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New Tool Assesses Local Economic Impact of Grant-Funded Projects

I would like to highlight a new tool featured on the Rural Assistance Center website. This tool is designed to help people calculate the return-on-investment (ROI) of public-supported grants. This may be an especially useful tool to help build the case that dollars invested in Idaho go further that other more-expensive parts of the country. If anyone uses this, I would appreciate hearing your feedback. Please e-mail me at

Here is a brief summary of information compiled and re-posted from Rural Assistance Center

The Economic Impact Analysis (EIA) tool allows researchers to understand how their grant-funded project impacts the local economy by showing how spending in sectors such as staff, and equipment benefit the community. The tool uses formulas to estimate the economic impact of grant program investments on local economies, and these calculations help rural program grantees assess performance, and advocate for resources that contribute to program sustainability and improved health care for rural populations. In simplest terms, the economic impact of a program is captured in the program multiplier, or the number of dollars of economic activity created by one dollar of spending in a community.

EIA tools can be used by grantees and HRSA in several ways:

  • For planning purposes, to understand the timing and extent of program impacts in the community
  • By grantees in demonstrating their value to the community and in advocating for additional local support
  • By HRSA and grantees in benchmarking grantee performance against expected norms
  • As a tool for identifying high-performing grantees and understanding best practices and environmental factors that contribute to greater community impact.

How does it work?

Researchers will be asked to provide information about the project’s spending over several different categories. The tool calculates a summary based the answers, populations you serve and service locations. A link to an example scenario and the user guide are listed below.

To use the EIA tool, you will need to log in to your RAC account. Or if you do not have one, Create your account now.

Here is the link to input information to begin calculating your project’s impact: Information needed to calculate your scenario.

To Learn more about the Economic Impact Analysis Tool