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Study Sees Rural Nonprofits Lagging Behind Urban Charities

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Nonprofit organizations in rural communities are disproportionately smaller and poorer than their counterparts in big cities, according to a study from the Bridgespan Group.

The report, Nonprofits in Rural America: Overcoming the Resource Gap (PDF, 101 KB), found that rural groups also tend to be hampered in their ability to grow and increase their capacity because of their small size and budget. The authors recommended that funders focus more on the quality of programs than their size so that more money flows to rural organizations.

Still, “Despite undeniable funding challenges for rural nonprofits, our research also revealed that a small number of rural nonprofits are making headway,” said report co-author Barry Newstead. “So while there is more work to be done to deeply understand how best to strengthen this sector, our preliminary research surfaces a handful of practices that rural nonprofits might find helpful, particularly in these tough times.”

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