A timeline from our Alaska beginnings
Jenny Olson arrives in Alaska.
E.A. Rasmuson arrives in Alaska.
E.A. and Jenny marry in Yakutat.
Elmer Rasmuson is born in Yakutat.
Alaska receives territorial status.
Rasmuson family moves to Skagway.
E.A. Rasmuson assumes leadership of Bank of Alaska, saving it from failure.
Elmer Rasmuson leaves career with Arthur Andersen to become president of the Bank of Alaska.
Nation’s first anti-discrimination act enacted in territory of Alaska through activism of Elizabeth Peratovich. Alaskans now honor her with Elizabeth Peratrovich Day every Feb. 16.
E.A. Rasmuson dies; Elmer continues bank leadership.
$3,000 gift from Jenny Rasmuson establishes Rasmuson Foundation.
Alaska becomes a state.
Merger makes what was by then National Bank of Alaska into the state’s largest bank.
Early grants were small, as shown in this 1960 memo from Elmer Rasmuson.
Elmer Rasmuson marries Mary Louise Milligan, who goes on to serve 45 years on the Foundation board.
Good Friday Earthquake devastates Southcentral Alaska.
Jenny Rasmuson dies, leaves the bulk of her estate to the Foundation.
Prudhoe Bay oil discovered.
Ed Rasmuson joins Rasmuson Foundation board.
Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act enacted.
Alaska Permanent Fund established through constitutional amendment; Elmer Rasmuson becomes first chairman.
Alaska Legislature repeals state personal income tax.
Exxon Valdez oil spill puts world attention on Alaska.
First employee, Diane Kaplan, begins at the Foundation. Here, Diane is pictured at her fifth anniversary at the Foundation.
Foundation leads first tour of Alaska for Outside grantmakers.
Cathy Rasmuson, Judy Rasmuson and Lile Gibbons join Rasmuson Foundation board. Cathy is vice chair.
On his 90th birthday, Elmer Rasmuson gives away $90 million: $50 million to the Anchorage Museum and the rest to the Foundation.
Deal reached by Rasmuson family to sell National Bank of Alaska to Wells Fargo.
Ed Rasmuson becomes Rasmuson Foundation board chairman.
Elmer Rasmuson dies, leaves most of his $400 million estate to the Foundation.
Foundation awards $700,000 to help start The Foraker Group to strengthen the nonprofit sector.
Foundation helps launch Dental Health Aide Therapist program.
Creation of Anchorage Community Land Trust with $5 million award to revitalize Mountain View. Pictured here is Kirk Rose, the CEO.
$2 million challenge grant for Alaska Native Science & Engineering Program building; Foundation commitments now top $14 million.
Start of $20 million, 10-year Foundation initiative to put focus on arts and culture.
Launch of Individual Artist Awards, putting money directly into the hands of Alaska artists.
Support for workforce, family and senior housing begins; total investment now tops $34 million.
Foundation board authorizes Pre-Development Program to support sustainable right-sized capital projects.
Effort to improve Anchorage parks and trails begins with $400,000 award to create Anchorage Park Foundation.
First sabbaticals awarded to give nonprofit, tribal and local government leaders a break; grant amounts increased to up to $50,000 in 2023.
Initiative begins to create local affiliates of The Alaska Community Foundation and increase giving across the state; 11 local funds now exist.
Foundation board approves $900,000 to create Pick.Click.Give., an easy way for Alaskans to share their Permanent Fund dividend with nonprofits.
Rasmuson Foundation and 3 other funders launch United States Artists to support outstanding creative individuals. Tlingit carver Tommy Joseph, whose work is pictured here, became one of the first USA Fellows in 2007.
Foundation assets plunge by 40 percent during Great Recession; grantmaking impacted.
Alaska celebrates 50 years of statehood.
Recover Alaska initiative begins with goal of reducing harm from alcohol.
Mary Louise Rasmuson dies, leaves $42.5 million to Foundation.
Rasmuson Foundation crosses threshold of $200 million in grantmaking to improve life in Alaska.
Foundation turns 60, awards largest grant in its history, $12 million for Anchorage Museum’s new wing.
Launch of Plan4Alaska campaign to educate the public about state budget.
Another next generation family member joins the board, Jay Gibbons.
Foundation and 10 other funders respond to magnitude 7.1 earthquake with emergency grants to 49 nonprofits.
$40 million investment into solutions for homelessness begins with Foundation and three partners.
Foundation crosses threshold of $400 million in grantmaking.
Foundation commits $2 million to help Alaska respond to COVID-19 pandemic.
Rasmuson Foundation celebrates 65 years.
Leadership transition: Adam Gibbons, Natasha von Imhof and Jay Gibbons take leadership roles. Ed Rasmuson becomes chairman emeritus.
Diane Kaplan departs the Foundation after 27 years.
Chairman emeritus Ed Rasmuson dies at age 81.
Gretchen Guess becomes president and CEO of Rasmuson Foundation, the second in the organization’s history.
Foundation grantmaking tops $500 million.
Individual Artist Awards program marks its 20-year milestone with increases to award amounts and near-record applicants.
With new leadership in place, Foundation announces a pause in grantmaking to work on strategy and processes.