The Conservation Fund

Resourceful Communities

Resourceful Communities is part of The Conservation Fund, a national nonprofit established in 1985 to protect working land and waterways and promote sustainable economic development. Utilizing innovative strategies, the Fund has protected more than seven million acres across the U.S. For more information, please visit

Established in 1991, Resourceful Communities works with a network of 500+ community organizations and faith-based groups across North Carolina. The triple bottom line is the foundation of Resourceful Communities' work. In simple terms, meeting the triple bottom line means that we work to achieve environmental, social justice, and sustainable economic development outcomes in everything we do.  Rather than addressing community challenges as isolated issues, this integrated approach nets sustainable, comprehensive improvements.

Resourceful Communities typically works in economically- and socially-distressed places, which, while often rich in natural, cultural, and human resources, also experience high rates of poor health outcomes. Persistent poverty, racism, lack of access to nutritious foods and safe recreation opportunities all contribute to these outcomes. The triple bottom line, as well as our Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) initiative, addresses these multi-faceted factors and provides a unique approach designed to address root causes of poor health outcomes.

Resourceful Communities offers a combination of training, funding and connections to additional resources, to groups and organizations to strengthen community-led efforts:
•       Capacity Building - Capacity building includes individualized technical assistance, which aims to improve organizational practices, and workshops that provide skill building opportunities on a range of topics presented by experts and peer educators.  Technical assistance and training is designed with partner input and is offered free-of-charge as program capacity permits.

•       Small Grants - Through our small re-grant program, the Creating New Economies Fund (CNEF), we invest in innovative triple bottom line projects.  Grants average $8,000-$12,000, with a maximum award of $15,000.

•       Networking - Resourceful Communities started and continues to support a growing network of grassroots partners and resource organizations. We support the network through: annual convenings, where participants connect with each other and resource providers to learn about opportunities, successful models, and new resources; peer learning visits to provide participants opportunities to learn firsthand about successful projects and the opportunity to meet community practitioners; and, we facilitate connections to resources. Cultivating relationships - with community partners, other resource providers, and funders - is not only a core value of the program, but is also critically important to delivering the program's services effectively.

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