Rural philanthropy growing

Rural philanthropy commands only 3 percent of U.S. foundation assets, but growing problems in rural areas are beginning to attract funding from local sources, a new report says.

The study, “The Power of Rural Philanthropy,” was conducted by New Ventures in Philanthropy, an initiative of the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers in Washington, D.C.

Funds created by local community foundations to benefit particular areas have grown more than 130 percent over the last six years, the report says, and more than three in four of those estimated 2,000 funds benefit rural areas, representing more than $1.5 billion in endowed assets.

To spur interest and activity in rural philanthropy, New Ventures in Philanthropy has created an online Rural Philanthropy Knowledge Center.

This site includes how-to information on establishing rural funds, case studies of communities that have been successful in developing funds, and other resources for private and community funders.

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