The FOCIS Giving Circle was established at the Appalachian Community Fund in 2007. FOCIS (Federations of Communities in Service) started in 1967 when over 40 women left the Glenmary Sisters to emphasize their community development work in Appalachia. FOCIS is now approximately 45 members who are committed to growing with the communities in which they live and work. This can be seen in new works introduced into existing organizations and in the more than 50 non-profit organizations founded in partnership with Appalachian communities. These organizations include community land trusts, artisan co-ops, health clinics, a worker owned restaurant and community development corporations.
The FOCIS Giving Circle was established at ACF to honor and preserve the community service values of FOCIS and to encourage future generations to nurture and sustain these values. Giving Circles are a growing area of philanthropy, where a group of people pool their resources and make collective decisions on how to ‘socially invest’ their dollars. The Circle and ACF share mutual goals and concern for the communities and marginalized people of our region. The two groups also share the social concern about responsible investing and financial management.
A gift from FOCIS established the FOCIS Giving Circle and the group wants to add to the initial gift as well as having a hands-on role in making grants.
Here is a Note from Linda Mashburn,
Chair of the FOCIS Development Committee
The purpose of the FOCIS Giving Circle is to identify and promote works with Appalachian communities. FOCIS believes in the strength of people who are building spirit-culture while engaging in a local sustainable economy.
In particular, the Giving Circle’s funding priorities are to support (1) marginalized communities and their efforts to foster economic opportunities and inclusive organizational structures, (2) programs promoting the growth and development of women, and (3) new elder initiatives that are developing communities of mutual support and spirituality.
We have had three grant cycles. It has been a successful learning process as we have involved our membership, worked out our relationship with the Appalachian Community Fund, and developed criteria for evaluating grant requests. We hope you feel good about our process and success so far. If you would like to donate to the FOCIS Giving Circle and help us continue making grants to carry on the FOCIS legacy, please consider donating on-line.
In Love and Justice,
Linda Mashburn, Chair
FOCIS Development Committee
To make a donation to the FOCIS Giving Circle, from the DONATE NOW Button, on the donation form under “How would you like to direct your gift” select FOCIS Giving Circle from the pull down menu.
For assistance and further information on any of these programs, please contact ACF at 865-523-5783 or firstname.lastname@example.org.