Local Action

Making a difference in our communities

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Josh Savey, 21, of Reedsport assists Oregon state Sen. Joanne Verger in Salem. Photo: Anne Johnson


The Ford Institute believes community residents with different perspectives can work together to take action on community-identified issues. Our work is based in and guided by these Community-Based Change Principles and Practices

Fellows Program » 

Ford Community Fellows are graduates of the Ford Institute Leadership Program.  They are nominated by Foundation and partner staff and receive an annual Fellows Award for up to three years.  Fellows are asked to focus their volunteer efforts on bettering their community as they “practice the art of community building”.

Community Vitality Publication »

The Ford Family Foundation publishes a semi-annual digest containing stories of rural life, success, and challenges. Community Vitality seeks to promote best practices in community building while celebrating all that is rural. Both print and online versions are available.


The Select Books program offers an array of community building books, free of charge, to residents of Oregon and Siskiyou County, Calif. Book categories include: Leadership and Organizational development, Community Building, and Early Childhood and Positive Youth Development.


This program, which was active from 2003 to 2016, laid the groundwork for Community-Based Change. It engaged more than 6,000 rural community builders from 88 rural hubs throughout rural Oregon and Siskiyou County, Calif. Each Leadership class selected a Class Project that they worked on together and completed within one year of the class. 

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