Appalachian Opportunity Fund, northeast Tennessee

Based in northeast Tennessee, Appalachian Opportunity Fund (AOF) seeks to foster financial health and community wealth in rural Central Appalachia. AOF is pursuing this mission by providing People-Centered Financial Coaching to low-income single mothers and others excluded from the financial mainstream.

2023 Grant Recipient:    This year’s grant from the Legacy Fund supports the Financial Freedom Fund (FFF), an affordable lending program that is designed to assist AOF’s most highly motivated clients who have low or no credit, and thus do not qualify for financing through a reputable lender.  This grant covers the cost of collateralizing two first round loans and generally helps keep funds earmarked and available for the FFF within our organization’s budget. 

2021 Grant Recipient:  The Executive Director, a Vanderbilt Law School alum, benefitted from Vanderbilt’s advisory resources when AOF was established in March 2019. With a small grant from the Legacy Fund this year, AOF’s first priority is to build funds to pay for a new Financial Coach. Specifically, they plan to hire a person who is female and African American and have identified a candidate to fill the position. This new position will enable them to better serve the local African American community which, statistically, has a greater need for AOF services than the Caucasian community.