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On this page, you can find resources for:
Small Towns and Rural America
Community Initiatives
Civic Life and Volunteerism
Building Strong Public Libraries

Small towns and rural America

A lone farmer working on his fields in Alliance, Nebraska.

The Heartland Center
The Heartland Center for Leadership Development has been working with small towns and rural communities since 1985, providing local leaders with the tools they need to build a positive future for their communities. A major focus of the Heartland Center's activities is practical resources and public policies for rural community survival. The Center also publishes a number of practical, community-tested resources that enable leaders to take charge of change and give small towns a competitive edge for tomorrow.

For more information, contact:
The Heartland Center for Leadership Development
941'O' Street, Suite 920
Lincoln, Nebraska 68508
Phone (402) 474-7667
Toll free (800) 927-1115
Fax (402) 474-7672

CNW logo
The Center for the New West, based in Denver, Colorado, tracks economic trends and change affecting the country's Western region. Its mission is to provide a platform and support systems, including analytical resources, for Western leaders to address regional, national and global issues. The Center is supported by foundation and business memberships.

For more information, contact:
Center for the New West
600 World Trade Center
1625 Broadway
Denver, Colorado 80202
phone: (303) 572-5400
Toll free: (800) 795-WEST
Fax 303.572.5499

The Aspen Institute
The Aspen Institute's Rural Economic Policy Program fosters collaborative learning, leadership and innovation to advance rural community and economic development in the United States. REPP works with rural decision makers to speed the adoption of initiatives that will sustain rural progress.

For more information, contact:
Diane Morton
The Aspen Institute Rural Economic Policy Program
1333 New Hampshire Ave. NW, Suite 1070
Washington, DC 20036-1511
phone (202) 736-5804
fax (202) 467-0790

Community Initiatives

Pew Partnership for Civic Change
WANTED is a national initiative funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts to identify, document, and celebrate the most promising solutions to the nation's complex challenges. Communities will have the opportunity to track their results with the assistance of prominent researchers, share their learning with other Wanted communities at national conferences, and benefit from the increased visibility of their efforts. At its core, Wanted is about identifying what is working to improve communities of all sizes and disseminating solutions in accessible formats to others who can benefit from the knowledge and practice. Wanted is an initiative of the Pew Partnership, located in Charlottesville, Virginia.

For more information or an application to WANTED, visit or contact:
Pew Partnership for Civic Change
145-C Ednam Drive
Charlottesville, VA 22903
phone: 804-971-2073

Kids Campaign logo KidsCampaigns
Benton's KidsCampaigns project is empowering people to act on behalf of children in their neighborhoods and across the nation by providing, via the Internet, the tools, expert information, and connections they need to get smart, get started, and get connected.

KidsCampaigns Project
Benton Foundation
1634 Eye Street NW, 12th Floor
Washington DC 20006

Public Allies
Public Allies
Public Allies builds strong community leaders among young adults through ten-month apprenticeships in community based organizations, weekly leadership training and team service projects.

To get involved or learn more about projects in different areas of the United States, visit or contact:
Public Allies
1015 18th Street, NW
Suite 200
Washington, DC 20036
phone: 202-822-1180

National Civic League
National Civic League (NCL) is a 105-year-old nonpartisan, nonprofit organization headquartered in Denver. Best known for the annual All-America City Awards, NCL also works directly with communities to foster cross-sector collaboration and grass roots problem solving.

For more information, contact:
National Civic League
1319 F Street, NW, Suite 204
Washington, D.C. 20004
phone: 202-783-2961

Recruiting New Teachers, Inc.
Recruiting New Teachers is a national non-profit organization which was formed in 1986 to raise esteem for teaching, expand the pool of prospective teachers, and improve the nation's teacher recruitment and development policies and practices. If you are interested in knowing more about what it takes to teach visit The site includes a "Prospective Teachers Database" entry form for those interested in receiving information about teacher education and financial aid programs from RNT's 400-plus recruitment partners.

Recruiting New Teachers, Inc.
385 Concord Avenue, Suite 103
Belmont, MA 02478
phone: 617-489-6000

Also worth checking out:

Institute for Local Self-Reliance

National League of Cities

NeighborWorks Network

Civic Practices Network

Be A Global Force of One! In Your Hometown 202 Common Sense, Human & Portable Ways To Restore Our Communities, Our Schools & Ourselves
by John T. Boal
(PacRim Publishing, Burbank, CA)
Highlights innovative projects for action by a Community, Business, Schools K-12, Individual. A good read and also a practical guide.

Civic Life and Volunteerism
Who Cares

Who Cares Magazine
Who Cares-the tool kit for social change-is a nonprofit magazine that helps people create, grow, and manage organizations for the benefit of the common good, and fosters a sense of community among social entrepreneurs nationwide. Published five times annually, Who Cares reaches 50,000 nonprofit leaders nationwide with nuts-and-bolts, hands-on information on how to raise funds, manage volunteers, market a mission, and use technology effectively.

Who Care's current issue profiles five Social Entrepreneurs of the Year. Founded in 1993, Who Cares is a four-color, high quality magazine published five times annually. To subscribe, or for additional information, visit their website at or call (202) 588-8920.

Who Cares Magazine
1436 U Street, N.W., Suite 201
Washington, D.C. 20009

Businesses for Social Responsibility
Business for Social Responsibility is an American-based global resource for companies seeking to sustain their business success in ways that respect people, communities and the environment. Over 1,400 companies are BSR members. The group also produces benchmarking reports and studies.

For more information, contact:
Businesses for Social Responsibility
609 Mission Street, 2nd Floor
San Francisco, CA 94105
phone (415) 537-0888
fax (415) 537-0889 fax

The Conference Board
The Conference Board is a business membership and research organization connecting senior executives from around the world to work on a variety of issues, including corporate community involvement and volunteerism.

Independent Sector
Independent Sector, founded in 1980 and based in Washington, D.C., is a national coalition of voluntary organizations, foundations and corporate giving programs, with national interest and impact in philanthropy and voluntary action.

For more information, contact:
Independent Sector
1828 L Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
phone (202) 223-8100
fax (202) 416-0580

Points of Light Foundation
Points of Light Foundation, based in Washington, D.C., is a national non-profit organization devoted to promoting volunteerism as a way to help solve social problems. Through its network of volunteer centers, the foundation works in partnership with schools, business corporations, and non-profit organizations to develop and organize volunteer efforts.

For more information, contact:
The Points of Light Foundation
1400 I Street, NW Suite 800
Washington, DC 20005
phone (202) 729-8000
Toll free 800-VOLUNTEER
fax (202) 729-8100

The Corporation for National Service
The Corporation for National Service site includes information about serving with Americorps, Learn and Serve America and Senior Corps, as well as resources for corporations, foundations, nonprofits and scholarship, job, fellowship and internship information.

Corporation for National Service
1201 New York Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20525
phone: 202-606-5000 x255

Building Strong Public Libraries

American Library Association
The American Library Association (ALA) is the biggest membership organization of professional librarians in the U.S. Name a library-related issue, and the ALA is involved somehow: from advocacy, to internet training, to national awards, to historical library preservation, this is a good place to go to learn more.

American Library Association
50 E. Huron
Chicago, IL 60611
Toll-Free: 1-800-545-2433
Fax: (312) 440-9374

Libraries for the Future
Libraries for the Future is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to "information equity, literacy and the preservation and renewal of libraries as essential tools for a democratic society." Lots of useful resources, advocacy tips, and publications.

Libraries for the Future
121 West 27th St., Suite 1102
New York, New York 10001
tel: (212) 352-2330
(800) 542-1918
fax: (212) 352-2342

Friends of Libraries USA
Friends of Libraries USA provides programs and publications to 2,800 member groups reaching hundreds of thousands of Americans, teaching citizens nationwide how to develop local library Friends to raise funds, be advocates and promote libraries.

Friends of Libraries USA
1420 Walnut Street
Suite #450
Philadelphia, PA 19102
tel: (215) 790-1674
fax (215) 545-3821

More resources on libraries:

Public Libraries in the U.S.

American Society for Information Sciences

National Archives

Library of Congress


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