Connecting to make a difference

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Photo: Anne Johnson


By strengthening connections, communities foster more inclusive, trust-based relationships and start to explore priority community issues. The Ford Institute prioritizes connections with a clear purpose—ones that are likely to lead directly or indirectly to increased capacity or community-led action.


  • Organize a local gathering: Bring people together to start a conversation or restart a conversation. Small and informal gatherings are a good way to start. Larger, inclusive gatherings can help prioritize community opportunities, challenges or needs. 
  • Engage the Hard to Reach: Create specific goals and take coordinated actions to ensure all voices of the community are heard and engaged.  
  • Maintain and Strengthen Relationships: Support efforts that keep conversations going, continue to build relationships, and unite and celebrate the community.  


COMMUNITY BUILDING GRANTS »  Grant application by invitation


COMMUNITY BUILDER EXCHANGE E-NEWSLETTER » Subscribe and learn from other community builders. Share your community-building ideas and resources. Arrives in your email IN box every month or so.

RURAL COMMUNITY BUILDERS NW FACEBOOK GROUP » Connect with this Facebook group that advocates for rural people and places in Oregon and Siskiyou County, Calif. An initiative of the Ford Institute, the group is an open space where rural advocates tell their stories, celebrate wins, reflect on losses, ask questions and develop relationships.

COMMUNITY VITALITY PUBLICATION » Subscribe to this semi-annual digest highlighting stories of rural life, success and challenges. Print and online versions are available.

SELECT BOOKS » Residents of Oregon and Siskiyou County, Calif., can order books and resources, free of charge. Print, audio, e-books and Spanish-language editions (when available) are offered.

LEARNING EVENTS  Participate in events and learning exchanges throughout Oregon and Siskiyou County, Calif., on a variety of topics. 

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