Bring People Together. Make a Difference in Your Community
Designed to support rural communities in Colorado, the Rural Action Project works to bring individuals together to shape their community’s future by providing support and funding for community projects that work to address community needs and strengthen bonds.
Rural Action Project: Call for Hosts
We need your voice as part of the Rural Action Project. We’re seeking local community organizations who will act as Host Organizations for the program. Organizations might be:
- Nonprofit groups
- Advocacy organizations
- City or county officials
- School boards
- Local Media Outlets
- Other organizations already working to strengthen community
We aim to include a wide range of organizations across rural Colorado and encourage applicants from different fields and backgrounds.
What’s Involved for Host Organizations
A successful Host Organization for the Rural Action Project will:
- Choose two to three team members to attend an in-person training workshop at the CSU Spur campus in Denver on November 2, 2023.
- Organize three Community Conversations between January, and March 2024, that result in the creation of a community project that addresses needs and strengthens bonds across the community. CSU will design agendas and materials for all Community Conversations, though host sites will be welcome to adapt those materials to meet local community goals.
- Recruit and partner with diverse community members and organizations for the talks.
- Provide an inclusive meeting environment that offers accessible space and facilitation services for in-person conversations
- Write and submit mini-grant proposals to support the community project. Though Host Organizations are not required to act as the primary organizer for community projects, they should be willing to support project development and implementation through at least Summer 2024.
- Be willing to act as a fiscal sponsor and manage funds for the Community Conversations and community project OR identify a local fiscal sponsor who will act as a partner in the program.
- Collect demographic and evaluation data from community members engaged in the Community Conversations and, when possible, the community project.
- Complete a brief evaluation report in Summer 2024.
Compensation and Assistance
Selected organizations will receive:
- A one-time $700 hospitality stipend to assist with meeting space, refreshments, interpretation, childcare, or other logistical needs for the community conversations. Communities that expect to have significant interpretation costs may receive additional funds to support those efforts.
- The opportunity to apply for up to $5,000 in funding to support their community projects at the end of the program.
- Throughout the program, Colorado State University (CSU) Extension faculty, campus faculty, and community partners will provide assistance and advice to help Host Organizations with their work.
- During the October training workshop, CSU will provide host organizations with training on community engagement and facilitation strategies to prepare for the community conversations.
- During the Community Conversations, Colorado State University will provide agendas, discussion guides, and electronic versions of materials needed to conduct the in-person discussions and collect evaluation data.
- CSU will provide draft recruitment and promotional materials for the Community Conversations that Host Organizations can use to solicit community participation.
- CSU Extension educators and faculty will be available to assist with grant applications and, in some cases, may also be available to help with or consult on project implementation as needed.
- September 30, 2023: Applications for Host Organizations are due.
- Date & Time: TBD – Host Organization Training Workshop CSU Spur Campus, Denver.
- January – March 2024: Communities will conduct three to four local, face-to-face Community Conversations.
- February – May, 2024: Communities write and submit mini-grant proposals.
- March – June 2024: Communities implement projects.
During our pilot year, CSU worked with 10 rural Colorado communities to strengthen local connections and address community needs. Examples of successful projects include:
- Partners in Garfield County hosted mini health fairs that directly connected under-resourced communities with access to health and food resources.
- In Cheyenne County, partners are working together to develop the Cheyenne County Heritage Trail that will honor the local history of Native American tribes and economic development.
- In Morgan County, community members worked together to develop and implement classes that facilitated English language acquisition and supported the development of marketable skills for fabric and textile enterprises.
Apply to Be a Host Organization
Applications due by September 30, 2023.
Questions about the Rural Action Project
For questions about the program or how we might work together, send an email to: email@example.com