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What is DRIVE?

A new initiative led by the University of Memphis, DRIVE is designed to help the communities of the region in their pursuit of sustainable growth and prosperity. With support from the Delta Regional Authority and the Department of Labor, the UofM team is leading a cohort of eight pilot communities across the region in the strategic pursuit of grant funding centered on the priorities of the people who call the region home. This is not only a grant training program; it is also a concerted effort to bring the region together through partnership and to create revitalization in a part of the country that has faced continual challenges. 

View of the Mississippi River
Mississippi County Arkansas

Who are the Participants?

The eight communities in the DRIVE pilot program cohort, identified by the Delta Regional Authority, are Eudora, Helena-West Helena, and Osceola in Arkansas, Hazlehurst, Port Gibson, and Tunica in Mississippi, and Brownsville and Whiteville in Tennessee. While the mayor’s offices serve as the lead for the program, each community has identified two individuals who will learn about grantsmanship and work with the DRIVE team to prepare and compete for grants that address the critical concerns of the people. 

The DRIVE Difference

DRIVE takes a unique approach to building capacity and securing resources based on the needs and priorities of the local communities. Through a highly collaborative process that includes intensive training, embedded community studies, ideation sessions, writing groups, and ongoing support, DRIVE equips teams with the skills and tools needed to successfully identify, apply for, and manage external grant funding. The program's emphasis on hands-on learning, partnership, and developing sustainable community infrastructure sets DRIVE apart. This innovative model empowers communities to unlock transformative and equitable growth through grantsmanship. With new capabilities and connections forged through DRIVE, participant communities can access expanded opportunities to promote prosperity and generate community wealth. 

Mississippi County Arkansas
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