By Alaskans, for Alaska
Alaska has a long history of people making their fortunes in the state but when it came to giving back, they were spending it elsewhere. For decades, we have worked with The Alaska Community Foundation to address this.
In 2008, we partnered to launch the Affiliate Program as a way to build philanthropy in communities across Alaska and encourage Alaskans to donate to the communities they love. With the support of matching funding from Rasmuson Foundation and back-end administration from The Alaska Community Foundation, 11 communities now have local affiliates.
These community funds encourage local donations, grow funds for community-driven projects and help local leaders identify problems and solutions.
- Chilkat Valley Community Foundation (Haines and Klukwan), launched in 2008
- Cordova Community Foundation, launched in 2019
- Golden Heart Community Foundation (Fairbanks and North Pole), launched in 2008
- Jessica Stevens Community Foundation (Talkeetna and Upper Susitna Valley communities), launched in 2008
- Kenai Peninsula Foundation, launched in 2008
- Ketchikan Community Foundation, launched in 2013
- Kodiak Community Foundation, launched in 2013
- Palmer Community Foundation, launched in 2017
- Petersburg Community Foundation, launched in 2008
- Seward Community Foundation (Seward and Moose Pass), launched in 2008
- Sitka Legacy Foundation, launched in 2013
Leveraging dollars for impact
These local funds have proven to be one of the best ways to encourage communities to invest in themselves. They are fundraisers and grantmakers, partners and conveners. So far, they have raised more than $15 million to establish permanent endowments and support local needs: food pantries and community gardens, end-of-life care, culinary arts training, a playground built for all abilities and a drone for avalanche forecasting. Some of the affiliates already have endowments topping $1 million or even double that — ensuring sustainable grantmaking far into the future.
When a new nonprofit, Humanity in Progress, formed in Petersburg to help those with unstable housing, its first grant came from the local community foundation for a food pantry and rent and utility assistance. When Cordova created its community foundation in 2019, a local family pledged $1 million, knowing that other dollars would follow.
Support in creating a community fund
One of our largest investments to date is $10 million over 10 years, through 2025, to support the affiliates’ operations and grantmaking. This helps new funds get off the ground and become sustainable. The Alaska Community Foundation provides financial support too. Together, we match locally raised dollars, up to $30,000 a year. Affiliates also get a part-time program manager, technical expertise, legal and fiduciary oversight and investment of assets.
Five additional communities have long-standing local funds housed at The Alaska Community Foundation. They collaborate with ACF on critical issues and expand the network of resources in Alaska.
The partner funds are:
- Arctic Slope Community Foundation, established in 2009
- Bethel Community Services Foundation, established in 1992
- Chugiak Eagle River Foundation, established in 1996
- Homer Foundation, established in 1991
- Juneau Community Foundation, established in 2000
Starting a local fund
It takes time to build support in a community. To get started, reach out to The Alaska Community Foundation Affiliate Program team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The power of local giving
Visit The Alaska Community Foundation website to see what local funds can do for local communities.