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The Sugar Bush Foundation Joins Partnership to Invest in Local Initiatives through FAO’s Cause Connector

New Partnership Will Help Donors Increase Funding to Local Nonprofits Across Appalachian Ohio

Nelsonville, OH – The Flournoy Family, creators of the Sugar Bush Foundation, a supporting organization to the Ohio University Foundation, has partnered with the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio (FAO) in an innovative way to further support Sugar Bush-funded projects serving Appalachian Ohio.

Appalachian Ohio has access to fewer grant and scholarship dollars per capita than the rest of the state. This “philanthropy gap” means the region’s students, nonprofits, schools, and community organizations have less support to continue education, meet pressing needs, and pursue opportunities that can make a difference.

Cause Connector, FAO’s online giving site, was built with the philanthropy gap in mind so that donors find projects close to their heart that are ready to make a difference in Appalachian Ohio today. In 2021, Cause Connector featured its first round of projects and through an outpouring of donor support, 88 projects from nonprofit organizations were funded, giving them the crucial support needed to move their efforts forward.

This year, the Flournoy Family is providing a bonus of $500 for every $500 raised by Sugar Bush Foundation-funded projects listed on Cause Connector. With bonuses up to $10,000 available per project, this support will provide additional capacity to organizations working to make a difference throughout the region. In a region with less access to charitable resources, local partnerships like the one between the Flournoy Family and FAO find unique ways to encourage donors to create an immediate difference for lasting change.

“For years our family has been looking for a way to strengthen the partnership between sister organizations FAO and the Sugar Bush Foundation,” said Hylie Voss, Sugar Bush Foundation President. “When FAO launched Cause Connector last year, we began brainstorming how their platform could help us highlight to our shared communities some of the wonderful work going on in Appalachian Ohio.”

On Cause Connector, donors easily search for the Sugar Bush Foundation-funded projects by selecting “Sugar Bush Foundation Initiative” in the categories list. In addition, donors also can narrow their search to sort projects by interest area and county.

Projects to benefit from this partnership are:

· Habitat for Humanity: Sustainable Social Enterprise Incubation

· Ohio’s Winding Road

· Passion Works

· Rural Action: Farm to Ohio Working Group

· Rural Action: Appalachian Ohio Zero Waste Initiative

· Rural Action: Rural Wastes

· Rural Action: True Pigments

“Cause Connector is an innovative and unique way to connect donors to projects where they can have a direct impact,” said Cara Dingus Brook, FAO’s president and CEO. “We are grateful to The Flournoy family and the Sugar Bush Foundation for their investment in their featured initiatives on Cause Connector. This site shares the amazing work of the many nonprofit organizations in Appalachian Ohio, and we hope people will go onto Cause Connector to find projects they have a passion to support and in doing so, will help us celebrate the nonprofits and leaders in our communities.

To support these initiatives and help them receive bonus funding from the Flournoy Family for projects to support in your community, visit and sign up for the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio’s e-newsletter.

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 and follow FAO on Facebook and Instagram.

About the Sugar Bush Foundation
The Sugar Bush Foundation, a supporting organization to the Ohio University Foundation, funds sustainable economic development projects in the areas of environmental restoration and renewable energy, zero waste, and food security. Jointly designed by Ohio University faculty and students with community non-profits, these projects identify and develop natural assets across Appalachian Ohio. For more information about SBF, visit or contact Sugar Bush Foundation Director, Erin Rennich