Appalachia Funders Network

learning. analysis. collaboration.

A Brief History of Network Gatherings

Each of our Gatherings builds on the energy and excitement of the previous year’s work and identifies actionable strategies to deepen and expand the scale of our work.

2010: Appalachia in Transition, Abingdon, Virginia

  • Developed an analysis of the forces that have shaped Appalachia
  • Recognized that the region is in another economic transition
  • Discussed how we can help move the region towards a more sustainable and equitable economy
  • Decided to form and develop the Appalachia Funders Network

2011: Strategies for Collaboration, Charleston, West Virginia

  • Developed analyses of opportunities and challenges in the food, energy, and health sectors
  • Identified barriers to collaboration among grantmakers interested in the economic transition
  • Developed concrete strategies to increase collaboration among grantmakers across Central Appalachia

2012: Accelerating the Economic Transition of Central Appalachia, Berea, Kentucky

  • Explored the entrepreneurial supports and community capacity needed to advance the region’s economy
  • Created a list of shared priorities for strengthening entrepreneurship and community capacity
  • Developed concrete ways that individual grantmakers and the Network can move these priorities
  • Celebrated our Appalachian heritage, culture, and arts

2013: Harnessing the Power of the Network to Accelerate Appalachia’s Transition, Asheville, NC

  • Defined shared strategies to support entrepreneurship and scale the promising sectors of food, energy, and health
  • Clarified our shared vision for Appalachia’s economic transition and strengthened the Network’s organizational structure to achieve this vision
  • Gained a full appreciation of Appalachia’s rich past, present, and emerging cultures

2014: The Power of Partnerships, Athens, OH

  • Strengthened existing and built new relationships that contribute to a more connected and coordinated movement for Appalachian Transition.
  • Deepened our analysis and understanding of promising sectors through honest dialogue between entrepreneurs, practitioners, and grantmakers
  • Used the Network’s Working Framework  for economic transition to guide our analysis at site visits and to align development strategies across the region