Grant extends efforts to reduce rural poverty

SPOKANE – The efforts of 40 rural Washington communities to help themselves reduce poverty and improve prosperity will receive a grant from the Northwest Area Foundation, based out of St. Paul, Minn.
The foundation has announced a $300,000 grant to WSU Extension that will help help those communities that have participated in the Foundation’s Horizons program over the past five years. Horizons is an 18-month leadership development and community planning process aimed at reducing poverty in communities of less than 5,000 people with high poverty rates.


The grant will help the communities to build partnerships and to continue their prosperity-building efforts, according to Doreen Hauser-Lindstrom, WSU Extension Horizons Project director.
“The funding will provide additional leadership training and support to increase the effectiveness and expand the asset and wealth building efforts that the 40 communities launched through their participation in the Horizons process,” she said.
The grant was part of a package of awards totaling $1.9 million to seven state universities recently approved by NWAF to expand the poverty-reduction work in 260 communities. The funds will support work such as:

  • financial-literacy education for youth and adults
  • business training
  • leadership development
  • public policy engagement
  • awareness and use of tax credits for low-income families
  • furthering community action plans
  • leveraging public and private funding
  • identifying resources communities can tap into to sustain their work.
All 260 Horizons communities will participate in monthly webinars to build connections, share ideas and experiences, and learn about potential collaborative opportunities to advance their poverty-reduction strategies.
More information about the program and a complete list of the 40 communities that have completed the Horizons process is at
The Northwest Area Foundation is dedicated to supporting efforts by people, organizations and communities in an eight-state region to reduce poverty and achieve sustainable prosperity. More information on the foundation and its work is at