Con Alma Health Foundation is proud to share this field study of rural Northern New Mexico. The Rural Philanthropic Analysis Project at Campbell University in North Carolina, funded in part by RWJF, recently visited New Mexico, where members of the site visit team were able to meet with a few of our nonprofit partners. The resulting report highlights rural philanthropy, and how New Mexico’s rural nonprofits address the needs of their communities.

New Mexico is a place of great scenic variety, from dry deserts to snow-capped mountain peaks. Here, a community’s “rurality” is defined as much by the mindset of those living there as by any geographic boundary or population size. This means that rural funders must always, first and foremost, be aware of the place and the people they wish to serve, building on existing connections and forging new ones that are rooted in local history and culture. It is in this intersection of cultures and histories that Con Alma Health Foundation — the focus of the RPA’s field study — operates.

Dolores E. Roybal, Con Alma’s executive director, has had the opportunity to serve on the The Rural Philanthropic Analysis Project’s Advisory Committee for over a year. There she was able to help inform and increase support for rural philanthropy in our state and across the nation by featuring the work and impact of some of our incredible community, nonprofit, and funding partners reflected in this report.

Rural work needs to be reframed from a negative (deficit) model. Too often funders assume that rural areas want or need help the way funders want to give it,” says Dr. Roybal . . . We are non-prescriptive. We never make the decision about what the policy should be, what the strategy should be. We’re bringing people together from all over, we’re getting their feedback in terms of what they think are the actionable agenda items that we should move forward. We never decide. One of our core values is community self-determination.

Con Alma is a strong advocate and supporter of rural philanthropy, and we hope you will take a moment to learn more about the important work highlighted here of our incredible community, nonprofit, and funding partners. Stay tuned as we continue this work in other areas of our beautiful state through new and continued collaborative opportunities.

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“Small But Mighty: Leveraging the power of ‘small’ to achieve big change in rural New Mexico”