North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives Pledge $10,000 for New Foundation Focused on Rural Economic Development

North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives have pledged $10,000 in seed capital to help support a new 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation established by the N.C. Economic Development Association to provide North Carolina’s economic development community with high-quality research, professional development scholarships and other programs with a focus on underserved, distressed and rural communities and economic developers across the state.

“This new foundation aligns closely with our vision for building a Brighter Future for rural North Carolina, and we are pleased to support this new effort to further promote economic development and improved quality of life in rural communities,” said Ryan Nance, director of economic development for North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives.

“We are grateful to North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives for stepping forward with this voluntary support, which we will put to good use as we build out the new organization’s administrative footprint, assemble its programming and complete a fundraising plan,” said Randall Johnson, NCEDA president. “This pledge serves as a reminder of the crucial work we have ahead with the foundation, which we can only achieve with the type of strong partners that North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives have proven to be.”

NCEDA incorporated the foundation earlier this year under the laws of North Carolina and is now filing an application with the IRS for federal tax-exempt status.

The state’s electric co-ops maintain a comprehensive economic development strategy that centers on creating new opportunities for rural North Carolina and recruiting new businesses and industries to cooperative communities. In just the last five years, electric cooperatives have contributed to more than 100 economic development projects with $67 million in grants and loans that have resulted in more than 5,000 jobs and over $1 billion in new capital investment in rural North Carolina.

North Carolina’s electric cooperatives are also a national leader in channeling funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant (REDLG) program to rural communities. These zero-interest loans can be used to assist with various improvements including fire and rescue, police protection, public buildings and community facilities, and other economic development projects.

Learn more about the cooperatives’ economic development efforts in the In the Community section of our website.