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Rural Resources

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Data & Tools
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People & Places: Texas Census Institute Data Dashboard

This Dashboard presents Texas Census estimates of undercounting-related variables for Texas and its counties.

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U.S. Census Bureau
  • #People & Places
Data & Tools
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Economics: Comptroller Regional Economic Report

The Texas Comptroller's Regional Reports provide an overview of population, income, jobs, wages and education trends in each of Texas' 12 economic regions including a statewide overview.

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Texas Comptroller
  • #People & Places
Data & Tools
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Small Towns, Big Opportunities: Many Workers in Rural Areas Have Good Jobs, but These Areas Need Greater Investment in Education, Training, and Career Counseling

Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce's report counters to some degree the popular narrative that rural America has been “left behind.”

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Georgetown University
  • #Workforce & Economic Development
Data & Tools
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Policy Brief: Medicare Advantage Growth and its Impact on Rural Healthcare | National Rural Health Association Policy Brief by Kevin Lambing

Kevin Lambing of T.L.L. Temple Founation collaborated with colleagues Carrie Shaver, DHA, FACHE and Lisa Rantz to write a policy paper for the National Rural Health Association. This informative brief highlights the impact of Medicare Advantage (MA) on rural communities

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Rural Health
  • #Health
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Report: Medicaid Pharmacy in Focus: Opportunities to Improve Texans’ Health and Access to Care | Episcopal Health Foundation

According to a new report from Episcopal Health Foundation there is an opportunity for pharmacists to increase access to healthcare in Texas.

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Episcopal Health Foundation
  • #Health
Data & Tools
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Studies Show: the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) Is Worth the Cost

A new brief from the Benton Institute analyzes the economic impact of ACP through the lens of financial benefits for subscribers.

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Benton Institute
  • #Broadband
Data & Tools
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Updated ACP Enrollment Performance Tool Includes ACP Risk Score

The Benton Institute on Broadband & Society released an updated Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) Performance Tool. It has a new feature -- the ACP Risk Score, in which we identify ZIP code areas where loss of service is likely to be most severe when the ACP subsidy goes away.

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Benton Institute
  • #Broadband
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LISC’s Broadband Planning Help Hub

LISC invites applications to the Broadband Help Hub, part of the National Broadband Technical Assistance Marketplace. This rapid-response program provides communities with high-quality, targeted technical assistance to produce investment-ready broadband plans.

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LISC
  • #Broadband
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Rural America – A Treasure of Assets

This series from Fed Communities discusses the work of organizations and people who are passionate about rural: from developing high quality, affordable housing; bringing reliable internet services to remote areas; to building systems to help communities create lasting change.

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Fed Communities
  • #Community Development
Data & Tools
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School Finance Toolkit from Raise Your Hand Texas

Raise Your Hand Texas supports public policy solutions that invest in Texas’ 5.4 million public school students. This bilingual toolkit includes videos on school financing that answers questions about Texas school funding, how Texas schools spend their money, and more.

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Raise Your Hand Texas
  • #Education
Data & Tools
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Texas Map Shows Where Water Shortage Is Blighting Parts of State

This resource from the U.S. Drought Monitor reveals the extent of water scarcity gripping parts of Texas, with vast swathes of the state facing a severe shortage, raising concerns about the future of water access and sustainability in the region.

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Newsweek
  • #Energy & Environment
Data & Tools
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Texas Digital Opportunity Plan 

Hot off the presses! The latest draft of the Texas Digital Opportunity Plan (TDOP) was submitted to NTIA on February 28, 2024. 

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Broadband Development Office
  • #Broadband
Data & Tools
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FCC Announces April is Last Fully Funded Month for ACP

The National Digital Inclusion Alliance hosted a webinar with the FCC on the ongoing ACP wind-down. View a timeline here.

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Digital Inclusion
  • #Broadband
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Renewing Our Commitment to Basic Needs Security for Every Postsecondary Student

ECMC Foundation’s Basic Needs Initiative addresses basic needs insecurity among postsecondary students.

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ETMC Foundation
Data & Tools
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Affordable Connectivity Program Dashboard

This dashboard visualizes the data released on Affordable Connectivity Program utilization by the Universal Service Administrative Company.

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Institue for Local Self-Reliance
  • #Broadband
Data & Tools
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Explore the Health Snapshot for Your Congressional District

This Dashboard provides actionable measures of health and its drivers calculated at the congressional district level, showing users how their district is doing on health outcomes, social and economic factors, and more.

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Congressional District Health Dashboard
  • #Health
Data & Tools
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Whats in it for Rural? Analyzing the Opportunities for Rural America in IIJA, CHIPS, and IRA

This analysis identifies programs specifically relevant to rural community and economic development, based on three key classifications: rural exclusive, rural stipulated, and rural relevant.

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Brookings
  • #Workforce & Economic Development
Data & Tools
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CDFIs Addressing Community Needs: 2023 CDFI Survey Key Findings

Jim Reiff completed the Federal Reserve’s Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Survey this summer. The survey results show that his experiences mirror what other CDFIs across the country have faced.

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Kansas City Fed
  • #Capacity Building
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Socially Disadvantaged Farmers & Ranchers Access to Capital Toolkit

This toolkit is designed to assist practitioners working in agriculture and economic development in learning more about the range of finance tools available to assist underserved farmers and ranchers with obtaining capital to start and grow their businesses.

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CDFA-NASDA Foundation
  • #Agriculture & Food
  • #Workforce & Economic Development
Data & Tools
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Greenlights Grant Initiative

Greenlights Grant Initiative provides tailored and free resources to assist nationwide school districts access school safety grants.

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Greenlights Grants Initative
  • #Education
  • #Health
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Free Privacy & Technology Training for Libraries

Library Freedom Institute is a privacy-focused 6-month virtual training for librarians. This curriculum gives librarians the tools they need to become privacy champions in their libraries. Once-a-month, LFI will provide a 2-hour training that covers a variety of topics.

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Library Freedom Institute
  • #Arts & Humanities
Data & Tools
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BEAD Initial Proposal Progress Tool

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has announced the launched a dashboard showing the progress of states and territories as they plan to implement the $42.45 billion Broadband Equity Access and Deployment (BEAD) program.

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NTIA
  • #Broadband
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Rural America at a Glance 2023

The 2023 edition of Rural America at a Glance examines rural population and migration trends, poverty, housing insecurity, unemployment, and clean energy jobs. It finds that rural employment levels and annual growth rates have nearly returned to levels seen prior to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

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USDA
  • #People & Places
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Systems-Change Philanthropy: It’s Essential, and It’s Our Responsibility

Policy engagement — fundamental to improving the social and structural determinants of mental health — has always been a strategic priority for the foundation, which has become a trusted resource for mental health and substance use policy issues in Texas. Yet, the state’s mental health and substance use policy community is limited in size, capacity, and training.

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Hogg Foundation
  • #Philanthrophy
  • #Policy
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Rural Community College Excellence: A Guide to Delivering Strong Opportunity for Students and Communities

The guide draws from several sources: data analyses of student outcomes, interviews with college leaders, virtual site visits to high-performing rural colleges, in-person site visits to rural colleges as part of the Aspen Prize process, and convenings of leaders of rural colleges.

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College Excellence Program
  • #Education
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Postsecondary National Policy Institute: Rural Students in Higher Education

This resource from Postsecondary National Policy Institute offers data on rural student enrollment in higher education.

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Postsecondary National Policy Institute
  • #Education
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Resources for Rural Students: STARS Network

STARS College Network provides resources for students to understand college costs, guides to admissions processes, and offers a community platform.

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STARS Network
  • #Education
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Hotel Occupancy Tax Toolkit

Texans for the Arts Foundation launched the Municipal Hotel Occupancy Tax Toolkit, an online resource for arts, municipal, hotel, and tourism leaders sharing what you need to know about Texas’ Municipal Hotel Occupancy Tax.

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Texans for the Arts Foundation
  • #Arts & Humanities
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PLACES: Local Data for Better Health

PLACES reports county, place, census tract, and ZIP Code Tabulation Areas data and uses small area estimation methods to obtain chronic disease measures for the entire United States.

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PLACES: Local Data for Better Health
  • #Health
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Report: Collaborative Best Practices in Advancing Educational and Workforce Outcomes

In late 2022, Ascendium launched an effort to better understand the landscape and best practices of funder collaboration in advancing educational and workforce outcomes for low-income rural populations.

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Ascendium
  • #Workforce & Economic Development
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Free Books for Rural Students through Books Beginning at Birth

Books Beginning at Birth is a statewide program that provides young children and their families with free to books and resources to support the development of early literacy skills and foster a love of reading.

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BookSpring
  • #Arts & Humanities
  • #Education
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Texas Film Round-Up Free Digitization Program

The Texas Film Round-Up provides FREE digitization for Texas-related films and videotapes in exchange for the donation of a digital copy of the materials to TexasArchive.org.

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Texas Archive of the Moving Image
  • #Arts & Humanities
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Scaling Dual Enrollment in Rural Communities

This case study examines how three rural schools in Texas addressed three challenges rural schools face.

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Jobs for the Future
  • #Education
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Resource: Texas CDFI Coalition Interest Form

The Texas CDFI coalition's mission is to engage and strengthen the Texas CDFI sector, and promote comprehensive community development that produces financially sustainable & equitable results.

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Texas Association of Community Development Corporations
  • #Community Development
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Broadband Climate Risk Mitigation Tool

This web application is designed to help communities and organizations make informed decisions about broadband deployment while considering natural hazard risks.

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Center on Rural Innovation
  • #Broadband
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Tools for Managing Groundwater in the Texas Hill Country

This resource is meant to demystify the available tools for groundwater management and make groundwater planning and management more accessible across the Hill Country.

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Hill Country Alliance
  • #Energy & Environment
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Leading by Example: Ordinances and Tools for Growing Hill Country Communities 

This guidebook is focused on different local policies that can guide development that is protective of Texas' Hill Country. Each guide includes links to example ordinances from around our region, as well as links to more in-depth information on the subject.

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Hill Country Alliance
  • #Energy & Environment
  • #Policy
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Mapping A New Terrain: Five Principles for Equitable Rural Outdoor Recreation Economies

As new rural outdoor recreation economies take root, this report from Aspen Institute created this call to action to ensure sustainable and equitable economic systems to support rural life.

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Aspen Institute
  • #Energy & Environment
Data & Tools
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State Office of Rural Health Rural Hospital Funding Resource Guide

The State Office of Rural Health created this funding resource guide for rural health facilities in order to help them more easily find resources relevant to their needs and geographic area.

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State Office of Rural Health
  • #Health
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Broadband Financing Series

This unique series focuses on broadband development finance with an emphasis on the legal, technical, and financial challenges facing communities working to develop broadband.

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Council of Development Finance Agencies
  • #Broadband
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National Broadband Resource Hub

The National Broadband Resource Hub is a philanthropic initiative empowering government and community leaders to build a better broadband future.

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National Broadband Resource Hub
  • #Broadband
Data & Tools
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Texas Connectivity Maps

Broadband maps showing availability of broadband at various speeds in all 254 Texas counties.

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Connected Nation Texas
  • #Broadband
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Texas Free Wifi Map

Find free wifi in Texas using this map.

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Texas Free Wifi Map
  • #Broadband
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Finding Funding for Nature-Based Projects

Website from the National Wildlife Federation that aims to connect stakeholders (including community planners) with sources of federal funding for infrastructure projects that incorporate natural elements.

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National Wildlife Federation
  • #Energy & Environment
  • #Philanthropy
Data & Tools
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Texas Local Public Library Statistics

Annual data on Texas public librarians, including statistics, trends, and more.

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Texas State Library and Archives Commission
  • #Arts & Humanities
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A Winning Trade: How Water Markets Can Benefit Texans & the Environment

Water markets can be an important tool for ensuring efficient use of available water, including ensuring adequate water for the environment. Read the first statewide analysis of historic water market trends.

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Texas Living Waters Project
  • #Energy & Environment
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Fighting floods in Texas: How a regional partnership advances resilience in the Coastal Bend

Overview of a regional partnership created by the Coastal Bend Council of Governments and the Harte Research Institute at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi that builds capacity of communities to strengthen resilience and mitigate disaster risk.

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American Flood Coalition
  • #Energy & Environment
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Federal Support for Rural Communities

Overview of new federal initiative, Rural Partners Network, that seeks to help rural areas maximize the benefits available from the federal government.

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Rural Partners Network
  • #Partnerships
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Senate Committee on Water, Agriculture & Rural Affairs Interim Report

The Committee on Water, Agriculture & Rural Affairs Interim Report covers a wide range of topics and recommendations that address water issues the state faces. Interim charges 1-4 and 9 are focused on water.

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Senate Committee on Water, Agriculture, and Rural Affairs
  • #Agriculture
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Rural Data Gateway

Tool from the U.S. Department of Agriculture features Rural Investment Dashboards to expand access to Rural Development financial data, highlighting Rural Development investments for people in rural America.

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United States Department of Agriculture
  • #Capacity Building
  • #Philanthropy
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Texas OnCourse

Texas OnCourse Academy offers webinars, tools, and resources to encourage family engagement in schools.

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Texas OnCourse
  • #Education
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Rural Recovery Ecosystem Index

Interactive map identifying funding (philanthropic and opioid settlement funds) available by state. Also provides detailed information about resources available for substance recovery on a county level. Created by the Fletcher Group.

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Fletcher Group
  • #Health
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Charging Forward

Toolkit to help rural communities take full advantage of federal funding for electric vehicle charging stations.

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US Department of Transportation
  • #Energy & Environment
Data & Tools
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Exploring Rural Health Podcast

Monthly podcast from Rural Health Information Hub focused on current issues in rural healthcare and population health.

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Rural Health Information Hub
  • #Health
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Water Database

The Texas Water Infrastructure and Funding Guide helps Texas utilities, municipalities, and decision makers navigate the resources available for water infrastructure.

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Texas Water Infrastructure and Funding Guide
  • #Energy & Environment
Data & Tools
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Pathways to Digital Equity: How Communities Can Reach Their Broadband Goals–and Philathropy Can Help

Guidebook that helps communities evaluate and meet specific connectivity needs. It outlines community needs and how philanthropy can help.

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Benton Institute for Broadband and Society
  • #Broadband
  • #Philanthropy
Data & Tools
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Water System Map

The first comprehensive system map of the Texas water sector which captures how various water entities interact and connect.

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Texas Water Infrastructure and Funding Guide
  • #Energy & Environment
Data & Tools
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Rural Collaboration Toolkit

Toolkit from Empower Schools offering in-depth resources to ensure rural student and community success.

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Empower Schools
  • #Education
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Rural Emergency Medical Services and Trauma

Access to Emergency Medical Services is critical for rural residents, but providing pre-hospital services in rural areas is challenging. This resource answers frequently asked questions about rural emergency medical services.

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Rural Health Information Hub
  • #Health
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Farm State of Mind Resource Directory

The Farm State of Mind Resource Directory provides dozens of tools and resources to help farmers and their families address stress and mental health concerns.

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Farm Bureau
  • #Health
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Rural Capacity Map

Rural capacity map identifying communities where investments in staffing and expertise are needed to support infrastructure and climate resilience projects.

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Headwaters Economics
  • #Capacity Building
Data & Tools
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County-Level Population Change Map

Map from the US Census Bureau highlighting population change by counties, including rural population gains and losses.

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US Census Bureau
  • #Population
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Rent Out of Reach

How much does it cost to afford a modest apartment in your state? Tool from National Low Income Housing Coalition, documenting gaps between renters' wages and the cost of rental housing across the United States.

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National Low Income Housing Coalition
  • #Housing
Data & Tools
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National Aging and Disability Transporation Center

Annual report examining transportation issues and highlighting examples of solutions being implemented across the United States.

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National Aging and Disability Transportation Center
  • #Transportation
Data & Tools
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Rural Health Literacy Toolkit

Toolkit of evidence-based resources for organizations working to improve health literacy in rural communities across the United States.

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Rural Health Information Hub
  • #Health
Data & Tools
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Reenvisioning Rural America

Tool for rural residents, policymakers, and investors to see the diversity of rural America and to better invest in its full potential.

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Urban Institute
  • #People & Places
Data & Tools
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Federal Broadband Funding Guide

Updated Federal Broadband Funding Guide to provide a one-stop-shop of resources for applicants.

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National Telecommunications and Information Administration
  • #Broadband
  • #Philanthropy
Data & Tools
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Texas Broadband Plan 2022

The Texas Broadband Development Office gathered input from the Texas Broadband Listening Tour and survey responses to create the first Texas Broadband Plan

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Broadband Development Office
  • #Broadband
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Rural America Placemaking Toolkit

The Rural America Placemaking Toolkit includes a variety of resources, including placemaking activities, projects, and success stories across rural America

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Rural Placemaking
  • #People & Places
Data & Tools
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Urban Texans’ Perceptions of Rural People

Report summarizing findings from a 2021 survey on how urban Texans perceive rural people and places.

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Sam Houston State University
  • #People & Places
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Opportunity Broadband

Pew Charitable Trusts has launched Opportunity Broadband, an alliance of partners committed to helping communities across the country use the nation's investment in universal, affordable broadband.

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Pew Charitable Trusts
  • #Broadband
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A Closer Look at Rural Populations: Multistate Research Monitors Changes and Issues Affecting Rural Areas

Report from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture identifying solutions for rural community resilience and environmental sustainability.

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National Institute of Food and Agriculture
  • #Agriculture
  • #Health
  • #People & Places
Data & Tools
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Lone Star Stock

Lone Star Stock provides stock photos, videos, and music representing the state of Texas at an affordable price. The site is also seeking creators to continue building the assets available through the site.

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Lone Star Stock
  • #Arts & Humanities
Data & Tools
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A Playbook for New Rural Healthcare Partnership Models of Investment

Action-oriented guide for healthcare organizations pursuing rural partnerships - with communities, economic development and other sectors - to support improved community health.

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Building Healthy Places Network
  • #Health
  • #Workforce & Economic Development
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Where Are Families Taking Advantage of the Home Broadband Discount

Tool created through a partnership between Rural LISC and Heartland Forward, showing where households have enrolled in the Affordable Connectivity Program.

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Rural LISC and Heartland Forward
  • #Broadband
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Thrive Rural Framework

Thrive Rural Framework tool designed to spark new ways of thinking and acting to move communities, regions, and systems toward producing more widespread and equitable rural prosperity, health, and well-being.

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Aspen Institute
  • #Partnerships
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Public Libraries Essential to Closing Digital Divide

Article detailing the role of public libraries in expanding digital equity through partnerships with government entities and other efforts.

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Government Technology
  • #Arts & Humanities
  • #Broadband
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Worried how climate change will affect water in Texas? These researchers want to help you find out

Researchers at Texas State University's Meadows Center are working on a new public dashboard to answer questions about water flow in Texas for communities statewide

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KERA News
  • #Energy & Environment
Data & Tools
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How Localities Can Better Promote Internet Subsidies

The Federal Emergency Broadband Benefit (the Affordable Connectivity Program's predecessor) was intended to connect the unconnected. A recent study shows that the program did not achieve this goal, but local areas can increase program participation.

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Governing
  • #Broadband
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Creating and Expanding a Diverse Broadband Workforce with Good Jobs and Career Pathways

Playbook from America Achieves and Rural Innovation Strategies, Inc. with recommendations on growing the nation's broadband workforce.

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America Achieves and Rural Innovation Strategies, Inc.
  • #Broadband
  • #Workforce & Economic Development
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Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Rural Playbook

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is investing billions of dollars in rural communities across the country. This playbook can help rural communities understand the available funding.

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White House
  • #Broadband
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Digital Literacy Training from the Public Library Association

The Public Library Association announced digital literacy courses and training materials developed in collaboration with AT&T. 

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Public Library Association
  • #Arts & Humanities
  • #Broadband
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Building a Better America: Commerce Department Fact Sheet for Rural Communities

Information to help rural communities understand the available resources under the infrastructure law, where to apply, and how find more information.

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US Department of Commerce
  • #Broadband
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Federal Resources for Rural America

The American Rescue Plan provides new and expanded opportunities for rural America. Aspen CSG is collecting links and resources explaining federal opportunities for rural people and places.

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Aspen Institute
  • #Broadband
  • #People & Places
  • #Workforce & Economic Development