In November of 2023, the iSector partnered with USDA Rural Development in Oregon and Washington to hold the first NW Rural Investment Strategy Summit. The Summit explored how cross-sector collaborations can best position rural communities to overcome project and funding barriers and seize opportunities for change.

There is a need – and timely opportunity – to strategically build partnerships and processes to launch sustainable rural community investment models with collaboration at their core. With so many rural-serving organizations and resource providers working toward the same goals, it is essential that we communicate and coordinate to maximize impact.

Summit attendees identified community-led needs and solutions to common rural funding and resource challenges, those solutions can be found on page 6 of the after-action report, Northwest Rural Investment Strategy: Catalyzing Collective Change. 

“In too many places, rural leaders are starved for the investment they need to support their community’s social and economic transformation. From my perspective, this kind of innovation is a lesson in maximizing the impact of USDA Rural Development’s (RD) financial, intellectual, and social capital within the local ecosystem of partners and stakeholders.”

Tony Pipa

Reimagining Rural Policy Initiative, Brookings Institution

The Summit brought together a broad range of rural champions, including Tribal, state, local, philanthropic, CDFI, banking, technical assistance, and federal agency leaders who discussed the urgent need for innovations in six key areas:

Developing Attainable Rural Housing

Expanding Access to Rural Childcare

Bridging the Rural Digital Divide

Transforming Local Food Systems

Securing Agricultural and Municipal Water Systems

Constructing Community Resilience Centers and Emergency Facilities

Thank You to Our 2023 Summit Sponsors