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Former President Bill Clinton said that efforts by foundations in rural parts of the United States had been “woefully inadequate.” Clinton was speaking at a conference  on rural philanthropy held at his library in Little Rock, Arkansas. “The foundation activity in rural America has been woefully inadequate,” Clinton told members of the Council of Foundations.

Clinton encouraged those attending the conference to find ways for rural communities to invest in alternative energy, such as wind and solar power. “We can beat up on people and say they should give more money in rural America, but we should give them some new ideas,” Clinton said. Investments in new energy production could create many jobs in rural areas, according to Clinton, a native of Hope, Arkansas.

According to a report in Business Week, Clinton said that charities that work in rural areas should find more ways to work with charities that work in urban areas. When asked about the state of rural areas, Clinton said that charities in those areas should find ways to create hope for the people living there. “Why do you think people in rural America are so dismal? Because they think that tomorrow is going to be just like yesterday,” Clinton said. “It’s not because they’re poor, but because they’re stuck in a rut they can’t get out of.” 

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