Link to ARC home page.

ARC Federal Co-Chair Earl F. Gohl and Kentucky Governor Steven Beshear Announce New Philanthropy Initiative

November 2011


SOMERSET, Kentucky, November 7, 2011—Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) Federal Co-Chair Earl F. Gohl and Kentucky Governor Steven Beshear, ARC's 2011 states' co-chair, announced a $1 million initiative today to develop a philanthropy infrastructure in Appalachian Kentucky.

The Appalachian Rural Development Philanthropy Initiative (ARDPI) will support the development of permanent, accessible community foundations in Appalachian Kentucky's economically distressed counties.

Community foundations are tax-exempt public charities that work to improve the quality of life in their localities.

The grantees receiving funding from this initiative include the Center for Rural Development, the Foundation for the Tri-State Community, the Brushy Fork Institute, and the Community Foundation of Hazard and Perry County.

Gohl said, "This is an exciting new initiative that will promote a culture of philanthropy and strengthen community foundations in Appalachian Kentucky's poorest counties—counties that have been left behind and are plagued by poverty and other forms of economic distress. These foundation are in a unique position to build economic opportunity locally, using place-based strategies and the full range of community assets, whether human capital or natural resources. What they accomplish here in Kentucky can serve as a model for the rest of Appalachia."

Beshear said, "Establishing sustainable philanthropic organizations throughout Appalachia will enable communities to grow endowments that will benefit local residents. Permanent community foundations also allow residents to know their contributions will go toward providing support and growth close to home, boosting overall community development."

The assistance and support provided by ARDPI will take the form of educational programs and resources for community foundation staff, professional advisors, boards, local advisory committees, and donors.

The ARDPI will also help create a network of communities and organizations in Appalachian Kentucky that are actively addressing community philanthropy in distressed counties. Working as a learning community, network members will share resources and best practices.