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FAO Awarded USDA Grant for $200,000

USDA Awards $200,000 RCDI Grant to
the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio


Agriculture Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development
Visits Foundation Office for Announcement


Nelsonville, OH – Agriculture Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Doug O’Brien announced today that the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio (FAO) would receive funding through the USDA’s Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI) Program. At FAO’s offices in Nelsonville on the Public Square, FAO was awarded a $200,000 grant to provide technical assistance to nine Appalachian communities located in Gallia, Guernsey, Harrison, Jackson, Meigs, and Morgan counties.

“We are so excited for the opportunities these resources will create in Appalachian Ohio,” said Cara Dingus Brook, president and CEO of the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio. “One of the Foundation’s primary goals is to ensure every community in Appalachian Ohio is served by a locally-directed community foundation. These resources are a huge boost to seeing that goal accomplished and to our ability to serve the region in this way.”

FAO’s grant will support the community foundation in working in Appalachian Ohio counties without a local source of community philanthropy in addition to supporting the Foundation’s larger work to create sustainable, widely-shared prosperity for the region. By providing technical assistance and training, FAO will be working with local communities and their community foundation funds to grow or establish funds to support local community and economic development projects.

“A strong rural America will bring increased economic opportunity to rural residents and communities,” O’Brien said. “The RCDI Program is designed to support organizations like the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio in their efforts to create economic opportunity and strengthen rural Ohio communities.”

The funding announced today is being provided through the Rural Community Development Initiative Program. RCDI helps community-based development organizations, federally recognized Indian tribes, and other groups promote economic growth in low-income, rural communities. The grants are awarded to public or nonprofit intermediary organizations who then work with recipients, which must be located in eligible rural areas. Recipients are required to obtain matching funds, which increase the value of the grants.

“With matching funds from our partner the Appalachian Partnership for Economic Growth, FAO is able to maximize this development opportunity for our communities and our region,” added Brook. “We look forward to working with all of our community foundation funds as part of this effort.”
USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure programs through a national network of state and local offices. Rural Development has an active portfolio of more than $170 billion in loans and loan guarantees. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers, and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America.             

About the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio
The Foundation for Appalachian Ohio is a regional community foundation serving the 32 counties of Appalachian Ohio with the mission of enriching the region’s current and future quality of life. A 501(c)(3) public charity, the Foundation attracts contributions for programs and endowment, makes grants for charitable and civic purposes, and supports local efforts for positive change. For more information about FAO, visit