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Donors Announce Gift for Appalachian Ohio and Issue Challenge to Foundation

97% of Estate to be Left to Appalachian Ohio
Nonprofits at Foundation for Appalachian Ohio

Athens, OH – On Thursday evening, a groundbreaking gift was announced during the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio’s annual gathering in Athens. The evening closed with an announcement from Jeffery Chaddock that he and his partner Mark Morrow have made plans for 97% of their estate to be given charitably upon their deaths and that they were extending a challenge to the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio to bring together many others who will make a pledge to invest in Appalachian Ohio through their estates.

“As Mark and I thought about what we’d like our legacy to be after we’re gone, we knew we wanted it to honor the things that were most important to us during our lifetimes,” said Jeff Chaddock. “For us, those are the missions of the organizations we are passionate about today.”

A Foundation board member and lifelong resident of Appalachian Ohio, Chaddock haschaddockmorrow-and-orgslong been a supporter of the organizations who will ultimately benefit from the gift he and Morrow will leave. Through an endowment their estate will create at the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio (FAO), Chaddock and Morrow will leave permanent resources to support The Dairy Barn Arts Center, the Southeast Ohio History Center, the Jeff Chaddock Scholarship for Appalachia at Ohio University, the Kennedy Museum of Art at Ohio University, the Ohio University Press, and animal welfare in Athens. Additionally, the venue for the evening’s announcement, the historic Zenner House, will be donated to the Foundation to serve as a resource for the region’s nonprofits as well as for the celebration and promotion of philanthropy.

The effect of these investments in each nonprofit will only grow over time reaching students, artists, historians, and community members throughout Athens County and across Appalachian Ohio.

“There are huge opportunities to make a transformative impact in Appalachian Ohio through philanthropic gifts,” said FAO President and CEO Cara Dingus Brook. “The Foundation is here to help people give today, or through a legacy plan, in ways that are most meaningful to them while making the greatest difference for the people of Appalachian Ohio. That’s why we are so honored to partner with Jeff and Mark in their vision for giving.”

A private wealth advisor with Ameriprise Financial, Chaddock has always discussed the eulogy test with his clients, asking them what they want to be remecdb-mm-jc-rsmbered for and how their estate plans can reflect that legacy.

“A eulogy should reflect your passion, your obsession, your drive,” says Jeff. “Through planned giving, the integrity of your life is not broken by death. Your life’s work and passion don’t have to stop. I want people to know that it’s okay to plan for their death early and to be bold.”

During his remarks, Chaddock issued a challenge to FAO to create a way where many others can join him in leaving a gift of any size to FAO through their estates to grow philanthropy in Appalachian Ohio while investing in the causes and communities they care about most.

“I don’t care how large or small the amount, but to orchestrate your planning and your giving is critical,” added Jeff. “Without it, you’re in essence negating or reducing your life’s work to not being important.”

In response to Chaddock’s announcement, FAO Board Chair Ron Strickmaker promised the Foundation would develop a way where gifts of all sizes through estates will be used to grow Appalachian Ohio’s prosperity through philanthropy.

“We are stunned by the generosity of this gift from Jeff and Mark,” said Strickmaker. “To plan for the ways that you can continue to give beyond your lifetime is characteristic of their commitment to making a lasting difference in Appalachian Ohio. Yet, it is their vision for inviting others to join them in a larger movement for us all to grow a prosperous region full of opportunity for our citizens and communities that is a true mark of their leadership.”

At the Ohio Statehouse in November of 2014, FAO announced the success of its IPO – Initial Philanthropic Offering. A first-of-its-kind campaign for community foundations, the IPO was an innovative approach to fundraising for working capital. A risk that allowed the Foundation to  then launch a campaign to grow $100 million in new philanthropic dollars over the subsequent fifteen years to grow new funding for the region and to begin to address the philanthropy gap that leaves Appalachian Ohio with a mere tenth of the philanthropic resources available per capita in the rest of the state.

This milestone for FAO was also marked with the launch of a new award given to Jeff Chaddock, the Chaddock Award for Philanthropist of the Year. An award designed to be given annually to celebrate the role of philanthropy in the prosperity of the region and the work of a particular philanthropist that year, the Chaddock Award will always recognize the significance of Chaddock and Morrow’s gift to FAO and the region.

To learn more about the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio, how you can support grantmaking in Appalachian Ohio’s communities, or to keep up to date with how others can join Jeff Chaddock and Mark Morrow in their pledge, please visit or call the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio at 740.753.1111.

About the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio

The Foundation for Appalachian Ohio (FAO) is a regional community foundation serving the 32 counties of Appalachian Ohio that awarded more than $1.1 million in grants and scholarships in Appalachian Ohio in 2015. A 501(c)(3) public charity, the Foundation creates opportunities for Appalachian Ohio’s citizens and communities by inspiring and supporting philanthropy. For more information about FAO, visit