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RDI Grants Boost Civic Engagement Ahead of 2022 Elections

In the first three months of 2022, Rural Democracy Initiative’s 501c3 Heartland Fund and 501c4 Rural Victory Fund granted $6,470,000 to 97 groups developing creative and effective ways to engage voters, shape policy, and build support. Thanks to our generous donors, that’s the most we’ve ever granted in the first quarter.

Today’s Edition Podcast Interview
Development Director Renee Linde and Robert Hubbell to discuss how to support progressive rural programs.
Workshop: Directing Federal Funds to Your Community

For decades, people in rural communities have suffered from a lack of investment in our communities. This year and last year, we had two historic federal funding programs: The American Rescue Plan (ARP) and Infrastructure and Investment Jobs Act. These will help us get the care we need and rebuild our economy. But for local and state governments to take advantage of this opportunity, rural leaders and organizations will need to help determine how to spend these funds and also help implement programs.

RDI Editorial in The Daily Yonder
In The Daily Yonder, RDI Executive Director Sarah Jaynes writes about the growing diversity or rural leadership and calls for more progressives to invest in their future.
Innovations in Rural Civic Engagement

Our Democracy is under attack. After attempting to overturn the 2020 election results, anti-democratic forces are now placing deliberate barriers to voting, drawing election districts to prevent competitive elections, and stacking how elections are regulated and certified. These barriers disproportionately impact the civic engagement of certain communities, including rural, tribal, and people of color. In the face of these urgent challenges, groups are developing innovative and effective ways to engage voters, shape policy, and save our Democracy.

2021 Impact Report
In 2021, Our donors helped us grant $10.2 million to groups in places where rural action will define policy and electoral outcomes, and we advised an additional $3 million in timely, aligned investments.
What Works in Rural America
Working with over 100 groups around the country, we are actively learning about and testing rural civic engagement tactics and strategy. Here's what works in rural America.
Watch Clips from the Force Multiplier Fundraiser

Force Multiplier held a fundraiser for RDI to support progressive organizing and communications infrastructure in rural communities. Watch a few of the highlights!

New RDI Grants Support Vital Organizing in Rural Communities

The Rural Democracy Initiative (RDI) team has been working overtime to complete our 2021 grant making. In September the steering committees of our 501c3 Heartland Fund and 501c4 Rural Victory Fund approved an additional $2,075,000 in grants to build the strong civic and political infrastructure rural communities need. Thanks to our generous donors, we supported 37 groups in 12 states and are busy preparing 35 more grants for October approval.

Historic Federal Funding in National Infrastructure

Leaders in the federal government are currently negotiating a historic investment in the nation’s infrastructure. This is a critical moment to both celebrate and advocate for proposals that will benefit rural communities. During this time, funding decisions could change rapidly, and now is the time to push for them to change for the better.

No matter where you live, people need good jobs, clean air, and clean water. After years of economic decline in rural areas, we urgently need the federal government to fund infrastructure to help our communities.

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