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Community Philanthropy in Appalachia


Across Appalachia, community foundations are playing an important role in facilitating economic and community development, strengthening leadership capacity, and increasing local wealth. ARC has a rich history of working with community foundations in the Region to support their development and sustainability. Community foundations have also often been key partners in ARC's capacity-building work in economically distressed counties, and in 2011 the Commission approved $1 million to help launch a major community philanthropy effort targeted to distressed counties in eastern Kentucky.

ARC is now embarking on a learning process to better understand the role community philanthropy can have in shaping the economic future of Appalachian communities. The process began in March 2012 with a consultation with Commission partners—including ARC state program managers and representatives of local development districts, federal agencies, and national associations—to explore how the growth of community philanthropy can bolster the resources and expertise that Appalachian communities need to create more vibrant local economies. Key issues addressed included: obstacles and challenges to community foundation development in Appalachia; promising opportunities for strengthening community philanthropy in the Region; and leading strategies for increasing the impact of community foundations on economic and community development in Appalachia.

As the Commission moves forward in this learning process, information and resources will be shared on the ARC Web site.

Consultation on Community Philanthropy in Appalachia: March 13, 2012
Materials from ARC's March 2012 consultation on community philanthropy are available for download.

Additional Resources on Community Philanthropy
NADO Research Foundation report: Collaborative Leadership: Partnerships between Regional Development Organizations and Community Foundations (PDF: 1 MB)