural America

Guidelines for effective messaging, engagement, and communications

Read more

Network Tool

All the People, All the Places

A valuable landscape analysis for funders and other partners focused on the challenges and opportunities facing our small cities and rural areas.

Read more

We Can Keep the Momentum Going, Donate Now

Donations to the Rural Democracy Initiative ensure thousands of rural leaders and advocates continue to receive tools and support to create real change in rural America.