About NADO

The National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) provides advocacy, education, research, and training for the nation’s regional development organizations. The association and its members promote regional strategies, partnerships, and solutions to strengthen the economic competitiveness and quality of life across America’s local communities.

“Regional Development Organization” is used generically to describe the national network of 540 multi-jurisdictional regional planning and development organizations. These public-based entities play an invaluable role in fostering intergovernmental collaboration among federal, state and local officials. They deliver and manage various federal and state programs. Most importantly, they work to solve areawide issues and to address the fundamental building blocks required for competitive and sustainable communities and economies.

RDOs are typically governed by a policy board with majority control of local elected officials, along with representatives from the business community, educational institutions, nonprofit sector and the general public.  In most states, RDOs are authorized and recognized under state law or executive order, as well as hold various program designations from different federal agencies. Therefore, RDOs are often known by many different names, such as: area development districts, association of governments, councils of governments, councils of local governments, economic development associations, economic development councils, economic development corporations, economic development districts, local development districts, planning and development councils, planning and development districts, planning district commissions, regional commissions, regional councils, regional development commissions, regional planning and development councils, regional planning commissions, and other types of multi-jurisdictional development entities around the country.  To view a map of regional intergovernmental organizations developed by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School for Public and International Affairs, click here.

NADO members work to improve local and regional quality of life by promoting economic and community development through place-based strategies in the areas of: housing, transportation, infrastructure, workforce development, entrepreneurship, disaster resilience, social services, aging services, and other sectors.

Learn about how NADO can support your region in our informational brochure

About Our Affiliates and Partners

To accommodate the needs of our member organizations, NADO and the NADO Research Foundation have developed a series of affiliate programs and partnerships focused on specific areas of interest.

  • NADO Research Foundation is the 501(c)(3) nonprofit affiliate of NADO. The Research Foundation provides professional development training, research and peer networking services. The Research Foundation examines new and innovative practices in regional development, strives to improve the organizational and professional capacity of regional development organizations and their partners, and bridges the communications gaps between policy makers, practitioners, and the public.
  • Economic Development Finance Service (EDFS) is a subscription-based service of the NADO Research Foundation for business development finance professionals. EDFS is the only national group supporting organizations that manage EDA RLFs and USDA IRP loan funds, in addition to other federal development finance programs.
  • Rural Planning Organizations of America (RPO America) was established in June 2006 by the NADO Board of Directors to serve as the national professional association for regional and rural transportation planning professionals, practitioners and other interested stakeholders.
  • NADO’s Center for Transportation Advancement and Regional Development, under a cooperative agreement with the Federal Highway Administration, provides training, information and professional resources for small metropolitan and rural regions to pursue innovative strategies to expand the capabilities, capacity and effectiveness of a region’s transportation network.

Multi-State Regional Partners

  • Association of Delta Development Districts is an organization of 44 Local Development Districts designated by the eight-state Delta Regional Authority. NADO provides staffing and logistic support for the regional group of NADO members.
  • Development District Association of Appalachia (DDAA) is an independent membership organization of the 73 Local Development Districts (LDD’s) serving the 420 counties of the Appalachia Region. The DDAA works to strengthen LDDs and their member governments and to provide leadership to support the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) federal-state-local partnership.
  • SouthEast Regional Directors Institute (SERDI) is a voluntary professional development association for regional council executive directors in the southeastern United States. NADO provides management support to the network.
  • Southwest Regional Economic Development Association (SWREDA) is a voluntary professional development association for the Economic Development Districts serving the EDA Austin region.

Click here for a Google Custom Search of the national network of regional development organizations and similar entities for specific topics and initiatives.