Nelsonville, OH – The Foundation for Appalachian Ohio’s (FAO) January 28 Board of Trustees meeting was a celebration of milestones. The first landmark was the celebration of the Foundation giving more than $1.1million in 2015, a first for FAO. To add even more reason for celebration, Ken Taylor, president of Ohio CAT, was in attendance to present a $100,000 matching gift to the Foundation’s Education Pillar of Prosperity Fund, a gift that will help the Foundation continue to grow its grantmaking.
FAO’s mission is to create opportunities for Appalachian Ohio’s citizens and communities by inspiring and supporting philanthropy. A central aspect of the Foundation’s mission is to generate grantmaking dollars for projects that improve quality of life in the 32-county region. FAO’s focus is to build grant dollars in five areas FAO calls the Pillars of Prosperity: arts and culture, community and economic development, education, environmental stewardship, and health and human services.
In 2014, recognizing the impact that the Pillars of Prosperity will have on the region’s future, Ohio CAT issued a matching grant challenge promising to match gifts to the Pillars dollar-for-dollar to help launch the effort. Ohio CAT pledged $500,000 – up to $100,000 for each Pillar – in matching grant dollars. Through the generosity of donors, the Education Pillar was the first to reach $100,000, leading to Ohio CAT’s matching gift of $100,000 to support grantmaking for educational opportunities.
“When we launched the Ohio CAT Challenge, we eagerly anticipated the moment when we could announce that the first Pillar had reached $100,000,” said Taylor. “That moment is here and Ohio CAT is excited to match that $100,000 today. We look forward to seeing which Pillar will next reach $100,000, and we await the day when we can announce that Ohio CAT has matched the full $500,000 across all five Pillars of Prosperity.”
The race is now on for the other four Pillars to reach $100,000. With each gift to the Pillars in Arts & Culture, Community & Economic Development, Environmental Stewardship, and Health & Human Services, the amount invested in that Pillar’s future grantmaking will double thanks to Ohio CAT.
“We are so grateful for Ohio CAT’s commitment to Appalachian Ohio and for the commitment of all the donors who rose to the challenge to make this match possible,” said Cara Dingus Brook, president and CEO of the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio. “This endowment will create educational opportunities for generations to come, and we could not be more excited about it.”
To help the remaining four Pillars of Prosperity meet their match, make a gift to the Pillar fund you are most passionate about. Gifts are tax deductible and can be made in many ways, including cash, bequests, and life insurance. To mail your donation, please designate the Pillar (or Pillars) closest to your heart and mail to the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio, PO Box 456, Nelsonville, OH 45764. Gifts can also be made online at www.AppalachianOhio.org. For more information about the Pillars of Prosperity and how you can help meet the Ohio CAT Challenge for the remaining four Pillars, please call the Foundation at 740.753.1111.