More than 150 Tier 1 awards were made in 2014. Curious about the geographic spread? In this week's post, Senior Program Associate Jeff Baird recaps Tier 1 grants and offers tips for future applicants.

Food Bank of Alaska received a Tier 1 award in 2015 to renovate parts of the warehouse, where Calvin Oktollik works to distribute produce and other food items across Alaska.

Well, well. You had a busy 2014. How do I know this? Because we had a busy 2014!

Before launching into the new year, we pause for a look back. Thanks to a strong collection of grant requests from nonprofit partners across the state, we awarded 154 Tier 1 grants in 2014 totaling $3,090,285.

Overall, there was strong representation from organizations around the state, including six awards to the Bering Strait region where there had been no requests in the recent past. Roughly 30 percent of Tier 1 grants were awarded to Anchorage organizations; 17 percent to applicants located in Southeast; 13% to Interior-based organizations and 10% to nonprofits in the Mat-Su Borough. We participated in multiple Tier 1 grant workshops and had countless conversations and strategy sessions both in person and via phone. For 2015, we hope to sustain that momentum. To do that, we need to continue building a strong pipeline of grant requests. As you mull your next Tier 1 application, here are a few thoughts to keep in mind:

  • A Tier 1 grant is a great introduction to the Foundation if an organization has never applied for funding or if it’s been some time since submitting a request.Having an established track record and familiarity with our processes help when it comes time to approach the Foundation for larger requests.
  • Staff is happy to discuss project ideas before you submit the request. We can give you a heads-up on things you may want to address in the project narrative. A complete application will expedite the processing of the request and can help avoid frantic, last-minute email exchanges.
  • While a variety of projects are eligible for Tier 1 funding, the majority of successful requests are for capital needs.
  • In most cases, organizations can only have one open Tier 1 at a time. After a Tier 1 project is complete and the grant is closed, organizations can apply again. We evaluate the merits of each individual proposed project when deciding on awards, not how recently an organization received its last grant.

So thanks again for all your hard work last year, and we look forward to seeing what you have in store in 2015!