New To RuralOrganizing.org? Start Here.
Are you new to RuralOrganizing.org? Welcome! We're here to help and we'd like to connect with you. If you don't find the information you're looking for, please contact us.
RuralOrganizing.org is a national network of civic leaders, organizers, and activists fighting for our hometowns and rural communities. We are legally designated as a 501c4 political non-profit and based out of Columbus, Ohio. The primary purpose of our organization is to rebuild a rural America that is empowered, thriving, and equitable by passing forward-thinking policies to address some of the biggest challenges facing our communities. We do this work by leveraging digital technologies to mobilize our network in support of local, state, and federal level policies and candidates that benefit small towns and rural communities.
There's no doubt about it. The first step is always the hardest. Over 90% of rural Americans believe that the small town and rural way of life is worth fighting for but knowing where to go from there can be tough. We find that the best way to get started is to learn from other organizers who are already doing the work. While our internal team can't answer each and every one of your questions, we created a Facebook group for people just like you. You can join our Facebook group for rural change makers by clicking here. Join this group and ask questions. Our members include first-time change makers and long-time veterans and they'd love to help answer any of your questions.
We maintain a network of progressive rural organizers through a Facebook group. The Facebook group is open to the public and we ask that members of our group maintain a high standard of civility. The group is an excellent way to connect with rural progressives in your community. You can join the group by clicking here.
We work with hundreds of leaders who are either employed or volunteer with other rural organizations and we believe that rural organizing should generous, not jealous. So, a large piece of our work is lifting up the rural organizing efforts of other organizations and we coordinate this work through our "Farmhouse Table." If you'd like to join our FarmHouse Table, please click here.
Most mornings, we send out the top rural headlines from across the country. This service is free and open to the public. The topics we primarily cover are rural politics, rural development, rural energy, and rural health. If you would like to get rural news straight to you inbox, you can sign up here.
If you are a rural leader looking for resources to create positive change in your community, we're here to help. We are a large, national network with at least a few hundred advocates in all 50 states (in most states we have several thousand advocates in our network). However, our staff is relatively small. This means we can't help on individual advocacy campaigns as much as we would like to. Be sure to check out or Resource page to get tools and tips for mobilizing rural communities for positive change. Also, we suggest that you join our Facebook group for National Rural Organizers and engage with members of our community directly. Our "Farmhouse Table" network is also an excellent network for leaders of rural organizations. You can join the Farmhouse table here. If those suggestions don't provide enough support for your work, please contact us directly.
The RuralOrganizing.org team is scattered all over the country. While we don't have a specific person dedicated to speaking to local groups, it's possible that we might know someone in your area that could come and speak to your group. It's also possible that we could host a video chat with your team. Please contact us for more information.
Good news! We don't have a chapter-based advocacy model. So, it doesn't matter if you are a lone organizer or an organization with millions of members. We work with everyone. If you're looking to start local organization, we can help or we can also connect you with other chapter-based organizations that can help you establish a connection to a more formal network. If you have more questions about starting a local advocacy group, we suggest that you ask our Facebook group for advice. You can join our Facebook group by clicking here. If you have more specific questions, please contact us.
The primary focus of our work issue-based advocacy and non-partisan civic engagement in small towns and rural communities. But because we're a 501c4 organization, we have the ability to engage more with candidates seeking elected office. So, be sure to check out our resources page for rural organizing tips and tricks. And it doesn't matter which party you belong to, if you're a progressive candidate working to rebuild a rural America that is empowered, thriving, and equitable, we'd love to hear from you. Please contact us for more information.
We often say that we are boldly progressive and proudly rural. While those terms can many things to many different people, for use those terms directly reflect our values. Social scientists have many different definitions of "rural." For data purposes, when referring to rural counties, we use USDA's Rural-Urban Continuum Codes. When looking at rural zip codes, we often use zip codes provided by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy. However, for us, "rural" is an identity, not just a geography. A lot of our work centers around people who are a part of the "American Rural Diaspora." These are people who grew up in small towns and rural communities and left home in search of jobs and opportunity. We believe that these people have a critical role to play in rebuilding small towns and rural communities. For us, Progressive refers to anyone who is fighting for progress for EVERYONE, regardless of class, race, color, gender, national origin or immigration status, age, religion, creed, disability, veteran's status, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.