Volunteers are essential to rural community life. They serve on the boards of the nonprofit organizations such as Chambers of Commerce and Community Foundations as well as city and county boards such as the Planning Board, Library board and Public Health board. Volunteers serve as un-paid staff so that we can enjoy the events that bring community members together such as our rodeos, parades, farmers markets, soccer clubs, 4-H leaders and others. 

In many communities, it feels like there are not enough leaders to run everything. Benjamin Winchester of the University of Minnesota Extension wrote this publication for Montana and a few other states to quantify the lack of leaders that many communities are reporting. The report details the high percentage of adults that are needed to serve in leadership positions in our communities. 

Review the document to find out how many leaders are needed in your county. 

Image of the How Many People Run Our Towns? factsheet cover Winchester, Benjamin S. (2022). How many people run our towns? Positional leadership across rural and urban Montana. Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy, https://hdl.handle.net/11299/250212