Strengthening Community Capacity Working Group

Community foundations play a significant and unique role in creating the conditions for people to participate in, contribute to, and benefit from the economic transition. Community Foundations do this by developing partnerships, building trusting relationships, and giving voice to community-based priorities and realities that are going to move our communities forward.

The community foundation landscape across central Appalachia is diverse. Some areas are served by established, multi-county foundations; others by young, single county foundations. Still others are not served by a community foundation at all. Strengthening community-based philanthropy will require a commitment on the part of many players: local, state, and regional.


  1. Strengthen the Capacity of Community Foundations

    Build the capacity of community foundations to be active change agents in the community, encouraging local engagement, innovation, and ownership while also leveraging resources to help communities become active partners in the Appalachian transition.

  2. Ensure Effective Community Foundation Infrastructure.

    Connect community foundations across the region to provide coordinated and aligned funders on the ground to advance an equitable Appalachian Transition.

  3. Increase Philanthropic Resources

    Help community foundations advance the economic transition by supporting them to leverage resources towards the Appalachian transition.

Read more about these priorities and ways the Appalachia Funders Network will advance these priorities by downloading the Collective Strategy document.


Co-Chairs of the Strengthening Community Capacity Working Group:

Gerry Roll, Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky
Margo Miller, Appalachian Community Fund

Members of the Strengthening Community Capacity Work Group

Lisa Adkins, Blue Grass Community Foundation
Janelle Choi, Marguerite Casey Foundation
Paul Daugherty, Philanthropy West Virginia
Kathryn Davis, Foundation for the Tri-State Community
Adam Dickson, Appalachian Community Federal Credit Union
Michelle Foster, The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation
Robin GabbardFoundation for Appalachian Kentucky
Jen GiovannittiFederal Reserve Bank of Richmond
Ethan HamblinAppalachian Community Fund
Jane HigginsBlue Grass Community Foundation
Trudy Hughes, East Tennessee Foundation
Stephanie Hyre, The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation
Alison Lankford, Blue Grass Community Foundation
Monica McCann, The Conservation Fund
Jeff Mansour, The Thompson Charitable Foundation
Deb Markley, Center for Rural Entrepreneurship
Kathleen MarksConservation Fund
Monica McCannConservation Fund
Sue MorelandAppalachian Regional Commission
Susie NelsonCommunity Foundation for the Ohio Valley
Mary Helen Petrus, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland
Stacey Raffo, Nicholas County Community Foundation
Sheri RyderGreater Kanawha Valley Foundation
Adam Short, Virginia Tech Foundation
Judy SjostedtParkersburg Area Community Foundation
Gabrielle Ratte Smith, Orton Family Foundation
David Stocks, Educational Foundation of America
Susan Urano, Athens Foundation
Megan WanczykFoundation for Appalachian Ohio 
Mary Witten WisemanFoundation for the Tri-State Community
Barbara Wyckoff, One Foundation