2021 was focused on the urgent challenges of devastating floods and the COVID pandemic. The Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky met these challenges while continuing to improve and expand existing programs dedicated to high priority issues impacting our region.
“If 2020 asked us if we were a resilient region, this was
the year we answered. All year long, we demonstrated
that we are a people ready to not just endure and
survive hardship, but dig in. We are a community ready
and willing to do the hard work of figuring out how we
can transform our region and thrive.”
Issues We tackled
Our year at a glance gives you the Foundation’s cumulative total impact by the numbers from January 1, 2021 to November 30, 2021.
Affordable housing is the quickest
way to move families out of poverty–all while creating new jobs.
Donors with a passion for education achieve their vision of helping Appalachian
youth through the Foundation’s scholarship program.
Five years ago, the Appalachian Impact Fund (AIF) was established and the AIF team set several economic development goals. Today, they have surpassed these ambitious goals.
The Foundation’s partnerships help support small businesses, develop thriving economies, strengthen communities and establish great places to work and play.
The Appalachian Early Childhood Network (AECN) combats the too common child care deserts throughout Appalachia by advocating for high-quality, affordable childcare for all families.
The Affiliate Community Foundation Program increases local philanthropy by supporting 8 Affiliate Community Foundations representing 12 counties.
2021 Collective Impact
from January 1, 2021 through November 30, 2021
in donations received
total grants awarded
in grants provided by our community affiliates
given in grants, scholarships & investments
total scholarships awarded
When floods devastated our region, we mobilized a 24/7 effort to help families, local farmers, and small businesses in need with over $1,500,000 awarded in flood relief grants.
small businesses and farms supported
supporting six eastern Kentucky counties
The Southeast Kentucky Healthy Downtowns Initiative provided $180,000 in funding to 6 Eastern Kentucky towns, supporting new ways for people to interact safely with public spaces and commerce.
businesses grants awarded
The Southeast Kentucky Downtown Business Stimulus Fund provided urgently needed grants to 153 business owners in 23 counties. The Fund also released 0% emergency interest loans to small businesses.
in response and relief grants given by our affiliates to their communities
Black-owned family farms supported
The Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky also helped pool funds for the Kentucky Black Farmers Fund to support 54 Black-owned farm families statewide during COVID.
grants awarded to small family farms
The Central Appalachian Family Farm Fund provided urgently needed grants to 138 local farms in 20 counties.
Over $1 million in urgent COVID-19 relief funding was disbursed for Appalachian people, small businesses, local farms, and nonprofits.
in family farm grants
business grants awarded
awarded in individual grants
family farms supported
awarded in business grants
individual grants awarded
Appalachian Impact Fund
Five years ago, the Appalachian Impact Fund (AIF) started with the passion of one family and a dream jotted down on a piece of paper that set goals to redevelop downtowns, make impact investments into promising sectors, make grants to nonprofits creating economic opportunity, encourage new businesses, create new jobs, and support the overall work of the Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky.
“AIF is a powerful example of what can be achieved when a results-driven donor and an innovative community foundation come
together to set ownership and egos aside, listen deeply to community needs, commit to long-term relationships with our partners, and launch something bigger
than the sum of its parts.”
Appalachian Impact Fund
“Since inception, AIF’s work has been far reaching in spite of limited but growing funding, driven by the thoughtfulness of an informed and unrelenting staff and board. At five years, an enormous ‘thank you’ to all engaged with AIF, a resounding ‘thank you’ to the numerous supportive funders and AIF
Co-Founder and Donor
Appalachian Impact Fund
Five Years of Impact
Today, AIF has surpassed those now seemingly modest goals accomplished through one dedicated staff person, a lean operating budget, and the backbone support of a small community foundation.
In grants to regional nonprofits, small businesses, social enterprises, and disaster relief efforts
In impact investments supporting energy efficient and affordable housing, downtown revitalization, small business, and consumer lending
Historic downtown properties stabilized, redeveloped, or under construction
In additional funding for Eastern Kentucky leveraged through our grantmaking, technical assistance, and matching investments.
Small businesses supported
AIF Program Focus
“The revolving loan fund from AIF addresses a critical gap in access to capital for growing successful small businesses in Eastern Kentucky. These businesses are often overlooked by big commercial banks but are growing at rates of 100% to 200% year-over-year. AIF provides the catalytic capital needed to meet that growth, create dignified new jobs, and make our communities even better.”
Executive Director, Invest 606
AIF Program Focus
Many of our donors invest in affordable housing because they know it is the quickest way to move families out of poverty through asset-based wealth development, provides a safe foundation for families, and creates housing stability for our workforce–all while creating new jobs in construction.
“Currently, HDA is spending, on average, over $2,500 every working hour on direct construction costs. That’s over $100,000 per week! Development and construction financing is absolutely critical to our success. Not only do the AIF loans save us money due to the below market rate interest, the way the loans are structured allows us to easily access additional financing and saves us an enormous amount of staff time and energy which is often our most precious resource.”
Executive Director, Housing Development Alliance Grantee and Loan Recipient
Partner Highlight: Gurney’s Bend
Built on the site of a former coal camp where workers were denied home ownership due to company owned housing, Gurney’s Bend is now offering Appalachian families the opportunity to own their homes and begin to build generational wealth.
Construction labor is provided by Housing Development Alliance’s (HDA) Hope Builds program, working with men and women in opioid recovery programs.
The Foundation’s Appalachian Impact Fund provided a $300,000 below market rate
loan for Gurney’s Bend and general operating support grants for HDA.
Donors with a passion for education achieve their vision of helping Appalachian youth through the Foundation’s scholarship program. We currently host six donor advised scholarships targeted at high schoolers wishing to attend college. Our Scholarship Team works with donors to achieve their goals and help ensure that their giving results in leaving a legacy that supports the future of Appalachia.
Scholarships Hosted by the Foundation
Dr. Bertee & Retta Faye Adkins Scholarship
The Dr. Bertee and Rhetta Faye Adkins Scholarship grants scholarships to graduating seniors at both Betsy Layne High School in Floyd County, Kentucky, and Oliver Springs High School in Oliver Springs, Tennessee.
Cartis & Merkie Carpenter Scholarship
The Cartis & Merkie Carpenter Scholarship was created to assist students in Laurel and Clay counties in achieving their educational goals.
The Craft Scholarship was established by Joe and Kelly Craft to recognize students graduating from the Craft Academy at Morehead State University. It is a unique opportunity to assist students in attending the school of their dreams, by reducing debt that may allow them to attend a college they never thought possible.
Margaret & Danny Maggard Community Service Scholarship
The Margaret and Danny Maggard Community Service Scholarship was created to help seniors graduating from Hazard High School in pursuing higher education.
The Morris Prize for Eastern High School
The Morris Prize scholarship was endowed by Nate Morris for his alma mater, Eastern High School. For one outstanding student, The Morris Prize we hope will be a stepping stone to your American Dream.
Woodrow & Evelyn Johnson Scholarship
The Woodrow & Evelyn Johnson Scholarship was created in honor of the funder’s parents to assist graduates of Shelby Valley High School in achieving their educational goals.
Number of Students Awarded Scholarships
Total Scholarships Awarded for the 2021 School Year
The Appalachian Early Childhood Network (AECN) advocates for high-quality, affordable childcare for all families. At present, AECN provides training and technical assistance to early childhood professionals in 52 Appalachian Kentucky counties.
The Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky helped start AECN and continues to provide ongoing backbone support and grant funding for the Network as part of our commitment to rural childcare and youth development in the region. AECN saw extensive growth in 2021 thanks to years of hard work with the Foundation and other partners.
“Eastern Kentucky and pretty much all of Appalachia is a childcare desert. If you don’t have childcare, then you don’t have workers.”
Executive Director, AECN
INCREASING LOCAL PHILANTHROPY
The Affiliate Community Foundation Program is a core strategy at the Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky. Our Affiliate Program currently supports 8 Affiliate Community Foundations representing 12 counties each with the mission to increase local philanthropy.
In 2021, Affiliate endowment funds held at the Foundation for
Appalachian Kentucky cumulatively increased by more than 50%. And our Affiliates distributed over $232,463 in grants, demonstrating a commitment to improve communities across our region.