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Invest Appalachia Fund Closes with $35M for Community-First Impact Investing

Celebrating $35M for community-first investing

Invest Appalachia successfully concluded its fundraising efforts for the Invest Appalachia Fund with a total of $35.5 million including significant commitments from both national and regional investors. New investors include Truist Bank, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and Chordata Capital, as well as regional foundations Dogwood Health Trust, Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, and Greater Clark Foundation.


Invest Appalachia (IA) has closed its final round of commitments to the Invest Appalachia Fund (IA Fund) with a total size of $35.5 Million. The IA Fund added $16.6 Million in commitments from six new investors in its second round, on top of the $18.95 Million secured in the first close. New investors include national leaders such as Truist Bank, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and Chordata Capital, as well as regional foundations Dogwood Health Trust, Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, and Greater Clark Foundation. They join first close investors UnitedHealth Group, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Appalachian Regional Commission, Cassiopeia Foundation, Laughing Gull Foundation, and Sugarbush Valley Impact Investments.

Overall, 80% of the IA Fund’s commitments come from investors outside of Appalachia, bringing new mission-aligned capital into a historically underinvested region.

IA was designed to provide flexible community-first impact investment that complements the existing community finance system and reaches persistently under-resourced populations and geographies across Central Appalachia. The IA Fund invests in projects and businesses that advance climate resilience, equity, and community wealth-building, with specific focus on key sectors that are already driving inclusive and sustainable market development: clean energy, community health (including housing), placemaking (including downtown revitalization), and food & agriculture.

The IA Fund is managed by Invest Appalachia, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that is designed, governed, guided, and staffed by community stakeholders rooted in place across the region. IA works in the Appalachian counties of Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. The IA Fund is part of a blended capital approach that reduces systemic barriers for underserved entrepreneurs & communities, drawing on grant-funded “Catalytic Capital” to increase equitable and inclusive deal flow, de-risk projects in order to leverage repayable investment, and pilot innovative, non-extractive investment tools. IA continues to raise grants, recoverable grants, and donations for this high-impact Catalytic Capital fund.

Along with the first close investors and Catalytic Capital funders, the new investors in the IA Fund’s final close are committed to a bold shared vision for a more equitable, resilient, and prosperous Central Appalachia.


“We have closely followed and admired the design and development of Invest Appalachia, and see it as true leadership in the field of place-based investing, which is critical for an equitable economy. We are excited to join other national impact investing leaders as an investor in this innovative and community-driven approach,” said Allison Clark, Associate Director, Impact Investing at the MacArthur Foundation.

“Appalachia’s investment ecosystem is stronger than ever due to the work undertaken by Invest Appalachia and its partners. Their commitment to connecting capital from outside of Appalachia with regional investments will build many new opportunities in the region that otherwise would not be available. The Benedum Foundation has a long-standing commitment to building capital access and is proud to be an early investor in the IA model and this fund,” said Jen Giovanitti, President, Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation.

“Passionate residents, engaged officials and programs that promote economic resiliency are at the heart of prosperous communities. Truist has a rich history of serving rural communities, including deep roots in Appalachia communities, and a commitment to expand access to capital as the leading financial institution investor in the IA Fund. Invest Appalachia’s mission to facilitate and accelerate investments throughout the region can inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs and civic leaders, and help build strong communities that can grow and thrive,” said Ryan P. Ammann, Senior Vice President of Truist Community Capital.

“As Dogwood seeks to improve the health and wellbeing of all western North Carolinians, we are excited to partner with Invest Appalachia to ensure that community projects across our shared goals of Community Equity, Economic Opportunity, Education, Health & Wellness, and Housing, have access to the flexible funding they need to build dynamic and inclusive local economies,” said Mark Constantine, Senior Vice President of Community Investment, Dogwood Health Trust.


Emerging from a 6 year process of collaborative planning, design, and development, Invest Appalachia launched operations in late 2022 and has already deployed over $6 Million in blended capital investment, with the expectation of tripling that number in 2024.

“Thanks to commitments from investors who understand the region’s potential, Central Appalachian communities are not just dreaming of a just and resilient future – we’re actively building it. The $35 Million in this Fund is more than just a financial resource for the region, it’s another important step in the national movement to show that every community deserves the opportunity to thrive. Invest Appalachia will continue to build on this momentum, channeling flexible and creative capital into high-impact projects that empower underserved communities, boost local economies, and dismantle systemic barriers to opportunity,” said Andrew Crosson, CEO, Invest Appalachia.

Invest Appalachia seeks to build new economic futures for communities across Central Appalachia that have borne the brunt of extractive economics and socioeconomic disparities for generations, using the tool of investment in service of community priorities.

“Impact investing isn’t just an economic strategy in rural communities, it signals hope. Invest Appalachia is doing more than bringing new capital into the region, they are investing in possibilities. Invest Appalachia, and its many partners, are creating a future where prosperity is a shared experience, not a privilege,” said Stephanie Tyree, Executive Director, WV Community Development Hub and Invest Appalachia Board Chair.

The IA Fund’s Investment Manager is LOCUS Capital, a mission-aligned CDFI and Exempt Reporting Advisor which supports Fund operations including pipeline coordination, underwriting, portfolio management, and third party service providers.

About Invest Appalachia

Invest Appalachia is a regional blended capital platform, designed to accelerate and expand community investment across Central Appalachia. Our mission is to help finance Appalachia’s transition to a more resilient, equitable, and sustainable economic future. Invest Appalachia is governed by a regionally representative board of directors and managed by regionally-rooted staff. Invest Appalachia works across the Appalachian counties of Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, Ohio, North Carolina and Tennessee, catalyzing community investment from the ground up. 

Do you have an idea for a project?

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