The Rural Alabama Initiative (RAI), a grant program funded by the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, provides financial support to seed worthwhile rural initiatives in support of economic and community development. Over the last two years, Extension has provided over $1,000,000 to fund 84 projects. Funded RAI projects included community and regional adult and youth leadership development programs, workforce development academies, a technology camp for high school counselors, a high school robotics competition, computer skills training for adults, economic development workshops and training programs, rural tourism, and entrepreneurial programs. Due to the overwhelmingly positive response to the program, Extension has decided to continue the program for 2009.
The 2009 Rural Alabama Initiative will fund Extension-supported educational initiatives related to community and economic development for Alabama communities. Grants of between $1,000 and $25,000 will be awarded to fund worthy local projects. Any County Extension Coordinator (CEC) may submit project proposals. Other organizations also are eligible to apply for the grants, but the proposal must be submitted by a CEC as a partnership project between the requesting organization and Extension.
Priority will be given to projects that: 1) Serve rural constituencies, 2) Involve collaborations among jurisdictions and/or organizations, and 3) provide matching funds to support the project (matching funds may be in-kind/non-cash).
The Economic & Community Development Institute at Auburn University administers the program. For questions, please contact:
Mike Easterwood, Senior Outreach Associate
Economic and Community Development Institute
216 Extension Hall
Auburn University, AL 36849
334-844-4704 (phone); 334-844-4709 (FAX)
Proposals should be sent to the address listed above and must be received by August 22, 2008.
Download the full Rural Alabama Initiative Packet Here: