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Field Notes

Panel Discussion: Rural Philanthropy and Community Engagement from Washtenaw County, MI to Coös County, NH

Colette Stanzler
July 23, 2022

On July 14, Root Cause hosted a panel discussion on rural philanthropy and community engagement. Rural communities are integral to our nation’s economy, identity, and future. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s “Rural America at a Glance 2021” report, a large share of the land area in the United States is rural and around 46 million people—about 14% of the U.S. population—live in rural America. Rural communities across the country are unique and complex places where current and future resources – food, water, energy – are found and its people are essential members of our economic workforce. Without the critical contributions of rural communities, many aspects of suburban and urban economies and ways of life would not be possible. Although nearly one in five Americans live in a rural area, only 6 percent of foundation grants target such communities.

Listen to Colette Stanzler, Managing Director at Root Cause, moderate a discussion about the challenges of, and learnings from, rural philanthropy alongside panelists Chris Lemon, Senior Community Investment Officer at the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation, which serves Washtenaw County, Michigan, and Sonya Salanti, Director of the Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund at the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, which serves Coös County, New Hampshire and its surrounding communities in the United States and Canada.


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