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Foundation for Appalachian Ohio (FAO)


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Who We Are: The Foundation for Appalachian Ohio is a community of givers working to unleash the potential of the people of Appalachian Ohio. A regional community foundation serving the 32 counties of Appalachian Ohio, FAO supports 15 affiliate foundations, more than 600 charitable funds, and thousands of donors in their work to advance lasting positive change in the region. Last year, the Foundation gave more than $6 million in grants and scholarships while advancing regional initiatives, including a mobile vision clinic that provides free vision screenings, eye exams, and eyeglasses to schoolchildren throughout the region. This past summer, we launched a new leadership development program designed to support and grow the next generation of community leaders for Appalachian Ohio.


What We Do: We create opportunities for people of Appalachian Ohio by encouraging investments of time, talent, and treasure. We work across five programmatic areas known as Pillars of Prosperity: Arts & Culture; Community & Economic Development; Education; Environmental Stewardship; and Health & Human Services. Last year, we gave more than 1,100 grants and scholarships made possible through the generous giving of our donors establishing funds and growing our I’m a Child of Appalachia Fund®. We ensured hungry children received meals, including through our Joe Burrow Hunger Relief Fund. We prevented substance use disorders, enhanced public access to outdoor spaces, advanced civics education, and more. During the 2021-2022 school year, our mobile vision clinic provided free eye exams and eyeglasses to more than 1,500 students.


Why We’re Important: Appalachian Ohio is home to innovative, capable leaders who have the passion, commitment, and ideas needed to bring the region to socioeconomic parity with the rest of our state and nation. One of the barriers that holds back their success is the region’s philanthropy gap: Appalachian Ohio accesses 90% less philanthropy per capita than the rest of Ohio. FAO focuses on closing this gap by developing and deploying the philanthropic support our region’s leaders need to achieve sustained transformation in regional quality-of-life.


How We Impact the Community: We form partnerships that leverage gifts of time, talent, and treasure for maximum results. We stay focused on advancing sustained transformations in the region’s quality-of-life; we work to support donors in making high-impact gifts. In turn, these gifts enable us to support leaders on the frontlines of transformative change. Our support includes grants, fellowships, loans, scholarships, leadership development, networking, data, encouragement, and capacity-building. In places without local community foundations, we incubate local foundations; we are constantly working to scale success from one community to the next. We give grants across all 32 counties in the region.


How You Can Help: You can remove barriers for people of Appalachia by giving to FAO’s I’m a Child of Appalachia® Fund. Your gift creates lasting change by empowering leaders working in five Pillars of Prosperity: Arts & Culture, Community & Economic Development, Education, Environmental Stewardship, and Health & Human Services. Your investment will fuel grants, fellowships, loans, leadership development, and capacity-building. As your gift joins with the investments of time, talent, and treasure made by others, the result will transform generational poverty into generations of prosperity. You will generate an abundance of opportunity within Appalachia. Please consider joining us with a gift today.



Connect with Foundation for Appalachian Ohio (FAO)

35 Public Square, Nelsonville, Ohio 45764

740-753-1111




President & CEO: Cara Dingus Brook


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