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COIC offers new Rural Community Building Program

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BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council said Thursday it has received funding from several local, federal and foundation sources to support its efforts to deliver new and expanded community and economic development services to the region's rural communities.

COIC’s new Rural Community Building Program works with local leaders to identify community needs, build community consensus around a plan of action, strengthen community capacity to participate, and catalyze community-led action for the benefit of all residents.

Leveraging local funds, COIC has successfully brought more than $100,000 in new funding to the region in 2019-2020 to support community-led projects in all six of the incorporated rural communities of Central Oregon.

Under the Rural Community Building Program, COIC can offer a variety of supportive services to rural partners, including city and county governments, local non-profit and community groups, and fellow economic development organizations.

These services include meeting facilitation and neutral convening, grant-writing and project funding, strategic planning, project impact and evaluation, and community outreach & engagement- including assistance in developing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) policies and practices.

COIC can also help connect rural partners with statewide and regional organizations with expertise tailored to meet specific community needs. 

As part of this program in 2020, COIC is excited to support the Sisters Country Vision, City of Culver Strategic Plan, Madras and Prineville Downtown Associations, Metolius Community Vision, and La Pine Parks and Recreation District, among others.

Development of COIC’s Rural Community Building Program began in 2017 with a grant from the Meyer Memorial Trust, which led to support from both the Crook County Court and Jefferson County Board of Commissioners, who each contributed $10,000 in early 2019.

This local match funding proved to be critical in leveraging an additional $50,000 from the USDA Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI) grant program.

Along with the counties, the cities of Sisters and Metolius both contributed local match as well, helping COIC demonstrate strong community buy-in for the program.

This led to the development of a partnership with The Ford Family Foundation Institute for Community Building, which awarded COIC a $60,000 grant-- including $20,000 in direct pass-through funding for local community projects-- in fall of 2019.

For more information about the Rural Community Building Program, or to discuss a local project you believe is a good match for the program, visit or contact Janel Ruehl, Program Administrator, at

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