"I firmly believe that building a multiracial, pro-democracy, pro-worker movement in this country must include a robust investment in the civic engagement of Americans living, working, surviving, and frequently thriving, in small towns and rural communities," writes Sarah Jaynes, Heartland Fund executive director, in Inside Philanthropy.

Given her extensive background living, working, and organizing in rural spaces, Sarah offers five reasons why funders should revisit their assumptions about the impact of civic engagement in the American countryside. Heartland Fund has long affirmed the need for this type of investment in rural places, and we're actively advocating for deepened philanthropic support for these often-overlooked areas.