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Foundation for Appalachian Ohio receives $50,000 for African American Community Fund

U.S. Bank Foundation invests $1 million to support emerging leaders, community-led solutions to economic disparities

Nelsonville, OH– The Foundation for Appalachian Ohio’s African American Community Fund (AACF) is among 20 nonprofit funds receiving a $50,000 grant from the U.S. Bank Foundation.

Investing a total of $1 million across the nation, the U.S. Bank Foundation awarded grants to funds driven by exceptional emerging leaders who are focused on community-led solutions to economic disparities.

“We’re grateful for U.S. Bank’s investment in our region’s African American Community Fund,” said Cara Dingus Brook, President and CEO of the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio. “This investment will support Black-led nonprofits and the communities they serve, not only today, but across future generations.”

Father and son Ernest E. and Ernest A. Bynum of Zanesville are co-founders of this fund. This effort follows a history of service to the region. The pair also co-founded the Minority Business Resource Network of Southeast Ohio, a nonprofit focused on providing resources to small businesses that are owned 51 percent or more by minorities.

Appalachian Ohio nonprofits receive 90 percent fewer available philanthropic dollars than the rest of Ohio. Further, Black-led nonprofits in the area see less grant funding. Through an AACF yearlong capacity-building series, Black-led nonprofits will join a cohort to develop core skills in digital fundraising and other areas they identify as priorities.

“We found a lot of barriers that existed for minorities. A lot of the Black-led organizations were operating out of a survivability mode,” said Ernest A. Bynum. “We need support philanthropically to take us from that survivability mode into the sustainability mode so that we can make a greater impact on each and every community that we serve.”

The Bynums collaborated with the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio to form the African American Community Fund under FAO’s umbrella of funds. Lori Boegershausen, Scholarship Manager at FAO, wrote the application to successfully secure the $50,000 grant from the U.S. Bank Foundation.

Since 1998, FAO has been working with donors who are passionate about Appalachian Ohio, its communities, and its future. The organization helps donors give back in ways that are meaningful – to them and to our region.

To learn more about the African American Community Fund or other opportunities to give, grow and create with FAO, visit or call 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. 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

About U.S. Bank
U.S. Bancorp, with nearly 70,000 employees and $553 billion in assets as of March 31, 2021, is the parent company of U.S. Bank National Association. The Minneapolis-based company serves millions of customers locally, nationally and globally through a diversified mix of businesses: Consumer and Business Banking; Payment Services; Corporate & Commercial Banking; and Wealth Management and Investment Services. The company has been recognized for its approach to digital innovation, social responsibility, and customer service, including being named one of the 2021 World’s Most Ethical Companies and Fortune’s most admired superregional bank. Learn more at