Strategic Focus Areas


CSG advances the principles and practices of regional wealth-building as the means to better economic development policy and practice in the United States.

We believe in doing economic development differently. At the local, regional and national level, we work to advance development practices that aim at three objectives simultaneously: maintain or grow the stock of multiple regional assets that provide the base for a more prosperous future; increase the local ownership and control of those assets; and help low-income people, places and firms get ahead by always including them in the design and benefits of economic development strategies.


CSG builds the capacity of practitioners and policymakers to help families on the economic margins Earn more, Keep more of what they earn, and Grow it into assets for themselves and their communities.

We believe in the deep connection between families and communities: when families do better, communities do better, and when communities do better, families do better. We work with leaders at the local level to understand the challenges that low-income families face and to help them to develop community- and family-focused strategies to help those families get ahead.


CSG builds the number and capacity of community and region-focused foundations that are taking leadership on – and making a significant difference in – improving the economy and family livelihoods in their places.

We believe that philanthropy is a powerful community and economic development tool. With informed and committed leadership, place-focused foundations can play missing roles and fill gaps that enable communities to build assets that produce community-driven results, a stronger economy, and a development process that addresses inequality even as it advances prosperity. We work with both place-rooted community and regional foundations and place-focused regional and national foundations to better understand the wide range of assets and tools they can use to address critical community issues and help them advance regional economic development strategies that build enduring prosperity and livelihoods for all, especially those at the margins.


CSG engages and develops a wider diversity of regional and rural leaders in inclusively addressing critical community and economic development challenges in their communities.

We believe in the growing potential of the next generation to lead and contribute to efforts that build more vibrant, equitable, and resilient regional economies. We work with local and regional organizations to ensure that the next generation is meaningfully engaged in community and economic development efforts, and we aspire to develop a next generation regional and rural fellows program to help a core cohort of young people across the US develop the skills and capacities needed to successfully lead and address critical community challenges issues now and in the future.

Core Services:

  • We design and facilitate action-inducing peer learning among organizations, leaders and policymakers.
  • We provide strategic guidance to community leaders and supporters to sharpen their focus and strategy.
  • We produce tools, frameworks, analysis and stories to help communities make smart decisions.
  • We manage short- and long-term initiatives that catalyze innovation and progress.
  • We build networks to spread good ideas and useful lessons.