Appalachian Funders Network (AFN)

Appalachian Funders Network (AFN)


Process Guidelines


Since the Appalachia Funders Network formed in 2010, it has created the space and support for relationships to grow, common analysis and vision to develop, and collaborations to form. It has generated five working groups that build community capacity, leverage resources into the region, advance food and agriculture systems, promote clean energy and protect natural resources, and support a culture of health. Members recognize that the more relationships, common analysis, and vision we have, the more we can align our strategies to make lasting impact on the root cause challenges holding back the region from greater prosperity.


Align national, regional, and local funders toward a common vision to accelerate an equitable Appalachian transition Appalachian transition.


We envision of a healthy, equitable, and vibrant region that, through strong partnerships, civic engagement, and leadership, preserves our unique assets and provides prosperity for all.


  • Build Relationships & Trust Among Appalachia Funders
    • Network members have relationships & trust, leading to consistent communication, mutual support, and collaborative partnerships.
  • Facilitate Common Understanding, Analysis & Vision
    • Network members are working from a common analysis, shared vision, and collectively defined set of promising practices to accelerate the Appalachian transition.
  • Foster Cross Sector Connections & Collaborations
    • Network members are collaborating across public, private, and nonprofit sectors to solve complex problems and accelerate large scale change.
  • Align Existing Resources & Leverage New Investments
    • Network members are working together to coordinate local and regional grantmaking while leveraging outside investments and support for the Appalachian transition.
  • Support Network Leadership & Network Structure
    • The network has the leadership, structure, and capacity to advance its goals.

Appalachian Transition

The ultimate goal of the Network’s work is to ensure that Central Appalachia sustains its environment and culture while bringing empowerment and increased prosperity to the people and communities of the region.

Guiding Principles

Our Structure

The Network consists of 40 member organizations who believe that their participation in the Network is helping to further their mission and deepen their impact. The Network’s Steering Committee is a group of influential local, regional, and international funders who guide the overarching roles, activities, and impacts of the Network. The Steering Committee includes representation from the Appalachian Community Fund, Appalachian Regional Commission, Athens Foundation, BB&T, Chorus Foundation, Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky, Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation, Osteopathic Heritage Foundations, USDA Rural Development Tennessee, and USDA Rural Development West Virginia.

Rural Support Partners serves as the Network Coordinator and the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development (MACED) serves as our fiscal sponsor.

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