ARC Launches Capacity-Building Opportunity for Community Foundations

READY Community Foundations is a six-week training and funding initiative to help community foundations in the Appalachian Region strengthen operations, programming and fundraising.

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 30, 2024 –Today, the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) announced the launch of  READY Community Foundations, one of four tailored tracks under ARC’s capacity-building initiative, READY Appalachia.

Community foundations throughout Appalachia’s 13-state, 423-county region can now apply for six weeks of no-cost training. The virtual, cohort-based courses are designed to help local, philanthropic organizations build skills in:   

  • Foundation-specific financial management. 
  • Endowment investing and accounting. 
  • Affiliate models. 
  • Community-centric fundraising and grantmaking. 
  • Community-rooted collective impact agendas. 
  • Mission and strategy development. 
  • Communications strategy. 

Following successful completion of the training, participants will be eligible to apply for up to $25,000 in funding (no match required) to implement internal capacity-building projects. 

“In many areas of Appalachia, community foundations are the only philanthropic option available to nonprofits and local governments to meet community needs,” said ARC Federal Co-Chair Gayle Manchin. “ARC’s READY Community Foundations initiative not only provides no-cost training to our region’s philanthropic organizations but will also help them grow as critical funding resources to foster economic development in the communities they serve.” 

To learn more about applying for READY Community Foundations, register for this informational webinaron June 13, 2024, at 10 a.m. ET, read the Notice of Solicitation for Applications (NOSA), or visit ARC’s website. Eligible applicants should ensure they meet these requirements and submit their application by Friday, July 5, 2024 at 5:00 p.m. ET. 

Supported with funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, READY Community Foundations is the fourth and final learning track of READY Appalachia. Since July 2022, training and funding opportunities have been provided to 41  Local Development Districts (LDDs), 75 nonprofit organizations and 88 local government entities. Awards include $4 million through READY LDDs and $1.6 million through READY Nonprofits, with more expected through READY Local Governments.  

“With today’s announcement, President Biden continues to invest in locally-led community economic development in places that have been left behind for too long. This investment in no-cost training and capacity building for local foundations will help prepare Appalachia’s communities – including the historic energy communities that have powered our nation for generations – to access resources unlocked by President Biden’s Investing in America agenda,” said Lael Brainard, National Economic Advisor to President Biden.

Across all READY Appalachia learning tracks, special emphasis is placed on serving Appalachia’s most underrepresented communities, including economically distressed areas, organizations located within Rural Partners Network Community Networks, counties targeted by the Interagency Working Group on Coal and Power Plant Communities, and marginalized populations.  

About the Appalachian Regional Commission 
The Appalachian Regional Commission is an economic development entity of the federal government and 13 state governments focusing on 423 counties across the Appalachian Region. ARC’s mission is to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia to help the Region achieve socioeconomic parity with the nation. 

About READY Appalachia 
READY Appalachia is an ARC community-capacity building initiative for nonprofit organizations, Local Development Districts (LDDs), local governments, and community foundations serving the Appalachian Region. Participants access no-cost training, cohort-based learning, and funding opportunities (no match required) to increase their ability to solve pressing issues and create lasting, positive change in communities.