Nelsonville, OH – Encino Energy partnered with individual donors giving through the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio’s new Cause Connector platform to support the work of the Deersville Community Theater and its role of promoting and creating access to the arts.

Cause Connector is a new online giving site designed to connect people who want to make a difference with local, nonprofit projects working in Appalachian Ohio. This platform was developed by the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio (FAO) to help donors find projects they’d like to give to that are ready to launch now.

COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the arts. With the cancellations of performances, events and fundraisers, arts organizations have had to weather the continued costs of maintaining venues and consider how to adapt their work in ways that contribute to public health.

Encino Energy gave the last dollars needed to help the Deersville Community Theater complete their project’s fundraising goal on Cause Connector. This investment will support their work despite the loss of revenue from a typical season and ensure their continued role of uplifting the arts in the community.

“Encino Energy has always been focused on being a partner to our communities,” said Jackie Stewart, Director External Affairs. “Cause Connector gave us a great opportunity to hear from communities with their needs and to partner with others on important efforts. Investing in the Deersville Community Theater and the arts is so important during this time after the effects of the pandemic.”

When the first round of projects featured on Cause Connector closed on April 9, 2021, 88 projects from nonprofit organizations had received crucial support to move their efforts forward.

“FAO launched the Cause Connector platform to create a new way for donors to listen to community nonprofits and invest together to make a difference in Appalachian Ohio,” shared Cara Dingus Brook, president and CEO of the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio. “We are so glad to have Encino Energy’s partnership with the many others who gave what they could to support the arts in Harrison County.”

On Cause Connector, donors easily search for projects serving local communities across the areas of arts and culture, community and economic development, education, environmental stewardship, and health and human services. Donors can also narrow their search to sort projects by pillar and county. The inaugural launch of the giving platform gave hundreds of donors’ gifts the opportunity to combine to make a real difference on CauseConnector.org to projects like the work of the Deersville Community Theater.

“The arts are so important to all communities and we were so grateful for the opportunity to share our work with potential donors through the new Cause Connector platform from the Foundation,” said Marsha Dodd of the Deersville Community Theater. “We thank Encino Energy for the final dollars to make this project a reality.”

Appalachian Ohio has access to fewer grant and scholarship dollars per capita than the rest of the state. This “philanthropy gap” means the region’s students, nonprofits, schools, and community organizations have less support to continue education, meet pressing needs, and pursue opportunities that can make a difference.

Cause Connector was built with the philanthropy gap in mind so that donors can help fund projects that need their support in the region right now while also building resources for future projects. A second round of projects from Appalachian Ohio’s nonprofits, schools, and community organizations will be featured on CauseConnector.org later this year.

Cause Connector is just one way that the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio is partnering with local organizations and communities create ways that everyone can be a philanthropist. FAO also partners with the Harrison County Community Foundation, a community fund focused on growing philanthropic resources that can be invested for the benefit of Harrison County and those who call it home.

To learn when the second round of Cause Connector launches and gives you a chance to shop for projects to support in your community, visit www.CauseConnector.org and sign up for the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio’s e-newsletter.