Measuring Rural Wealth Creation: A Guide for Regional Development Organizations

The NADO Research Foundation has released the new publication Measuring Rural Wealth Creation: A Guide for Regional Development Organizations (PDF).  Rural wealth creation is a 21st century approach to community and economic development that is demand-driven, focusing on market opportunities that capitalize on a community’s existing assets or underutilized resources. Wealth creation takes an intentionally inclusive approach by working to build lasting livelihoods, including increasing jobs and incomes of low-income people.  It also emphasizes local ownership and control of assets.

Report front cover with the title Measuring Rural Wealth Creation: A Guide for Regional Development Organizations; the publication date of November 2016, and the attribution line for the NADO Research Foundation.The Measuring Wealth Creation guide introduces concepts of measuring progress in rural wealth creation for regional development organizations that are involved in a range of community and economic development within their regions.  Although this guide is intended to help measure the work of a particular economic development initiative or industry partnership such as a value chain, it may also offer useful information for measuring progress in a region’s CEDS or other broad economic development and planning work.

The guide includes information on developing a measurement plan, measuring multiple forms of community capital beyond jobs, measuring inclusiveness and local ownership of assets, and more strategies and tips for measuring and communicating progress.

More Resources

Earlier in 2016, the NADO Research Foundation also released the Regional Wealth Creation Case Studies, showcasing the work of three regional development organizations using the rural wealth creation framework.

Many more resources relating to rural wealth creation as an economic development framework have been produced by several different organizations who make up the WealthWorks Initiative Partners.  View introductory modules on rural wealth creation, how-to resources, and case studies at

Some highlighted resources from other organizations working on the rural wealth creation effort, known as WealthWorks, include:

To view PDFs, use Adobe Reader or another PDF viewer.






Joe McKinney has served as Executive Director of the National Association of Development Organizations since 2012. He previously served as the Executive Director of the Land of Sky Regional Council in Asheville, North Carolina from 2003 to 2012. Under his leadership, Land of Sky became recognized nationally for its innovation in program areas including planning and economic development, workforce development, transportation and transit, aging services, volunteer services, and geographic information systems. Joe has also held various other roles in city, county, association, and government management. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Policy Analysis from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from UNC-Chapel Hill.

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