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Community Leadership

2019 Rural Pulse™ Snapshot: Community Leadership

Rural Pulse™ is a research study commissioned by the Grand Rapids-based Blandin Foundation to gain a real-time snapshot of the concerns, perceptions and priorities of rural Minnesota residents. It includes comparative findings from urban Minnesotans and identifies trends within significant, complex subject areas including the economy, education, employment and quality of life. Results are also analyzed as they relate to nine separate but inter-related dimensions of  a community’s health: life-long learning, inclusion, recreational and artistic opportunities, environmental stewardship, infrastructure and services, safety and security, community leadership, economic opportunity, spirituality and wellness.

COMMUNITY LEADERSHIP IS …

One of the Nine Dimensions of a Healthy Community, community leadership is broad-based leadership structures in which many people fill leadership roles..

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Rural Pulse study findings showed a slight increase from 2016 to 2019 in rural resident opinions about diversity within community leadership roles. More than half (54%) of rural residents – and 60 percent of urban Minnesotans – believed that local community leadership encompasses people from differing backgrounds, however, many still did not feel that this is the case (36% rural, 28% urban).

 

 

Northwest residents were the least likely to agree that local leadership is diverse.

 

Ages 50 to 64 and those with higher household incomes ($60,000+) in rural Minnesota were the least confident in local leadership inclusivity.

Rural Pulse study findings have remained steady from 2013 to 2019 in cultural/racial communities regarding their opinions about diversity within community leadership roles. Fifty-seven percent believed that local community leadership encompasses people from differing backgrounds; however, many still did not agree (35%).

More than half (53%) of rural residents said that they have served in a leadership role, whether it be youth sports, city government, a local nonprofit organization or other. This constitutes a significant 12 percent increase since 2016 study findings. Urban area residents were slightly less likely to have said that they have served (48%).

 

 

Northwest region residents were the most likely to have said they have not served in a leadership capacity.

Demographics played a role in the likelihood to serve. Men, residents ages 18 to 34 and those with incomes of less than $60,000 were the most likely to have said that they have not served in leadership. Entrepreneurs were nearly twice as likely as those who do not own a business to have cited leadership experience.

More than half (52%) of cultural/racial residents said that they have served in a leadership role, which constitutes a significant 16 percentage point increase since 2016 study findings.

 

Forty-two percent of rural residents who have not served as a leader reported that the primary reason is lack of time. A third (32%) said they would have no interest in doing so. About one in 10 noted that they have never been invited to participate as a leader. Another 22 percent gave other reasons, including being new to the area or having a disability.

Demographically, across the board, all ages and incomes cited not having time to serve as a significant factor.

 

Cultural/racial residents in rural Minnesota who have not served as a leader were more likely than their White counterparts to show interest in serving. They were also more likely to have said that they haven’t served as of yet because they have not been invited to do so.

 

Interest in Serving in Leadership

Although many had not served in a leadership role within their community to date, about half (51%) of rural residents expressed at least some interest in doing so, although that is an 11 percentage point decline compared to 2016 study findings. Forty-one percent indicated that they would definitely be interested in an invitation to serve, and another 10 percent said they might consider such an opportunity. Forty-nine percent reported that they have no interest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Residents of West Central Minnesota were more than twice as likely as 2016 study findings to have said that they would definitely consider serving in a leadership role. Northwest residents also gained 13 percentage points in this area since 2016.

 

Gender, age, income and whether or not the person owns a business plays a role in contemplation of serving in rural community leadership. Men, younger residents, those with household incomes of $60,001 to $100,000, and business owners were the most likely to have said they would at least consider a leadership role if asked.

 

Sixty-two percent of rural cultural/racial respondents expressed at least some interest in serving in a leadership capacity, although openness to consideration declined nine percentage points compared to 2016 study findings. Forty-one percent indicated that they would definitely be interested in an invitation to serve, and another 21 percent said they might consider such an opportunity. Thirty-eight percent had no interest.

 

About Rural Pulse

Rural Pulse™ is a research study commissioned by Blandin Foundation to gain a real-time snapshot of the concerns, perceptions and priorities of rural Minnesota residents. It has been conducted periodically since 1998, and was last conducted in 2016. It includes comparative findings from urban Minnesotans, and identifies trends within significant, complex subject areas including the economy, education, employment and quality of life. For this study, 1,068 telephone interviews were conducted with rural Minnesotans. View the full report at www.RuralPulse.org.

 

 

Rural Pulse
Back to Rural Pulse 2019 Home  ·  Authored by Russell Herder. Published 2019.
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