NEW! This replaces the Tier 2 program, Legacy grants are for requests more than $250,000. If you are in need of a Legacy grant, please connect with a program officer as soon as possible.

What are Legacy Grants?

This is the Foundation’s large grant program, providing awards of more than $250,000, for capital projects, programs of strategic importance, and innovative solutions to issues of community or statewide importance. Inquiries may be initiated by an organization with a history of successful community collaboration and project management.

Tips for your application

The ask.

Connect with a program officer before submitting a Letter of Inquiry. We’re here to help!

Enlist partners.

You will likely need multiple funding partners for large-scale projects such as new or renovated buildings. The Foundation will consider first-in funding when appropriate. 

Start small.

First-time applicants should start with a Tier 1 request, found here.

Know what we fund.

Legacy grants fund significant capital projects such as new and renovated buildings, programs of strategic importance, and innovative solutions to issues of community or statewide significance. We generally do not fund salaries or areas of government responsibility such as roads and K-12 schools.

Must haves.

Be prepared to share information on your history, mission, services, and leadership. Organizations must have current financials and nonprofits must demonstrate 100% board giving to qualify for a Legacy grant.

Make a plan.

Partners are expected to engage in pre-development conversations and strategic planning before launching a major project. This includes securing additional funding and creating a sustainability plan. Successful projects involve engaged partners and strong community support.

All about Legacy awards

Organizations must be actively working in Alaska. Eligible organizations will either be an established 501(c)(3) (and classified as “not a private foundation”), or a local or Tribal government. Faith-based organizations may be eligible if their project has broad community impact. For nonprofit organizations, the 501(c)(3) status must have been obtained at least one year prior to the date of application, and at least one completed fiscal year of financials should be available. Individuals are not eligible.

An organization may have one active Legacy or Community Support grant at the same time as a Tier 1 grant, provided they are for different projects.  

Rasmuson Foundation does not fund organizations that discriminate against any individual or class or individuals based upon any characteristic protected by applicable federal or state law. 

Legacy grants support capital projects, programs of strategic importance, and innovative solutions to issues of community or statewide significance. Examples of projects: 

  • Construction, renovation, and furnishings 
  • Large-scale creative works  
  • Buildings, equipment, and vehicles  
  • Historic preservation  
  • Pilot projects or program expansion 
  • Some types of match funding 

Labor, shipping, installation, pre-development, and other costs should be included in project proposal budgets, to give a clear picture of the project scope.  

We generally do not fund projects associated with core government functions such as roads, utilities, and public safety, K-12 education, deficits or debt reduction, endowments or scholarships, fundraising events or sponsorships, and reimbursement for items already purchased.

Letters of Inquiry are accepted year-round and reviewed twice a year. For priority review, LOIs must be submitted by: 

  • February 15 for potential consideration in June 
  • August 15 for potential consideration in December  

Please note that after receipt of a Letter of Inquiry, select organizations will be invited to present a full proposal. The completeness of the submitted materials, applicant responsiveness, and project readiness directly impact the timeline for consideration.

Applications are evaluated on criteria including but not limited to the organization’s track record, fiscal and management capacity, an active board and experienced staff, sources of financial support, and the project benefit to the organization and the community it serves. The Foundation places a priority on organizations in which all board members contribute financially. This expectation does not apply to local governments including tribal governments.

Site visits are required for Legacy proposals and typically involve key staff and board members from the applicant organization. A site visit provides Foundation staff the opportunity to meet with an applicant to discuss the proposal in-depth. It also gives Foundation staff the opportunity to view the applicant’s facility or location for future developments.

The Foundation is rarely the first, the largest, or the only contributor to any Legacy project. The Foundation expects the community in which the project is located will provide significant financial support.

Eligible projects generally require multiple funding sources. Strong proposals include community support such as individual contributions, business donations, other grants, or organizational savings. Applicants are encouraged to secure some or most of needed funding, prior to applying for a Legacy grant.

We prioritize applications from organizations with board members who financially support its work. Board members are fiduciary stewards helping ensure the financial stability of an organization. Board giving demonstrates that the organization’s leaders believe in the importance and potential of the mission and work. Meaningful financial contributions may look different for each individual.

This expectation does not apply to local or Tribal governments.

We support people with great ideas, projects with long-lasting benefits, and efforts that help Alaskans help others. When reviewing Legacy requests, we require a deep understanding of community impact, organizational capacity, financial management, community partnerships and engagement, project feasibility and sustainability, and alignment with community and state needs.  

Applying for a Legacy begins with a conversation with a program officer and submission of a Letter of Inquiry. Select projects will receive a request for a proposal. Pro formas, building plans, and other relevant supplemental materials may be requested for large projects. 

Invited proposals are reviewed by staff. Site visits are required and typically involve staff, board members from your organization, and, sometimes, community stakeholders. These visits provide an opportunity for deeper understanding of proposals.  

Legacy requests are considered by the Foundation’s Board of Directors in June and December. The full process from the initial conversation and LOI through final review and award can take six to twelve months, depending on application completeness, responsiveness, and project readiness.

Start with a Program Officer

Application Process

Seeking a Legacy award?

We encourage potential grantees to call us before they begin. Fill out a form to connect with our grantmaking team. We are here to help!

Additional Resources

Alaska’s one-stop resource center

The Foraker Group is the statewide support organization for Alaska nonprofits with courses, consultations and guides. Get help with audits, board development, fundraising, communications and more.

Strengthening Organizations grants

Explore grants that support leadership and organizational development awarded through our partner, The Alaska Community Foundation.

Read success stories

Read about a community farm, an arts campus and a giant indoor sports field — just some of the way grantees have used their funds to advance their organization’s mission and help the community.

Impact Stories

‘Where the sun comes in from all sides’

Sealaska Heritage Institute Arts campus showcases the artistry and cultural heritage of Southeast Alaska.

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Catholic Social Services helps Alaskans find a home of their own.

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In a pandemic, we came together to supply Alaska

This project supplied Alaska with masks, gloves and cleaning supplies in the pandemic’s early days.

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