The Homer Foundation

OVERVIEW: This funder supports a wide variety of community needs in Homer, Alaska. There are several grant programs that accept applications.

FUNDING AREAS: Community needs, youth, education, arts and culture

IP TAKE:  Homer offers an immediate response fund and an emergency loan program, making this a great funder if your nonprofit experiences unforeseen events or needs funding quickly.

PROFILE: The Homer Foundation is based in Homer, Alaska, and supports local nonprofits in the area. It was the first community foundation in Alaska, largely because of the vision of Steve Yoshida and Ken Castner. The foundation manages approximately 52 charitable funds, including unrestricted funds, donor-advised funds, agency endowment funds, field-of-interest funds, and scholarship funds. The Repair and Replacement Fund helps local nonprofits; the Homer Community Chest provides emergency support for local people in need.

The Homer Foundation accepts grant requests up to $5,000 from a wide variety of local nonprofits. These are for the Immediate Response Grant Program, which accepts requests all year. Expect a two-week response time. The foundation also administers the City of Homer Grants Program, which supports nonprofits in the community. The foundation also manages an endowment fund for the city.

A Youth Advisory Committee Grants Program focuses on youth-related issues. It’s a good idea to contact the foundation if you work with local youth to learn about current focus areas and guidelines. This hands-on program involves local students in all aspects of grantmaking and fund development.  

Links to grant applications are provided on the funder’s website. Find application guidelines and grant budget and evaluation forms here. General interests of the foundation are community development, youth, education, and arts and culture.

In addition to grants, the Homer Foundation also awards several scholarships to students in the area. There are about 11 scholarships that students can apply for. Current year applications are posted in January. Homer provides short-term, no-interest loans to nonprofits that experience unforeseen events as well. At the beginning of a recent year, the foundation claimed over $2.1 million in net assets and more than $1.7 million at the end of the year. Current financial data is here.

The foundation staff can be reached with general questions at info@homerfoundation.org or by phone at 907-235-0541. The foundation is run by Executive Director Joy Steward, along with a CPA, a bookkeeper, and a volunteer administrative assistant. It is overseen by a volunteer board of directors, with Ken Castner as the board chair and investment manager. The Homer Foundation address is P.O. Box 2600, Homer, Alaska 99603. Upcoming foundation events are shown here.

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