April 2021 Newsletter: New Growth

Update from Executive Director

April! The month of flowers and new growth….or this year, more snow. April is also Homer City Grants season.

The Foundation has administered the City of Homer Grants Program since 2000 as a free service to the community under guidelines developed by the city and the foundation. Since 2000 over $860,000 has been awarded to local nonprofits to support the programs and services they provide to the community.

In the 2021 funding cycle a total of $31,500 was available for distribution.  This included funding from the city budget ($25,000) and earned income from the City of Homer’s ($6,145.93) and the City of Kachemak’s endowment funds ($276.06), which Kachemak City includes each year in the spirit of good neighbors. The Foundation adds a small portion to make a round number. The 2021 distribution of funds is similar to 2020, although overall amount was slightly more in 2020 due to some left over funding from the previous year.

A total of 14 applications were received and reviewed. The committee’s recommendations for the following awards were approved by the Homer Foundation Board of Trustees at their March 24th board meeting:

Organization                                              2021 Awards

Bunnell Street Gallery                                   $  1,000

Center for AK Coastal Studies                      $  1,000

Cook Inlet Keeper                                         $  1,000

Homer Community Food Pantry                    $  5,500

Homer Council on the Arts                             $  2,000

Homer Farmers Market                                  $  4,500

Homer Hockey Association                            $  2,000

Hospice of Homer                                          $  3,500

Kachemak Bay Family Planning Clinic          $  3,500

Kachemak Heritage Land Trust                     $  1,000

Kachemak Nordic Ski Club                            $  1,000

Kachemak Pony Club                                    $  1,000

KBBI                                                               $  3,500

SPROUT                                                        $  1,000

Total:                                                              $31,500

This year’s City of Homer Grants Committee consisted of HF Board of Directors Paul Seaton (chair), Ken Taylor, and Dave Derry, with community members Chris Brown, Cass Crandall, Janie Leask, and Chris Story.

It is a challenge to review organizations with very different missions, but all committee members agreed these nonprofits are high functioning organizations providing valuable programs and services to the community.

Along with the essential and community enriching impact these organizations have, nonprofits have a real and important impact to the local economy. Each year we take the opportunity to note some significant impacts these nonprofits have locally.

  • Total Revenue: Over $6.8 million in total revenues
  • $3.6 million in new money coming into Homer from state, federal and other foundation grants.
  • 89 full, part-time, and seasonal employees with combined personnel expenses exceeding $2.9 million.

More indirectly, many nonprofits draw people to the community who spend money here positively affecting sales tax revenue. The data from these organizations helps to illustrate what a great investment the City Grants program is and how important Homer’s nonprofit sector is as an economic driver.

The City’s continued support is more important than ever by providing important general operating dollars and demonstrating local support. Proof of local support in often an important component when leveraging additional funding from other sources. The community benefits because a strong nonprofit community makes Homer a safer, healthier, more vibrant place to live, play, and work. 



Do you know any graduating high school seniors? Did you know that the Homer Foundation is the largest local awarder of scholarships, with over $29,500 available for awards this year? And did you know that applications for our scholarships are due April 8th, 2021? For more information or to apply, click the button below. 

Recent Grants

You have helped make a difference in your community! See how your support has impacted the world around you:

Anchor Point Food Pantry

Their latest project is new signage for a box truck they were gifted. The gifting agency only asked that they change the art on the sides of the truck. The Kenai Peninsula Food Bank (shown above) gave the APFP a 14 ft. box truck because the pantry has had such an increased demand of food items and supplies.   How much more demand? October 2019, prior to the pandemic, they served approximately 240 adults and 70 children and in October 2020 they served 674 adults and 554 children the increase of children was due to a kid’s program where we provided 250 bags to the local children. 
In Dec. 2020 they served 854 adults and 427 children. 

We look forward to seeing the new look!

Friends of Kachemak Bay State Park Water Trail Committee

This organization maintains the trails available in Kachemak Bay State Park including the water trail.  FKBSP received funds to assist with rebuild and expanding the capacity of their website. The Water Trail website is an interactive tool that includes maps, descriptions, suggested itineraries, photos and
public access points in the State Park. Visitors will benefit from the improved website which will be  updated and it will become
more user friendly. This could impact thousands of visitors as they can check the website before their trip to plan their adventure. They can refer to the maps and other information while on the Bay if they are in cell phone range.  The website should be up by July. Happy paddling!

Bunnell Street Arts Center

The Bunnell Street Arts Center received funding for “Bunnell Arts on Air” in partnership with KBBI Radio. With Homer Foundation’s support monthly concerts will resume in late April/early May. Approximately twenty musicians will participate and about 10,000 Homer area residents in KBBI’s reach, from Ninilchik to Nanwalek all around Kachemak Bay will benefit from participating in this program over the airwave. Keep enriching our airwaves and our lives! 

Philanthropy Fact of the Month

Religious institutions receive the most charitable contributions (33% of all donations) followed by the educational sector (13%)