Stafford County Economic Development Part of a Local Foundation Learning Network

Stafford County Economic Development Part of a Local Foundation Learning Network Main Photo

14 Jun 2017

Philanthropy, Community Development

?In April, Golden Belt Community Foundation was selected as a participant for the Center for Rural Entrepreneurship and the Aspen Institute's Rural Economic Development Philanthropy Innovators Network (REDPIN).

Stafford County Economic Development's Staff member, Carolyn Dunn assisted Golden Belt Community Foundation with their application earlier this year. Dunn is part of Golden Belt Community Foundation's core team for this networking opportunity that will take them around the Country learning from other foundations. This will be an 18-month peer learning network exploring philanthropy's role in rural economic development. 

From Golden Belt Community Foundation's Spring 2017 Newsletter:

GBCF Accepted Into Rural Economic Development Philanthropy Innovators Network (REDPIN)

The Center for Rural Entrepreneurship (CRE) and the Aspen Institute Community Strategies Group (Aspen CSG), is pleased to announce the nine community foundations from across the US selected to participate in an 18-month peer learning network exploring philanthrophy's role in rural economic development - the Rural Economic Development Philanthropy Innovator's Network (REDPIN).

REDPIN will expose participants to a range of economic development practices and provide them with an environment of peer advising and support. As part of the network, each participating foundation will analyze their local economy and apply community and economic development tools to improve their region's prospects, with a special emphasis on helping low-income families, communities and businesses do better. The network is being launched with initial funding provided by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and by participating foundations. 

"REDPIN presents an opportunity to think differently about how the Golden Belt Community Foundation can increase impact across the four county area," Christy Tustin, Executive Director state, "We hope to learn strategies for rural family, business and/or community economic success."

The network was developed following the success of two national workshops Aspen CSG and the Center offered in 2015 and 2016. These workshops explored innovative roles place-rooted foundations are taking in economic development. CRE and Aspen CSG also outlined the potential for community foundations to play economic leadership roles in A New Domain for Place-Rooted Foundations: Economic Development Philanthropy (The Foundation Review, September 2016). This article provides an overview of the thinking and approach that underlies REDPIN. The first gathering of selected foundations will take place in late spring.

What is Economic or Community Development Philanthropy?

Foundations practice community development philanthropy when they address critical community issues and play integrating or missing roles to advance regional economic development in ways that build enduring prosperity and livelihoods for all, especially those at the margins. 

Congrats to the following participating foundations:

Barry Community Foundation (Michigan)

Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque (Iowa)

Community Foundation of South Central New York

Galesburg Community Foundation (Illinois)

Golden Belt Community Foundation (Kansas)

Great Saline Community Foundation (Kansas)

Kern Community Foundation (California)

Southeastern Illinois Community Foundation

Southwest Initiative Foundation (Minnesota)