All of our community’s needs are met with cooperation, collaboration, and generosity.
The Homer Foundation’s mission is to enhance the quality of life for the citizens of the greater Homer area by promoting philanthropic and charitable activities.
Our Shared Values
Members of the Homer Foundation Board of Trustees recognize that they play an important role in the community; that their role is sustained by the public trust; and that certain obligations follow from that trust. The following shared values reflect the commitment of the Homer Foundation to provide the most effective stewardship of the charitable resources with which it has been entrusted.
- Develop a permanent endowment for the community.
- Meet prudent standards in the stewardship of philanthropic assets.
- Promote effective and responsible grant making designed to serve current and future community needs.
- Demonstrate community leadership in identifying problems and designing philanthropic solutions.
- Assist donors in fulfilling their philanthropic goals by providing a variety of philanthropic mechanisms
- Members of the Homer Foundation Board of Trustees:
- Deal respectfully with applicants, grantees and donors, as well as those simply seeking information about their programs.
- Are accessible and respond clearly, promptly, and as fairly as possible to requests for information and meetings.
- Make readily available basic information about their programs, funding priorities, and application requirements.
- Respect the confidentiality of applicants, grantees, and donors and use discretion in communicating with others about specific organizations and individuals.
- Are thoughtful and purposeful in their grantmaking and periodically review and evaluate their mission, priorities, policies, and practices.
- Recognize the cultural diversity of the community they serve and seek to reflect this diversity in their grantmaking and donor relations, and in the make-up of their board, staff and advisors.
- Adhere to the highest standards of ethical behavior and maintain an appropriate conflict of interest policy.
- Are aware of and fulfill their fiduciary and legal responsibilities.
- Champion the concept of private giving for the public good.
- Participate in the national community foundation field, statewide network and the philanthropic community as a whole.
- July 22, 1991: the HF is the first community foundation to be established in Alaska. It is the combined vision of Ken Castner and Steve Yoshida. The HF begins with $75,000 in pledges from three founding donors, Steve & Noko Yoshida, Julia Park Howard and Tom Bodett. There are only 300 CF in the country at this time.
- 2000: After nine years as an all-volunteer organization, the HF hires its first executive director, Joy Steward. Steward had served as board secretary six years.
- 2000: HF enters into Memorandum of Understanding with the City of Homer to administer the City of Homer Grants Program. The City’s annual allocation is to provide general operating support for nonprofits within the City of Homer. At the same time, the City of Homer Fund is established as a permanent endowment, with the vision that City support for nonprofits would eventually come entirely from the fund earnings.
- 2003: Early and substantial support of the New Homer Library project: the HF pledges $50,000 early in the project. Diane Kaplan of the Rasmuson Foundation later reported this got her attention when she read it in the Anchorage Daily News. The Rasmuson Foundation comes in with $1.4 million for the project because of the strong local support, and connects the project to USDA and Economic Development funding.
- 2004: HF establishes the first YAC (Youth Advisory Committee) in Alaska using the Michigan Council on Foundations’ model. In 2006 YAC makes presentations in Juneau providing inspiration for Juneau Community Foundation to establish their own youth philanthropy group. The HF YAC receives the 2008 “Outstanding Youth Group in Philanthropy Award” from AFP, Alaska Chapter.
- June 22, 2005: the Rasmuson Foundation celebrates their 50th Anniversary with festivities in Homer and recognizes the HF with a $50,000 unrestricted grant.
- 2005: Published Kachemak Bay, a book of local photographs and essays as a fundraiser and visibility builder for the Foundation.
- January 26, 2007: HF receives commendation from the 25th Alaska Legislature.
- February 28, 2007: HF establishes the Aquila Fund, a permanent endowment to support Foundation operations.
- 2007: HF surpasses $1 million mark for grants distributed to the community.
- 2007-2010: HF participates in the Community Asset Building Initiative, administered by the Alaska Community Foundation and supported by the Rasmuson Foundation. The initiative includes technical assistance, trainings, matching grants, the opportunity to build a network of community foundations statewide, and a permanent endowment fund held and managed by ACF for the benefit of the Homer Foundation.
- 2008: HF YAC receive the 2008 Outstanding Youth Group in Philanthropy Award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Alaska Chapter.
- 2010: HF partners with local weekly newspaper, the Homer News, to provide a year’s worth of articles on philanthropy written by HF board members, staff and local writers.
- 2010: Thanks to ground work laid by the Juneau Community Foundation to have community foundations qualify as fundable by the legislature, the HF receives a $30,000 direct legislative grant to support Community Education in Homer.
- 2011: Arctic Sun, a diptych carved in silver maple was presented to the Homer Foundation by artist Ron Senungetuk.
- 2012: HF is fiscal sponsor for the Homer Playground Project (HoPP)
- 2012: The Homer Community Chest Fund is established as a restricted fund to support individuals and families in need.
- 2016: HF publishes second edition of their popular Kachemak Bay book.