Heartland Fund's early 2023 grants will support organizing, building power, and uplifting our rural communities’ voices. We especially appreciate the commitment of our funding partners to investing in year-round civic engagement and timely support of rural leaders. Please read below for some of the highlights of our early 2023 grantmaking. 

Urgent Support for Rural Civic Engagement in Wisconsin

April’s Wisconsin Supreme Court race will determine who rules on voting access, fair maps, health care, the environment, and many other rural priorities. With a large share of pro-democracy voters living in rural communities and small towns, our reach in rural areas will provide critical nonpartisan voter education. Heartland Fund recently recommended funding for Action for Climate EmergencyProgress NorthWI Native Vote, and WI Public Education Network to ensure our diverse rural voters are approaching their ballots grounded in the values they want to see represented in their state and country.

Funding New Ways to Organize 

To build power long-term, Heartland Fund is partnering with innovative groups to develop better ways to organize the community. Empower’s relational organizing software helps communities and organizations build power across the country, including in rural districts, communities of color, and in multiple languages. Funding recommended by Heartland Fund will support them towards their goal of hiring 5,000 relational leads in Wisconsin while learning about the effectiveness of different engagement strategies across demographic groups and geographies. 

Changing What’s Possible in Rural America

There are many components to building rural power. Whether organizing diverse communities, mobilizing voters, providing community leaders with the tools needed to lead, or learning new ways to engage effectively, Heartland Fund is honored to partner with amazing funders and organizations to ensure our rural communities can bring local solutions to the decision-making table. Heartland Fund’s 2023 work will improve the lives of our community while paving the way for 2024 and beyond.