Updated in January 2021

Early in the pandemic, we talked with nonprofit leaders around the state to learn what needs weren’t being filled, and we targeted our efforts to address gaps. When our own finances took a hit, we paused routine grantmaking even as we stood up or invested in new grant programs for these times. We called attention to support being offered by other organizations. This virus that has sickened and killed so many also has disrupted everyone’s lives. We continue to work to make sure the basics are covered. Housing. Food. Sanitation.

Rasmuson Foundation’s board committed $2 million in new money to address the pandemic, and we are redirecting other funds to address the most critical needs. So far we have allocated $2.4 million. This page features highlights of our response to COVID-19.

We are helping to address the pandemic through:


Our small grant program. Rasmuson Foundation is now accepting applications for Tier 1 grants. Applications received in 2021 are being considered on a rolling basis for funding. A priority round of small grants (max of $10,000) was awarded in December 2020 to organizations with funding emergencies. APPLY HERE.


AK Can Do, the statewide COVID-19 relief fund. This partnership between United way of Alaska and The Alaska Community Foundation has raised more than $2.97 million and distributed more than $2 million as of mid-December. We’ve invested $410,000 in AK Can Do and have provided additional support for communications and administration. Learn more here. To see all the awards to date, go here. To apply for a grant, click here.

A new grant program to support the arts. This opportunity encouraged Alaska’s municipalities and boroughs to use Alaska CARES act funds for arts and culture. Selected local governments received up to $50,000 from the Foundation in matching grants to local arts and culture organizations. We awarded more than $500,000 in matching grants to 13 communities: Anchorage, Bethel, Cordova, Denali Borough, Fairbanks, Haines, Homer, Juneau, Kenai, Ketchikan, Kodiak, Petersburg and Unalaska.

A partnership to provide emergency relief to nonprofits. The state carved out $47 million in Alaska CARES Act funds for nonprofits and health care organizations. The Alaska Community Foundation and the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services worked together to get relief to organizations fast. One of our program officers helped to review dozens of applications from all over the state. Go here to learn about round one award recipients and here to learn about round two. Here is an announcement about the third round of awards. 

A resource guide. So many Alaska organizations have stepped up to respond during the coronavirus pandemic. We compiled this list of resources including sources of emergency grants. We will keep updating it, so please let us know when new opportunities emerge. And read all of our posts on coronavirus here.

A partnership for access to personal protective equipment. Rasmuson Foundation, the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority and the Denali Commission in partnership with the University of Alaska Anchorage College of Health have created the Alaska PPE Resource Links Project. The project vision is to advance public health by linking PPE resources with service providers. The PPE Resources document serves as a starting point for those identifying and securing PPE resources. It is subject to change as resources or programs evolve over time.