African American Community Fund

Project led by Foundation for Appalachian Ohio

About the African American Community Fund.

The African American Community Fund was created to assist the African American community in Appalachian Ohio in growing philanthropic resources to enrich quality of life. All gifts to the African American Community Fund are invested in an endowment fund at the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio (FAO). From its interest and earnings, this Fund will make grants to support the community for many years to come, ensuring permanent resources designed to address the African American community’s changing needs over time.

Our work together has already made a difference, and with further investment, our impact on the nonprofits, schools, and communities of our treasured region will only grow. Recently, the African American Community Fund awarded grants to Black-led and African American-serving organizations across the region:

  • Alliance for Congregational Transformation In Our Neighborhoods (ACTION) received funding to combat food insecurity in Mahoning County by providing fresh and organic food from local farmers through a pop-up market model;
  • Black in Appalachia in partnership with Rendville Historical Preservation Society of Perry County received funding to support a local archival project;
  • GO Community Development Corporation received funding to stock a shoe and coat closet, providing Ashtabula County children with needed clothing for the winter season;
  • Mount Zion Baptist Church Preservation Society received funding to produce Episode II of a three-part documentary film: Black Wall Street Athens County;
  • Muskingum County Social Justice Coalition received funding to provide implicit bias training designed to promote awareness among those who work and live in Muskingum County;
  • Tablertown: People of Color Museum in partnership with the Multicultural Genealogical Center received funding to preserve 19th-century artifacts currently housed in a non-climate-controlled pole barn;
  • The Underground Railroad Museum in Belmont County received funding to create a “Traveling Trunk” to bring artifacts from the museum to school-aged children in the classroom, who have been unable to attend due to Covid-19 precautions; and
  • Zanesville Civic League received funding to provide support, training, and resources for women to become leaders through a program called Empowering a Community of Women.

Special match opportunity.

For a limited time, all gifts to the African American Community Fund will receive a dollar-for-dollar match!

Thanks to matching funds awarded to FAO by the Ohio Legislature, $500,000 is available for match to the African American Community Fund. There is no limit on how much can be matched by a single donor! 

Help us secure match for the African American Community Fund so we can make a greater difference together!

The African American Community Fund committee.

The African American Community Fund is driven by a local, volunteer committee. The committee works to ensure that gifts to the Foundation make the greatest impact in Appalachian Ohio through meaningful grant awards.

The African American Community Fund committee is composed of Ernest A. Bynum, Rosetta Carter, Ken Mason, Dr. Michele Reynolds, and Ralph Smithers.

FAO staff comments.

Appalachian Ohio has access to nine times fewer charitable dollars per capita than the rest of the state. At FAO, we understand that a combination of local leadership and regional initiatives is needed to tackle this philanthropy gap that all too often means an opportunity gap for our communities and the people who call them home. One crucial way FAO has sought to address this philanthropy gap is by supporting the efforts of counties in growing philanthropy with the local community, for the local community, including the African American Community Fund.

Because we know that lasting resources dedicated to local communities is so vital to creating opportunities, your gift to the African American Community Fund will be matched and invested in the endowment to make a long-term, local difference in the African American community across Appalachian Ohio.

Make a donation.

In a special Cause Connector opportunity, 100% of your gift and its match to the African American Community Fund will be invested in this local endowment to expand the resources available for local grantmaking each and every year for generations to come.

While match is available, your gift will be matched dollar-for-dollar. There is not limit to how much a donor can give for match.

For larger gifts or to donate in other ways (e.g. stock transfer, IRA transfer, or a gift through a donor-advised fund), please click here or contact FAO at 740.753.1111 or

Project Status
Areas of Investment
Community & Economic Development
Funds Needed

Your gift to the African American Community fund will be matched dollar-for-dollar and invested to expand the resources available for local grants each and every year.

Benefits 32 counties
  • Adams
  • Ashtabula
  • Athens
  • Belmont
  • Brown
  • Carroll
  • Clermont
  • Columbiana
  • Coshocton
  • Gallia
  • Guernsey
  • Harrison
  • Highland
  • Hocking
  • Holmes
  • Jackson
  • Jefferson
  • Lawrence
  • Mahoning
  • Meigs
  • Monroe
  • Morgan
  • Muskingum
  • Noble
  • Perry
  • Pike
  • Ross
  • Scioto
  • Trumbull
  • Tuscarawas
  • Vinton
  • Washington

Want to learn more?

Contact FAO at 740.753.1111 or with any questions.


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