Bush Prize: North Dakota

In partnership with Strengthen ND and the Bush Foundation

The Bush Prize celebrates organizations that are highly valued within their communities and have a track record of successful community problem-solving.

Bush Prize grants are flexible and can be used to build up reserves or test that next big idea or whatever else would best support the organization’s ongoing good work. The grant amounts are up to 25% of an organization’s most recent fiscal year expenses, with a maximum of $500,000.

The Bush Prize is done in partnership between the Bush Foundation and Strengthen ND.  Strengthen ND will select and announce the Bush Prize winners, as well as provide any support along the way.

Launching Leadership Coming May 30 - June 3, 2023

Launching Leadership is a youth leadership program that coordinates several regional youth (9-12 grade) leadership institutes throughout the state of North Dakota.  Spring/Summer session spots are now available!

Technical Resources & Assistance Available for Economic Development and Native Entrepreneurs!

Promoting economic development and supporting local entrepreneurs is a crucial part of creating sustainable and successful communities. Natasha offers technical assistance services to help facilitate this process, with industry-leading expertise in business planning, market research, and economic development strategy.

Economic development agencies and native entrepreneurs should not miss the opportunity to capitalize on her knowledge in order to gain a competitive advantage and thrive in today’s rapidly changing economy! Her assistance can help bridge the gap between individuals’ experience and ambition, turning dreams into profitable realities that benefit everyone involved!

Register for the Nonprofit Certificate Program in 2023

Registering for a nonprofit certificate program can be one of the best investments you can make if you aspire to work in the nonprofit sector!

Gaining knowledge of the fundamental principles that guide effective nonprofits is essential to have an impact on the community. This program will provide an interactive and productive learning experience, allowing participants to learn from subject-matter experts and industry practitioners with years of experience working in the field!

Everyone involved benefits; learners grow professionally and socially, firms find qualified talent, trainers extend their network and knowledge base, and ultimately, communities receive sustainable solutions to succeed.

Strengthen ND in the Media

Click below to see why Strengthen ND’s work is making headlines!

Stories of Impact - Learn more about our work

Click below to learn more about our work today!


Strengthen ND is a dynamic, multi-faceted and well-connected organization that works across North Dakota (ND) to elevate nonprofits and rural communities to support a high quality of life and resources for vulnerable populations through community development.


Strengthen ND’s staff encompasses more than 75 years of experience in rural capacity building, planning, development, and placemaking. Through their experience, candor, and “let’s get it done” attitude, Strengthen ND’s team has had the privilege of learning and exercising the “ND Way” of problem solving. We’ve learned from communities that it is imperative to exercise a bottom-up approach, prioritize listening, facilitate community buy-in, and that nearly every disagreement can be resolved through a robust conversation over a shared plate of hotdish. In short, our experience has shaped our values and approach – the actual HOW of Strengthen ND’s work. The way in which we approach our mission is in line with our organizational values:

Meeting Communities & People Where They Are

We believe that every community is different, every organization is different, and every individual is different; therefore, a blanket approach does not best support ND. We “meet them where they are” in terms of attitudes, beliefs, skills, capacity, and available resources

Deploying a Pragmatic Approach

Our approach to supporting communities, organizations, and leaders focuses on inspiring them to think bigger and differently, while also cheerleading small, incremental victories achieved through practical tools and strategies.

Being Resourceful

Strengthen ND’s resources are limited. It is imperative that we are resourceful and leverage all of the other great service providers and assets within ND to create a web of resources and providers that can support organizations and communities to deepen the level of impact made.

Meeting People & Communities Where They Are

Strengthen ND is an equal opportunity provider.

Change Network

North Dakota Change Network is a year-long program that will help you build the techniques and networks you need to make the places you live and work more inclusive.

Community Succession Planning

Strengthen ND’s community succession planning process is designed and facilitated around developing five-year reasonable and achievable plans for communities through a focused process including assessing and goal-setting around Community Amenities & Engagement, Creative Placemaking, Economic Status & Growth, and Forward-Thinking Leadership

Community-Centered AmeriCorps

Through the support of AmeriCorps, Strengthen ND assists North Dakota communities to access the people-power they need to undertake community projects by providing individuals to build their community’s capacity


Strengthen rural North Dakota.

Communities with Opportunities

Communities with Opportunities is about fostering the relationship between rural North Dakotan, small communities, and prospective newcomers. By showcasing things that make each community great along with each unique and exciting opportunity, Strengthen ND’s goal is to keep rural communities thriving by encouraging growth!

Strengthen ND’s technical assistance is delivered through customized engagements to accomplish organizational and program-oriented objectives. In each project, we begin with a discovery period to work closely with the organization to design a process that is well-timed and suited to the people within the community, how the community functions, and the objectives of the work.

Find Your Book Here


Empowering North Dakota’s nonprofits & rural communities.

Board and Staff Development

Executive Search

Program Design and Evaluation

Grantmaking and Charitable Investments

Strategic and Organizational Action Planning

Community Succession Planning

Economic Development & Community Planning

Meeting Facilitation

Organizational Succession Planning


Learn more about how we could help!

USDA Tribal Toolkit

With this great toolkit, Tribal Governments can learn more about USDA’s programs and grants.

PESTEL Analysis

A PESTEL Analysis is an important planning tool used for understanding the external macro-level external factors that impact the working of an organization.

Funding Opportunity Database

Utilize this resource to access funding opportunities relevant to rural North Dakota!

Prioritization Exercises

Do you need an exercise to help prioritize your organization’s activities? This one is for you!

Developing a Case Statement

The questions in this tool can help guide the creation of an organization’s Case Statement.

Key Responsibilities Audit

A Key Responsibilities Audit is a simple tool that can be utilized to estimate how much time you spend working on a specific area of operations.


Learn more about our community outreach!

Strengthen ND: Pioneering Solutions Since 2015

Strengthen ND: Pioneering Solutions Since 2015

When Strengthen ND was started in 2015, we didn’t have a lot. We had no money. We had no clients. No way to make payroll. But what did we have? A whole lot of ambition, optimism, and, most importantly, a willingness to listen and learn. Eventually, months into our...

Finding home 6,000 miles away from home

Finding home 6,000 miles away from home

(AGWEEK) DICKINSON, N.D. — Barnabas Nyaaba has called Dickinson home for the past five years. It’s a lengthy 6,000-mile jaunt from his native country of Ghana, Africa — a move he’s glad he made. “I’m pretty comfortable here. I do see myself staying,” he said. As a...

Kansas City couple builds better life in Bowman, North Dakota

Kansas City couple builds better life in Bowman, North Dakota

(AGWEEK) BOWMAN, N.D. — During the great recession in 2008, Melinda Padilla Lynch and her husband Matthew were facing challenging times in their hometown of Kansas City, Missouri. Jobs were few and far between, and getting by was becoming harder and harder for the...

Family and sense of home bring Idahoans to Ashley, ND

Family and sense of home bring Idahoans to Ashley, ND

(AGWEEK) ASHLEY, N.D. — Shane and Carley Peacock knew they wanted to start their own business; they’d been dreaming about it for a long time. But as residents of the fast-growing city of Boise, Idaho, the two knew it’d be an expensive, challenging and risky venture....

Hawaii native becomes ‘small-town treasure’ in rural North Dakota

Hawaii native becomes ‘small-town treasure’ in rural North Dakota

(AGWEEK) CROSBY, N.D. — North Dakota wasn’t where Jonathan Kauhako expected to live and work. “If you would have told me three years ago I’d be living in North Dakota, doing this, I’d be like sure, right, right,” said Jonathan Kauhako, owner of Hindsite Creations, a...

Pioneer spirit pulls Coloradan to a new life in North Dakota

Pioneer spirit pulls Coloradan to a new life in North Dakota

(AGWEEK) WATFORD CITY, N.D. — Like a modern-day pioneer, Sandy Rieker packed up her family and moved to the country to start a new life. But unlike the early settlers, Rieker and her family headed north, not west, 10 years ago, leaving her native Colorado and landing...

Divide County Journal: Focus on Community

Divide County Journal: Focus on Community

June 1, 2021 - This is the first of a three-part report on a series of discussions held in Divide County to aid future planning and development work by the Divide County Economic Development Council.  Read the full article here.

KX News: Someone You Should Know

KX News: Someone You Should Know

April 2, 2021 - With small-town North Dakota roots, Warwick-native Megan Laudenschlager is passionate about improving her home state in any way she can.   “There’s nothing better than growing up on a farm and living in a small town, graduating with a class of five...