OVERVIEW: This funder supports Alaska-based nonprofits, individual artists and nonprofit leaders in the areas of arts and culture, health, social services, housing and the promotion of philanthropy.
FUNDING AREAS: Arts and culture, health, social services, housing, promotion of philanthropy
IP TAKE: Arts and culture have been Rasmuson priorities for quite a while. Alaskan artists of all types should know them. There are some great opportunities for capital projects and capacity building here.
PROFILE: The Rasmuson Foundation is based in Anchorage, Alaska, with a mission to promote a better life for Alaskans. This foundation was established in May 1955 by Jenny Rasmuson to honor her late husband, E.A. Rasmuson. They were Swedish immigrants that lived and worked in Alaska and loved the state. Today, the foundation is guided by the third and fourth generations of the family.
This foundation has five main areas of interest: arts and culture, health, social services, housing, and promotion of philanthropy. Giving is limited to Alaska. Grants go to Alaska-based nonprofits, individual artists and nonprofit leaders. In a recent year, the foundation had assets of at least $652 million and paid at least $25 million in grants.
Nearly one-third of recent Rasmuson grants have been in arts, culture and the humanities. The next-largest grant categories are human services, organizational development and health. In terms of geography, the parts of the state seeing the greatest support are Southcentral, Southeast and the Interior. Grantmaking commitments were the highest in 2013 and 2014, but have dipped in more recent years.
Rasmuson offers several funding opportunities with Rasmuson. Over 150 tier one grants are approved each year, and these mostly go towards capital projects up to $25,000. Tier two grants are more than $25,000 and go for large building projects and other innovative projects that impact broad communities or have statewide significance. The foundation awards grants to individual artists in Alaska, and there’s also an artist residency program to send Alaskan artists to the lower 48 states. Rasmuson grants up to $40,000 for sabbatical support, makes program-related investments, and funds arts education in schools. In 2014, the foundation launched a long-term sustainability opportunity for Alaskan arts organizations. There are also foundation initiatives for affordable housing, oral health, alcohol consumption, the growth of philanthropy, nonprofit development, and arts and culture.