This year, Fahe had the honor of being included by the Aspen Institute Community Strategies Group (CSG) as part of their research that identified “Rural Development Hub” intermediaries as effective community and economic development partners in rural America. CSG has now published the final report of this research, with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Fahe’s President and CEO Jim King was interviewed as part of the process. The final report is live and can be read at: Rural Development Hubs: Strengthening America’s Rural Innovation Infrastructure.
Fahe was included as one of the 43 Rural Development Hubs that Aspen CSG interviewed because of how we directly interact with our Members and partners across Appalachia to help them achieve their visions for opportunity and change in their communities. By collaborating directly with national funders, agencies, and investors, Fahe provides local leaders with resources, capacity, and expertise that empowers them to establish and execute real change. Our high performing business platforms, locally rooted delivery network, and demonstrated experience transforming financial resources into impact provide funders and investors with outstanding opportunities to strengthen communities across Appalachia.
We are excited by the CSG report because it offers real value and insight into the role and effectiveness of intermediaries in rural America. It helps to highlight a key issue that Fahe has addressed many times before: there is real capacity for change already established in our rural places—what we need now is a greater level of investment to grow our solutions to the scale needed to eliminate persistent poverty. Rural Development Hubs are main players advancing an asset-based and inclusive wealth-building approach to rural community and economic development in this country. Hubs are full of the creative adaptation and ingenuity critical to doing the hard work of rebuilding economies and communities for the 21st century.
The recommendations that emerged from CSG’s Hub interviews can help investors, policymakers and other decision-makers who have questions about how to serve rural America. We urge anyone with an interest in making a real change in rural America to read and share the report.