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Our Programs
FRED programs are designated for rural communities, residents and organizations in the US and Canada. Program years run from October 1 - September 30.

Each year, FRED offers the following programs:
- $75,000+ in college scholarships
- $40,000 in grants to support rural schools
- $15,000 in grants for community development projects
- Education opportunities presented during industry meetings and through publications
- Valuable industry reports tailored to small telecommunications companies


The Foundation for Rural Education and Development (FRED) is an independent 501(c)(3) charitable organization based in Washington, D.C. FRED's mission is to sponsor programs and activities that improve the educational, social and economic conditions of rural areas in the US and Canada. This mission is accomplished by raising funds to sponsor thousands of dollars in scholarships, grants, and programs that directly benefit rural communities.

Information Sheet on FRED

Our History
In 1989, prominent leaders from the small telecommunications industry founded FRED to address the education and development needs of rural areas. The foundation is driven by the concepts and principles of its founders, who valued the importance of providing resources for rural communities. FRED has evolved over the last two decades into a full foundation, yet remains deep-rooted in tradition. Since 1989, FRED has awarded $2.6 million in scholarships, grants and other funding through its programs. FRED is proud to be part of rural America's rich history and exists to support the continued vitality of rural life and those who live it.

FRED was affiliated with OPASTCO, a trade association for small telecommunications companies. In February 2013, OPASTCO closed its doors and is no longer in business. FRED is proud to have been part of OPASTCO’s rich history and salutes the many accomplishments it made for rural companies and individuals throughout its fifty year existence.¬†


Board of Directors
FRED is guided by a volunteer Board of Directors, which meets via conference calls and occasionally for face-to-face meetings.
Committee Members
The Board is supported by various committees that are charged with fundraising, financial planning, scholarship and award selection, budget preparation and new program management. Anyone can serve on a FRED committee by sending in a written request.


Copyright © 2014
Foundation for Rural Education and Development