Atwood Foundation

OVERVIEW: Atwood supports nonprofits in and around Anchorage, Alaska, in the fields of the arts, journalism, history, and civic events. Special priority is given to youth causes, and unsolicited applications are accepted.

FUNDING AREAS: Youth, education, the arts, journalism, history, civic events

IP TAKE:  This foundation has a small staff but a good amount of money to spend locally each year. Give the executive director a call to discuss your project idea before sending in any paperwork.

PROFILE: The Atwood Foundation is one of the biggest local funders in Alaska. The Anchorage-based outfit was established in 1962 by newspaperman Bob Atwood, who you can learn more about in this book. Bob's wife was Evangeline Rasmuson Atwood. Evangeline’s brother, Elmer, became one of the biggest philanthropists in Alaska.

Grantmaking interests are youth, education, and the arts. Atwood also awards grants in the fields of journalism, history, and civic events, as well as post-secondary journalism education at UAA and scholarship programs at APU. Geographically, Atwood is solely concerned with the people of Anchorage and the surrounding areas.

In the past, one grant application deadline has fallen in May for consideration in June. A second annual deadline has traditionally been in August for consideration in September. The board meets quarterly in March, June, September, and December. Nonprofits can email, mail, or hand-deliver applications to the foundation. If it’s your first time applying for an Atwood grant, you should call at least two weeks before the next grant deadline to discuss your idea beforehand.

To be eligible for an Atwood grant, you must be based in Anchorage and intend to use the grant funds to serve people in the Anchorage area. The grant application, application checklist, and contract and reporting requirements can all be downloaded from the Atwood website.

Recent support has gone to the Alaska Dance Theater, the Asian Alaskan Cultural Center, and the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. A significant number of grants have gone to local arts groups lately in dance, theater, music, writing, and arts education. A list of recent grants is here. In the past, total annual grantmaking has been around $1.2 million to $1.3 million.  

The foundation staff can be reached at 907-274-4900, and its address is 301 West Northern Lights Boulevard, Suite 440, Anchorage, Alaska 99503. Emails with general questions can be directed to atwoodfoundation@gci.net. Executive director Ira Perman is the best contact for grantseekers. The foundation is also run by a board consisting of a chairman, vice chairman, treasurer, and three directors. The board chairman, Ed Rasmuson, is Evangeline’s nephew and the son of Elmer Rasmuson.

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