Inclusive Recovery Toolkit and Guide

Elevating Equity in Economic Development

Inclusive Recovery Toolkit and Inclusive Recovery Guide

New Growth Innovation Network (NGIN) officially launched Elevating Equity in Economic Development: An Inclusive Recovery Toolkit, which presented as both an online interactive toolkit and in-depth downloadable guide. The toolkit features Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion modules with illustrative best practices (including from EDDs) and recommendations to get started. The guide includes resources tailored for Comprehensive Economic Development Strategies and serves as a reference when planning for inclusive economic growth. Both are available at

This work is a result of the Inclusive Recovery Initiative, which the New Growth Innovation Network (NGIN) launched in 2021 in partnership with the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) Research Foundation, with support from the Economic Development Administration. Over the last two years, regional economic development practitioners shared how they are taking steps toward inclusive growth and equitable outcomes and highlighted opportunities for other EDDs in this work, including:

  1. Organizational Commitment and Capacity: Internally, EDDs can embed equity through new organizational Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion policies, practices, and statements to ensure that this core principle and approach cuts across all elements of economic planning, development, and funding.
  2. Equity in the CEDS: EDDs can activate their regional economic development strategy, most notably the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS), to include an explicit focus on equity and inclusive growth opportunities specific to all areas of their region and across all economic strategies in the CEDS.
  3. Strategy and Implementation: EDDs can translate their CEDS plans into actions, implementing regional economic strategies which both address historical barriers and deliver robust regional economic growth. Since March 2020, there are evident growth opportunities. These include record rates of entrepreneurs of color starting businesses, new models for economic and community development partnerships, and a surge in innovations in programs and services to build community wealth, showing the untapped assets that can expand regional economies.

This toolkit was prepared by New Growth Innovation Network (NGIN), with partnership from the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) Research Foundation using Federal funds under award ED21HDQ3070009 from the U.S. Economic Development Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce. The statements, findings, conclusions, and recommendations are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Economic Development Administration or the U.S. Department of Commerce.


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Applications cannot be saved and returned to at a later time. It is recommended you compile all of your information in advance in a word processor and cut and paste into the application below.

2023 Impact Awards

The primary applicant must be a NADO member. Project partners, both NADO and non-members, can be recognized under "Project Partners" below.

Primary Project Contact:
This person will be the designated point of contact for all future awards-related correspondence.

Organization Address

Project Location (if different from Organization Address)

Executive Director

Additional Organizational Information
Please upload your organization's logo which will be included on the winning project award certificate.

Project Information
This title will be printed on the award certificate for winning projects and in all 2022 NADO Impact Award materials and cannot be changed.

Project Summary & Questions
Please craft clear, thoughtful, and engaging responses to the following questions. Use the following sections to tell us how your project has made an impact, such as its use of creative funding mechanisms, efforts to create efficiencies or reduce costs, unique partnership models, and emphasis on building resilience and/or enhancing your region's quality of life.

For award-winning projects, the information provided below may be used verbatim to inform project descriptions that will be published in the 2023 NADO Impact Awards materials and included on the NADO website.

Please submit at least one photo showing your project in action. Please keep file size to a minimum (<2Mb) and use JPEG format. If uploading multiple files, ZIP files prior to submitting. If you have trouble uploading images they can be directly emailed to Brett Schwartz at [email protected]. Include the project title they correspond to in the subject line of your email.

Note: Submitted photos may be used in NADO Impact Awards materials and in other NADO published materials with credit to your organization. Please also consider submitting photos for NADO's 2023 Photo Contest, which will be held this summer.

Your application is not submitted until you are directed to a confirmation page. If you have any questions or are unsure if your application has been submitted, please contact Brett Schwartz at [email protected]

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Joe McKinney serves as Executive Director of the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO). Headquartered in Washington DC, NADO provides advocacy, education, research, and training for the nation’s 500+ regional planning and development organizations.

Joe has thirty-one years of experience having served in city, county, regional, national association, and government management since 1991. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Public Policy Analysis from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is a candidate for a master’s degree in Public Administration from UNC-Chapel Hill.

McKinney has provided congressional testimony on numerous occasions regarding the importance of regional development organizations in helping shape the nation’s economic growth. He is nationally recognized for promoting innovative solutions in areas such as planning and economic development, workforce development, transportation and transit, and aging services.

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