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Help Families Earn It! Keep It! Grow It!


Rural Family Economic Success


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Rural Family Economic Success – The Approach

The Rural Family Economic Success (RuFES) approach to helping low-income rural families get ahead is organized around three basic outcomes that low-income families seek:

Earn It: Working families earn a living that allows them to survive, thrive and raise their children in their community.

Keep It: Working families have access to and make good choices that safeguard their family income and lower their cost of living, forging stable and predictable financial lives.

Grow It: Working families accumulate and maintain assets that gain value and advance family and community prosperity over time.

RuFES Family-Focused Goals

Each of the three outcomes has a set of more specific RuFES family-focused goals.  Each goal is a positive statement about what economic success looks like to families.  It is a condition that must become true for low-income families in any community if they are to get ahead and build the financial well-being to sustain themselves and their children into the future.

There are 28 family-focused goals in the RuFES Framework.  Rural Family Economic Success can best be understood, even pictured, if you review and think about these goals – because they describe what Earn It, Keep It and Grow It success would look like in the daily lives of families.

Check out the Earn ItKeep ItGrow It pages on RuFES.org to learn more about the family-focused goals that relate to each outcome.

Earn It, Keep It, Grow It Resources

Review a variety of resources related to RuFES outcomes.  New and updated resources are added to this page regularly, so please check back!

Earn It Resources – Make Workers Ready…Make Work Work…Make Work Pay

Keep It Resources – Count Every Dollar…Make Every Dollar Count

Grow It Resources – Build Family Prospects…Build Community Prospects

Quilt It Resources – Resources that bring or “quilt” Earn It, Keep It and Grow It strategies and thinking together.

For additional material, also see Rural Family Economic Success on Virual CAP.

RuFES Action Network

Join the RuFES Action Network


The RuFES Action Network, managed by Aspen Institute Community Strategies Group and supported by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, offers innovative ideas, stimulating stories, useful data and solid rural-focused opportunities, to help community leaders, practitioners and policymakers find better answers to the following question:

How can we help hard-working rural families who are struggling to get ahead Earn more, Keep more of what they earn, and Grow it into assets over time?

Over 1,300 Network members, from forty-eight U.S. states and D.C. and Puerto Rico, regularly receive:
  • Bi-weekly email Action Alerts on current and upcoming resources, opportunities and events
  • The chance to participate in quarterly webinars on timely topics and other RuFES-related events.

These resources, events and opportunities are embedded within the RuFES Framework, a set of family-focused goals that seek to improve rural families’ economic success.


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