Natural Capital Investment FundNatural Capital Investment Fund

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!

Resourceful Communities 2017 Fall Workshops


SEPTEMBER

Grassroots Convening 21: RESCHEDULED!
January 17-18, 2018
Caraway Conference Center
Sophia, NC 

Register here by January 5!


OCTOBER

October 24 | Fundraising – Eastern NC 
Participants at this one-day workshop will explore the basics: identify what your organization needs, how to know if you're a fit for a funder, and how to communicate your message to cultivate support.
Rock Springs Center
4025 Highway 43 North, Greenville
Registration ends October 18 so be sure to register here.


NOVEMBER

November 1| Peer Learning Visit
Leading Into New Communities
Wilmington, NC

November 2 | Healthy Eating, Active Living (HEAL) Learning Circle - Eastern NC 
Local, Healthy Food:  Increase Access and Reduce Waste
Tired of throwing away veggies?  Looking for healthy food for your community?  Explore strategies to get healthy food and get them to the people who need them most.
Black Creek United Methodist Church
200 Church Street, Black Creek (near Wilson)
Registration ends October 25 so be sure to register here.

November 9 | Healthy Eating, Active Living (HEAL) Learning Circle - Western NC 
Local, Healthy Food:  Increase Access and Reduce Waste
Tired of throwing away veggies?  Looking for healthy food for your community?  Explore strategies to get healthy food and get them to the people who need them most.
Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture Food Hub
171 Grand Boulevard, Boone
Registration ends October 25 so be sure to register here.

November 17| Peer Learning Visit
Green Rural Redevelopment Organization and Working Landscapes 
Henderson and Warrenton, NC
Register here by October 31.

November 30 | Garden Fail Fest: Celebrating Our Successes and Challenges
Chestnut Ridge Camp and Retreat Center 
4300 Camp Chestnut Ridge Road, Efland


2018 Save The Dates!


January 17-18 | Grassroots Convening: Go Local: Build Power, Partnerships and Impact
Camp Caraway Conference Center 
4756 Caraway Mountain Road, Sophia (near Asheboro)
Register here by January 5.

May 3-4 | Healthy Eating Active Living Convening - Eastern NC
TBD

May 23 | Healthy Eating Active Living Convening
TBD

 


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 dpratt@conservationfund.org.
By the Numbers:
Resourceful Communities has awarded more than $4.2M 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 1,000 jobs, and advanced a $12 to $1 return on investments in community solutions.

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 $4.2 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 kmarks@conservationfund.org.  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.

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 smallgrants@conservationfund.org.

A portion of CNEF funds are available to help rural United Methodist Churches (UMCs) strengthen food ministries.  UMCs are encouraged to contact our Faith and Food Coordinator, Justine Post, at jpost@conservationfund.org or email smallgrants@conservationfund.org to discuss potential projects.


APPPLICATION FORMS

GENERAL APPLICATION

APPLICATION FOR RURAL UNITED METHODIST CHURCH

Download an Excel format budget template here.


Watch this video for an overview of CNEF's application process and forms:



For Creating New Economies Fund (CNEF) Applicants

  • Click here  to view important dates for the 2018 Creating New Economies Fund grant cycle.
  • Click here to view Frequently Asked Questions about the 2018 Creating New Economies Fund grant cycle.
  • Click here  to view the Creating New Economies Fund list of grantees.


Check out this video for an overview of Resourceful Communities and the Creating New Economies Fund:


For Creating New Economies Fund Grantees


 ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

 

How to Start a Community Garden

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

 Tripple 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.



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.

Healthy Eating, Acting Living: Innovative Projects

  • Click here to view the Healthy Eating, Active Living guide. 
  • Planning a project? Click here to read about innovative ideas that advance community health. 

For Grassroots Organizations

  • Resourceful Communities administers an organizational assessment to grassroots groups to identify strengths and areas for improvement.
  • Email kmarks@conservationfund.org for more information.

Guide for Limited-Resources Farmers

  • Click here to view the Resource Guide for Limited Resource Farmers. It includes a variety of information on training, funding, networking and more.
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.  


By signing up for our e-news, 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 e-news provides resources for community partners. Our workshops and other network events are for community and faith-based organizations and nonprofits.

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