Carsey Institute Receives $1 Million From W.K. Kellogg Foundation
Grant to Support Center for Rural Families and Communities
Contact:  Amy Seif
Carsey Institute

Beth Potier
UNH Media Relations
December 11, 2006

DURHAM, N.H. -- The Carsey Institute at the University of New Hampshire has received a $1 million grant from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation to support the work of its Center for Rural Families and Communities. The grant, distributed over four years, will support the institute in producing reports and policy briefs on issues of concern to rural communities and in building knowledge of changing conditions in natural resource-dependent communities, especially in the Northeast and Southeast.

“America’s rural communities and families face enormous changes in the 21st century that are having far reaching effects,” says Cynthia M. Duncan, director of the Carsey Institute. “Globalization and demographic changes are changing the face of rural America; we believe these changes are on a par with mechanization and the Great Migration that fundamentally altered much of rural America in the 1950s. In collaboration with the Kellogg Foundation and others, the Carsey Institute will work to provide critical leadership toward helping Americans better understand what is happening to rural families and communities and to foster a newly energized, informed dialogue leading to improved policies to enable rural families to cope with the changes.”

With this support from the Kellogg Foundation, the Carsey Institute will deepen its work producing original analytical reports and policy briefs on issues of concern to rural families and communities. Recent reports and briefs from the Carsey Institute have explored immigration trends in rural communities, changing voting patterns and values in rural America, and war casualties among soldiers from rural areas.

In partnership with the W.K. Kellogg and Annie E. Casey foundations, the Center for Rural Strategies, Rural LISC, and others, the Carsey Institute will identify key, timely issues where good analysis and effective dissemination of information can make a positive difference in policy debates. 

As a second area of focus, the Carsey Institute’s interdisciplinary team of policy-minded researchers will build knowledge and awareness of the socioeconomic conditions and policy opportunities in natural resource-dependent communities in the northeastern and southeastern United States. The institute is particularly interested in exploring the potential of working landscapes as a development strategy to build diverse, resilient local economies in rural and small-town America. Carsey Institute researchers will examine the dynamic interplay of social, economic and environmental factors and the opportunities available to these communities for environmentally sustainable economic development.

In both components, the Carsey Institute will

  • Build knowledge through state-of-the-art, timely and responsive research and analysis.
  • Raise awareness by synthesizing and communicating information and convening practitioners and scholars.
  • Affect policy by supporting those engaged in effective action and building their leadership capacity.  

“The W.K. Kellogg Foundation is pleased to support building a strong, responsive policy center focused on rural families and communities,” says Caroline Carpenter, program director at the Kellogg Foundation. “Rural America needs the kind of cutting-edge thinking and planning for sustainable rural development for the 21st century that the Carsey Institute can provide.”

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation was established in 1930 “to help people help themselves through the practical application of knowledge and resources to improve their quality of life and that of future generations.” To achieve the greatest impact, the foundation targets its grants toward specific areas. These include health, food systems and rural development, youth and education, and philanthropy and volunteerism. Within these areas, attention is given to exploring learning opportunities in leadership; information and communication technology; capitalizing on diversity; and social and economic community development.

Grants are concentrated in the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the southern African countries of Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe. For further information, please visit the foundation’s Web site at

The Carsey Institute at the University of New Hampshire conducts research and analysis on the challenges facing rural families and communities in New Hampshire, New England, and the nation. The Carsey Institute sponsors independent, interdisciplinary research that documents trends and conditions affecting families and communities, providing valuable information and analysis to policymakers, practitioners, the media and the general public.  Through this work, the Carsey Institute contributes to public dialogue on policies that encourage social mobility and sustain healthy equitable communities. The Carsey Institute was established in May 2002 with a generous gift from UNH alumna and noted television producer Marcy Carsey.