Rural Leadership Program

Empower Rural Iowa

The Rural Leadership Grant program provides training, mentorship and funding to rural communities and regions initiating leadership programs. This program is a result of the Governor's Empower Rural Iowa Initiative.

If Iowa wants rural communities to survive and thrive, it will take strong local leadership. Many rural communities have created effective leadership programs, as have various Iowa industries. Leveraging these efforts as examples and partners, this program targets rural communities who want to start a local leadership program and work to engage participants in community leadership roles. Grantees will participate in a two-day bootcamp resulting in a work plan and a one-year mentorship.

The program is administered by the Center for Rural Revitalization, a division of the Iowa Economic Development Authority, in consultation with the Governor’s Empower Rural Iowa Initiative Task Forces.

  • Federally tax-exempt nonprofit agencies and foundations
  • Non-local government applicants must include a letter of support from the mayor or resolution from the city council
  • Programs must exist in and benefit a community in Iowa with a population of 20,000 or fewer and not contiguous to a city with a population of 40,000 or greater OR if a county-wide program, must be one of the 88 least populous counties in Iowa
Information will be posted here if a new application cycle is opened for FY24.
For more information, contact:

Liesl Seabert