Creating lasting connections across communities

We’re actively engaging the talent and commitment of community partners in all areas of society, such as government, health care, education, nonprofits, and private organizations, and others.

Together, in collaboration with university faculty, students, and staff, we are accomplishing a wide range of community goals across rural Indiana.


We are an active partner in community-engaged research, teaching, and service projects

Sustaining Hoosier Communities

Sustaining Hoosier Communities partners with an Indiana community each year. Coordinating committees bring together community members—such as public employees, elected officials, non-profit professionals, business owners, and residents—to drive the application process and share in the collaborative experience between the community and IU. A request for proposals is released and closed in the fall.

Student Agile Response Team (START)

Is your nonprofit or small business in need of help with a project? We are working together to leverage the skills, passion, and time of our students to support our communities in creating a stronger future.

Research and direct collaboration projects

We connect opportunities and needs in communities with IU faculty and university resources that are well aligned. Visit our faculty affiliates page to explore current projects and contact us with your ideas.


We expand knowledge and skill development among community stakeholders

Training and advising on community development methodologies

We can support your community collaborations by sharing effective techniques that elevate the community’s voice and vision. Learn more about Strategic Doing and Asset-Based Community Development.

Presentations and seminars featuring IU and community experts

We host informative sessions, workshops, and conferences that examine important rural issues and highlight emerging opportunities. See what events we have currently scheduled.

Asset mapping

By leveraging the many assets in your community, you can expand the impact of your projects and initiatives, learn from your own successes, and create sustainable change. Learn more and get started.

Strategic Doing facilitation

Strategic Doing—a process developed by the Purdue Agile Strategy Lab--takes your community from planning to implementation and brings many voices to the table. Learn more about Strategic Doing facilitation.

Housing ready toolkit consultation

In partnership with industry and business, local government, and nonprofit organizations, we created a Housing Ready Toolkit to help communities assess their readiness for housing, determine the cost and benefit of new housing units, and plan for next steps. Get the toolkit and schedule a consultation.

Arts, culture, and quality of place planning

Quality of Place steering committee members work closely with IU staff to help connect the university with the community, plan and host events, craft proposals and grant applications, and represent our work at both formal and informal meetings. Contact us if you’re interested in participating in a steering committee.


We support networking between campus and communities


We host a variety of conferences and webinars throughout the year where you can connect with Hoosiers who are working on common issues. See what events we have scheduled.

Referrals and connections

Indiana University is a large institution, and we are here to help you engage with its many resources. Contact us if we can facilitate an introduction.

Media support

Whether you’re interested in sharing your story with the Center for Rural Engagement, or you need other media support, our communications team is here to help.


We collaborate with community stakeholders on grant and development opportunities

Grant partnerships

As you are taking the next step in your community development, building upon initiatives developed with the center, we can offer continued guidance during the process. Contact us if you are interested in collaborating on a grant you are planning.

Data requests

Data services are available to support community members with finding data resources, gathering data for projects focused in Indiana, and providing simple, descriptive visualizations. Send us an email to request data and visualizations.

Partner with us to improve Hoosier lives