NEW! Applications open Aug. 15. The maximum grant amount has increased to $35,000, and up to 15% of the award may be applied toward indirect costs.

What is Tier 1?

This program primarily supports small capital projects and one-time investments for Alaska-based nonprofits, Tribes, state and local government entities actively serving Alaskans. Applications are accepted year-round, reviewed on a rolling basis, and often receive a decision within 90 days. The maximum award amount is $35,000, with most awards ranging from $5,000 to $20,000.

Tips For Your Application

The ask.

First-time partners are encouraged to apply for a Tier 1 before seeking a larger award.

Community need.

Help us understand your community and who you serve, your project, and how a grant will help. 

Know what we fund.

These grants are great for one-time expenses or things that an organization can buy, build, fix or create. Think technology upgrades, renovation work, vehicles, furnishings, and other small capital investments. 

Know your organization.

In the application, you will be asked to introduce your organization, provide financials, document board financial giving (exempt for government and Tribal organizations), and briefly answer project-specific questions about the timeline, scope, community needs, and maintenance plans. 

All about Tier 1 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.

Tier 1 grants are intended to assist with capital needs and one-time investments. These are typically things that you can build, buy, fix, or create. Contact a program officer if you have any questions. 

Some examples include:

  • Construction and renovation
  • Equipment and tools (including medical, musical, scientific, and sports)
  • Technology upgrades
  • Historic preservation projects
  • Library collections 
  • Office furnishings and appliances
  • Playground, park, and trail improvements
  • Vehicles, including 4-wheelers and snowmachines

On a limited basis, the Foundation will consider nonprofit or local government sponsored creative works, such as an Alaska-focused film, research, books, exhibits, and other cultural projects. Applications must demonstrate a strong Alaska-specific context, significant community impact, and, when applicable, a well-developed distribution plan.

Shipping, installation, and contracted labor costs may be included in project budgets. Up to 15% of a Tier 1 grant award may be allocated toward indirect and administrative costs.

Not eligible

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

Yes. We encourage you to contact staff prior to submitting your request. We want to help you be successful. Schedule time with us.

There is no deadline, applications are accepted year-round and reviewed on a rolling basis. Decisions are typically announced within 90 days of submission of a complete application.

Eligible organizations may request up to $35,000. 

Most awards are in the range of $5,000 to $20,000.

Grant recipients must wait 12 months from the closing of a Foundation-funded project before applying for a new award.

There is no match requirement for Tier 1 grants. We do look for strong community support of the organization overall, and applicants often include additional funding sources such as local contributions, other grants, or organizational savings.

We prioritize applications from organizations with board members who financially support its work. Board members are fiduciary stewards helping ensure the financial stability of the 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 requests, we consider community impact, organizational capacity, financial management, community partnerships and engagement, project feasibility and sustainability, and demonstrated community and state needs.

Once a project is complete, partners submit an online form to briefly describe how the project went. Receipts are not required. The form requests photos and links to videos, interviews, or news articles about the project so that we can celebrate your success.

Please connect with a program officer before submitting an application. Click here to schedule a meeting. Tier 1 grants are a one-step online application. Applications will open on Aug. 15. New users will need to register an account.

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.

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