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Appalachia Funders Network: What it Means to be a Member

The Appalachia Funders Network is a group of 70 public and private grantmakers who envision an Appalachian economy that provides opportunity for all while sustaining the environmental and cultural assets of our region. Members of the Network come together to address issues pertaining to economic, social, political, and environmental transition in Appalachia. 

Our work is focused in Central Appalachia, the region we define as the Appalachian counties of Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and North Carolina. 

Understanding the interconnectedness of the capacity issues in Central Appalachia will help funders understand how to build a portfolio that addresses the totality of these challenges.  Money alone is not the problem; we want to direct resources to help leverage support. The purpose of the Appalachia Funders Network is to help augment financial dollars to help the region move toward capacity building. The dollars are essential, but they are not everything.

From blue moon program officer, Kristin Tracz (steering committee member):

"I like helping to find a better funder for grantees that do not fit squarely into our priorities, through the Network we can point them to other organizations that can help. It’s a tough region to work in."

Members of AFN engage in the following:

  • Connect and share, via annual network gatherings (4 gatherings have been held to date)
  • learn and analyze by engaging in 4 working groups (food systems, startup appalachia, community foundtions, health)
  • Strategies: Non-profit, private, and public partnerships work to increase capital access for small businesses, strengthen community capacity, support entrepreneurs and expand market access, advance just systems and policiesparticipate in learning sessions (14 held to date) by engaging in webinars, attend face-to-face learning sessions, access new data, and interact with leading experts in the field
  • participate in learning sessions (14 held to date) by engaging in webinars, attend face-to-face learning sessions, access new data, and interact with leading experts in the field
  • Cross-sector partnerships to share experience and leverage resources: 143 funders from 89 public, private, community, and international grantmakers; 17 bankers from 13 banks; 26 agents from federal agencies; 100 economic development practitioners from 85 organizations
  • Examples of partnerships?
  • Membership dues may be paid in annual dues, as an annual grant and/or as special support for particular activities, as long as the giving falls within the ranges below

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