December 31, 2014| Resourceful Communities

Resourceful Communities offers a variety of training opportunities to strengthen community programming. Our trainings are designed to meet the needs of grassroots organizations and take many forms:  workshops, individual trainings, and peer learning visits. Support is provided at no-cost.

We hope you’ll join us at one of our network events listed below.  Keep an eye on our Facebook page for additional information or give us a call if you have questions!

2020 Upcoming Events!

Resourceful Communities has postponed scheduled events until further notice due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Workshops and trainings will resume whenever possible. We appreciate the continued work you are doing in the community. Please be safe and adhere to the country’s social distancing appeal and email us if you have specific needs. 

June 9, 2020
Webinar: Starting a 4-H Club
Time: 1:00pm EST – 3:00pm EST
Who Should Participate: Nonprofit Community Organizations

Join us for a 2-hour virtual training on the ins and outs of 4-H and determine whether becoming a 4-H Club is worth your while. You'll hear firsthand how two peer organizations-- Diversity Nurtures Achievement (DNA) and Michael’s Angels Girls Club—have used 4-H to their advantage. Don't miss this opportunity to ask all your burning 4-H questions while we have these resources in one "room!"

There is NO fee to participate. Click here to register!

Registration begins May 11, 2020 and will end on Friday, June 5th.

October 20-21, 2020
Grassroots Convening 23
The Conference Center at GTCC
7908 Leabourne Rd.
Colfax, NC (near Greensboro)

Registration information and additional details coming soon!

The following information applies to all events:

COST:  There is no charge to attend, but ALL participants must register in advance.

MEALS:  Snacks and lunch will be provided as needed.

MILEAGE ALLOWANCE:  A mileage allowance is provided, limit one allowance per car.

LODGING:  Lodging is offered to those driving more than 2 hours to the workshop closest to your home.

QUESTIONS?  Contact Donna Pratt at
December 31, 2014| Resourceful Communities
By the Numbers:
Resourceful Communities has awarded more than $6.8M in grants awarded to community organizations 2,200 local “green” jobs supported $12 to $1 return on investments in community solutions.

Our triple bottom line network engages more than 500 community and resource partners, creating environmental, economic and social justice benefits for communities that need it most.
Many of America's most important natural areas are frequently home to our most economically and socially distressed communities.  Resourceful Communities creates opportunities that preserve the rural landscape, lift people out of poverty and celebrate our partner communities’ unique cultures.  Working with a network of 500 grassroots and community organizations, we take a balanced 'triple bottom-line' approach that generates economic, environmental and social justice benefits.  Our effective combination of direct support, skills building and connections to resources nurtures real change where it’s needed the most.  By bringing together communities and conservation, people and places, we have created or retained over 2,200 jobs, and advanced a $12 to $1 return on investments in community solutions.

December 31, 2014| Resourceful Communities
A specialized program of The Conservation Fund, Resourceful Communities supports a network of community groups, faith-based organizations, small towns and resource providers. The triple bottom line is the foundation of our work:  environmental stewardship, social justice and sustainable economic development. Rather than addressing community challenges as isolated issues, this integrated approach nets sustainable, comprehensive improvements.

Our work is built on values and practices that uplift our partners. Our triple bottom line mission grounds our work in helping communities build on their greatest resources: natural, cultural and human assets. 

We help communities implement the triple bottom line through three primary strategies:

Strengthening Organizations: Capacity Building

Resourceful Communities typically works in economically- and socially-distressed places. Our capacity building efforts are designed to meet the needs of limited-resource organizations and takes many forms: workshops, individual trainings, and coaching. All support is provided at no-cost and builds the capacity of the organizations to deliver more effective community programming.

Resourceful Communities offers a variety of training opportunities to strengthen community skills. Capacity building ranges from individualized technical assistance, which aims to improve organizational practices, to workshops that provide skill building opportunities on a range of topics presented by experts and peer educators. Technical assistance and training is designed with partner input and is offered free-of-charge to facilitate participation. Topics might include board development, fundraising and equitable partnerships and community engagement strategies.

Investing in Communities: Small Grants

Through our small grant program, the Creating New Economies Fund (CNEF), we invest in innovative triple bottom line projects.  Grants average $8,000-$12,000, with a maximum award of $15,000. The grants are as unique as the organizations we support, but all funded projects reflect the needs and visions of the communities. Funding has supported a variety of projects, including:  eco-tourism, sustainable agriculture, youth leadership development, alternative energy, and more.

Since CNEF began in 2001, Resourceful Communities has awarded more than $6.8 million in grants, and thanks to this investment, grantees have secured an average additional $12 for every $1 of grant support. Funded projects include development of food distribution centers, green job training programs, paddle trails and more. Our combination of training, funding and connections to additional resources strengthens community-led efforts and results in broad community benefits.

Grant applicants receive training in general grant writing as well as effective project planning strategies. Resourceful Communities continues to provide support to strengthen community projects through improved project design (timeline, budget, evaluation plan, etc.), community engagement and sustainability through connection to additional resources.

We thank our supporters, including the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, the Oak Foundation, USDA Rural Community Development Initiative, the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, the Overhills Foundation and private donors. If you are a current applicant or grantee, please visit our Tools and Forms section to download grant materials, or contact us at To see a complete list of grantees, click here.

Nurturing Our Network

Resourceful Communities started and continues to support a growing network of grassroots partners and resource organizations (organizations and agencies that provide resources such as training, funding, technical assistance and expertise). We actively provide network opportunities that result in: reduced isolation, shared lessons learned, new partnerships and collaborations, replication of successful models, and new resources for grassroots organizations. Our network connects people across age, race, economic status and geography and help build a movement that advocates for the triple bottom line.

We support our network through:
  • Annual convenings where participants connect with each other and resources and learn about broad trends that affect their communities;
  • Peer learning visits provide opportunities to learn about specific topics and replicate effective strategies by visiting successful projects and engaging with community practitioners;
  • Facilitated connections that provide opportunities for frequently excluded communities to access resources and begin building equitable partnerships.

Video: Resourceful Communities Prioritizing Community Land Preservation

December 31, 2014| Resourceful Communities

About the Creating New Fund Economies Fund

Resourceful Communities’ small-grant program, the Creating New Economies Fund (CNEF), provides direct investment in community-based efforts. Seed money supports a range of projects: eco- and heritage tourism, youth conservation programs, farmers markets, alternative energy production and more. Additional information for applicants follows. Submit questions to

A portion of CNEF funds are available to help rural United Methodist Churches (UMCs) strengthen food ministries. UMCs are encouraged to contact a Faith and Food Coordinator, Justine Post ( or Jaimie McGirt (, or email to discuss potential projects.


  • Click here to view important dates for the 2020 Creating New Economies Fund grant cycle.
  • Click here to view Frequently Asked Questions about the 2020 Creating New Economies Fund grant cycle.
  • Click here to view the Creating New Economies Fund list of grantees.
  • Click here for sample completed budget.


For CNEF Grantees

online application

Additional Resources

Virtual Trainings

  • Click here to view virtual learning opportunities and trainings for our community partners hosted by Resourceful Communties

background checks

  • Click here to learn more about obtaining county-level background checks in North Carolina

Considerations for new community garden projects

  • Click here for some key questions to ask before digging in.


  • Click here to learn more about technical assistance, business and legal, networking and learning, and financial assistance for limited-resource farmers

Triple Bottom Line

  • Need help understanding the triple bottom line, a requirement for all funded projects? Check out the video below and learn more by clicking here. 

PROJECT BUDGETS AND Working with a Fiscal Agent

  • If your organization is not a nonprofit and you are working with a fiscal agent:
    • Click here to learn more about fiscal agents.
    • Click here to download a sample Memorandum of Understanding.
    • Please be sure to include non-cash support or in-kind support for your project.  Learn more here.
    • Questions about cashing checks?  Download this helpful guide.

TRIED and tested Rural Health Ideas

  • Click here to visit Try This NC and learn about rural health initiatives from our partners

Corporate Giving Guide

  • Click here to learn about grants and giving programs available in NC and nationwide, including funding priorities and sample applications.
December 31, 2014| Resourceful Communities

Our emphasis on the triple bottom line means that Resourceful Communities engages in work and with partners that represent a broad range of issues – renewable energy, youth leadership development, eco-tourism, cultural preservation and more.  We recognize that some issues call for special attention because they are innovative, represent critical need, and support The Conservation Fund’s broad mission of working land protection and economic development.  Our targeted initiatives advance innovative solutions for our most economically- and socially-distressed communities.

North Carolina ranks in the top ten most food insecure states, with significant rates of poverty, farm loss and food deserts.  Two of our current initiatives, Healthy Eating, Active Living and Food and Farm, address these serious trends.  By employing our three primary program strategies of training, direct investment and networking, we are increasing low-income individuals' and families' access to healthy food and opportunities for recreation.  We also help small farmers connect with new markets, better growing strategies and hard-to-reach resources.

Through these initiatives, we have supported SNAP/ EBT access at local markets with targeted technical assistance on securing and implementing equipment and targeted outreach to low-income community members and effective vendor education to support sales to SNAP recipients.  Other projects include community gardens and trail building, training for youth and veterans in agriculture entrepreneurship, a chop-and-bag project that provides cafeteria-ready produce to rural schools and more.  Convenings and peer learning visits support awareness of trends related to these issues; connections to peer educators and other resources; and skills to replicate effective strategies that garner real community change.

In addition, we are working with agency partners to advance Community Forestry.  Many landowners and small municipalities own property that provides critical habitat; can improve water quality; offers outdoor education and passive recreation opportunities; and can generate sustainable revenue.  Through workshops and technical assistance, we are helping develop partnerships and stewardship plans to ensure the best use of forest resources.  

Resourceful Communities is also developing our Growing an Outdoor Generation initiative to help people of color and low-income communities connect with the outdoors. By connecting low-income youth of color and rural youth with environmental/outdoor education field trips, STEM-based curriculum programs, and natural-resource based professional development opportunities, we’re helping create new environmental stewards and addressing economic and social inequities. 

December 31, 2014| Resourceful Communities


table of contents


Grant Writing for Beginners

Grant Writing for Beginners copy
  • Click here to view all videos from this playlist

New to grant writing and feel overwhelmed by the grant application process? This playlist breaks up the process into manageable pieces and uplifts the most important facets of grant writing for beginners. We recommend you spend time watching all of the videos included here, but feel free to go at your own pace. This playlist includes the following sections:

  • Where to Find Funding
  • Funder Fit
  • Funder Cultivation
  • Grant Writing Checklist
  • Project Description
  • Building a Budget

Download the Grant Writing Checklist here, which is referenced in the Grant Writing Checklist video and is a great tool to reference in the future!

Virtual Peer Learning Visit: McDowell Local Food Action Council

Creating Community Food Access

  • Click here to view the video

COVID-19 has upended our world in many ways—but communities have risen to the challenge and proven that necessity truly is the mother of innovation. Learn from McDowell Local Foods Action Council as they share their creative strategies for food access in western NC, and the many ways they continue to adapt to the ever-changing need. This information is useful for all organizations working to increase community food access.

Trails & Greenways Amid COVID-19: Highlighting Hayesville’s Success

Trails and Greenways

  • Click here to view the video

COVID-19 has forced a lot of us indoors, but has also renewed interest in getting outside and enjoying some more isolated outdoor activities. For any organizations who have any interest in building a local trail or using cultural resources as a driver of health and economic development, we present to you the inspiration you need to kick it into gear: the story of Hayesville, NC, as told by Rob Tiger of Clay County Revitalization Association (CCRA)!

This 30-min virtual Peer Learning Visit focuses specifically on the building of Jackrabbit Trail and the partnerships that made it happen. This recording is suitable for any organization that is interested in learning more about the process of getting started with trail-building; it’s full of wisdom from Rob Tiger, who has been part of Hayesville’s renaissance from the start. We hope you are as inspired by their work as we are.

December 31, 2014| Resourceful Communities


Rural Community COVID-19 Emergency Grants

Resourceful Communities is excited to announce our Rural Community COVID-19 Emergency Grants, available to our NC partner network! Please read carefully through our eligibility requirements.

Grant Information:
We are humbled and encouraged by the resourceful relief and recovery work happening across rural NC. We are providing grants of either $5,000 or $10,000 to support the rapid response efforts of rural, grassroots organizations addressing both the new and exacerbated challenges their communities face due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Such relief efforts may include: food purchasing and distribution, cold storage for food distribution, wellness checks on homebound individuals, mental health support, child-care services for essential workers, providing protective equipment to meet safety standards, or any other COVID-related operating expenses (utilities, transportation, insurance, etc.).

Applications are DUE Monday, June 1, 2020 by 11:59 pm (EST) via our online application.
Click here to apply.

Final Reports:
If you receive grant funding, a short final report will be due December 15, 2020.

Eligible Organizations:
· Existing Resourceful Communities partners, including: nonprofits, town and county governments, churches and other faith-based groups (If your organization is not a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, you can still apply for grant funds in partnership with a nonprofit fiscal agent).
· Applicants must be located in rural communities.
· Former and current Creating New Economies Fund 2020 grantees can apply.

Ineligible Applicants:
· Organizations in urban counties are ineligible to apply. These counties include: Buncombe, Durham, Forsyth, Guilford, Mecklenburg, New Hanover, Orange, and Wake.
· Statewide and regional agencies are ineligible.

Funding Priorities include:
· Direct relief efforts
· Organizations not receiving any or substantial COVID-19 relief funding
· Organizations currently doing COVID-19 relief work
· Limited budget organizations
· Organizations led by and serving communities of color and/or low-income communities
· Organizations active in the Resourceful Communities network

Grant Amount:
All grants will be $5,000 or $10,000.

Grant Application:
Resourceful Communities recognizes that community organizations are stretched. We’ve tried to make the application as simple as possible. In addition to contact information, we will only be asking two questions related to your project and requesting a simple budget.


Please note:
All applicants will be required to submit additional materials such as a W-9 and IRS 501(c)(3) determination letter, or a group ruling letter for churches. If you are unable to submit these documents with your online application, you will have until June 8th to email these additional documents.

If you have additional questions, email or contact anyone on our team:
· Donna Pratt: / (919) 902-0889
· Izzie Hirschy: / (919) 576-6933
· Jaimie McGirt: / (910) 231-6760
· Kathleen Marks: / (919) 619-5811
· Margaret Conrad: / (919) 818-8138
· Mikki Sager: / (919) 949-5687
· Monica McCann: / (919) 612-7110
· Olivia Percoco: / (631) 905-9550
· Tatia Ash: / (919) 423-5496

We are able to provide these relief funds thanks to the generosity of the Oak Foundation and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation.

December 31, 2014| Resourceful Communities
By signing up for our e-news updates, you agree to receive periodic communication from The Conservation Fund/ Resourceful Communities. You can easily unsubscribe at any time, and we commit to only contacting you with pertinent, timely information. (See our Privacy Policy for details.) Our workshops and other network events are for nonprofits, community and faith-based organizations. Our e-news updates provide information and resources for community partners.