About the I'm a Child of Appalachia Fund

FAO’s I’m a Child of Appalachia Fund supports programming in all five FAO Pillar areas and in every county within the region. What started as a hallmark program of the Foundation to encourage the children of Appalachia to hold high expectations has grown to ​meet needs and pursue opportunities that are crucial to quality of life at a regional scale. The Fund actively addresses the region’s philanthropy gap by investing in bright spots – those solutions to commonly shared challenges that can expand across the 32 counties of Appalachian Ohio.


Philanthropy Gap

In Appalachian Ohio, we face a philanthropy gap that leaves our region with nine times fewer philanthropic dollars than the rest of the state. That means nine times less to invest in the work of innovative and dedicated nonprofits, schools, and community organizations across our 32 counties and nine times fewer dollars to create opportunities through grant awards and scholarships for our students.

There are leaders in each of Appalachian Ohio’s communities ready to make a difference and the I’m a Child of Appalachia Fund is here to help address this philanthropy gap so that they can do that.

I'm a Child of Appalachia Fund Meets the Greatest Needs and Most Promising Opportunities

The I’m a Child of Appalachia Fund is dedicated to unleashing the potential of the children of Appalachia while addressing the philanthropy gap that stands as a barrier within the region. Giving FAO the resources needed to address the areas of greatest need and opportunity in the region, the I’m a Child of Appalachia Fund supports

  • FAO’s work to build local capacity by nurturing local community foundations and connecting partners around issue of regional importance;
  • Programmatic initiatives and grant programs creating opportunities across our 32 counties in Arts and Culture, Community and Economic Development, Education, Environmental Stewardship, and Health & Human Services where grantees are encouraged to be collaborative, use an evidence-based approach, and involve youth in leadership; and
  • FAO’s work to encourage high expectations among all the region’s residents, including FAO’s I’m a Child of Appalachia campaign.

With every investment in the I’m a Child of Appalachia Fund, we are addressing the barriers that come from a philanthropy gap tied to geographic inequities by lifting up transformational programs and partnerships in our region.