Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Findings: Rural Non Profits Have More Difficulties Raising Foundation Support; Foundations Focus on More Urban Type Results

With the following findings perhaps rural non profits and foundations can find ways to bridge the difficulties they face in forming strong relationships.

From The Foundation Center's August 7, 2007; Volume 13; Issue 32 Edition of Philanthropy News Digest...

Rural Nonprofits Must Overcome Significant Hurdles to Attract Funding, Study Finds (8/03/07)

Grantmakers' perceptions of rural life, geographical isolation, and capacity-building needs greatly reduce the ability of rural nonprofits to secure funding, a new report from the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy ( ) finds.

Funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the report, Rural Philanthropy: Building Dialogue From Within, highlights the desire of foundations to target densely populated areas as well as "weak nonprofit infrastructures" found in most rural areas, which it defines as having a population density of fewer than five hundred people per square mile.

The study also found that grantmakers often require capacity-related benchmarks that are difficult for rural nonprofits to achieve without having sufficient funding for staff and technical assistance.

In addition, the report finds that geographic isolation greatly reduces opportunities for rural organizations to gain exposure to major funders, which are usually located in urban areas.

The study, which expands on a 2004 NCRP report, Beyond City Limits: The Philanthropic Needs of Rural America, offers substantive recommendations designed to make philanthropy more responsive to rural America, such as expanding the use of flexible, multi year grants to reduce the disparity in charitable giving between rural and urban organizations. "Many perceive rural America as a place where tight-knit communities work together to overcome adversity; others see the region as resistant to change," said NCRP executive director Aaron Dorfman. "But generalities have the effect of masking contemporary issues affecting rural America, making it harder for rural nonprofits to attract grant money." "Rural Nonprofits Must Overcome Significant Hurdles to Attract Funding." National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy Press Release 8/02/07.

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