February 2023 Newsletter

February 2024 Newsletter

Connecting generosity to community need.

Homer Foundation Reaches 100 Funds 

Great news you can share! The Homer Foundation is growing. Our donors entrust us to steward $6 million in assets across more than 100 funds – yes, more than 100 funds and growing! – supporting the local organizations and issues that matter to them most in our communities.

“As a donor to the Homer Foundation, your goals are our goals and we will work with you to champion the organizations, causes and areas you are most interested in,” says Mike Miller, executive director.

“We have six basic fund types with flexible options. You can add to an existing fund, create your own named fund, incorporate the Homer Foundation into your estate planning – or do all three. You decide when to give. You decide what to give. We can help you give in perpetuity or retain liquidity for immediate giving.”

Homer Foundation investments are professionally managed and invested in Vanguard Institutional Investment Funds and overseen by the Homer Foundation Finance Committee. Tax deductions are earned at the time of your gift, while grants awarded from your fund will continue into the future.  

To see a list of Homer Foundation funds, visit our new donation portal. We have highlighted five funds with broad community impact which many people chose to give to. To see a list of all of our funds, click “show all funds” to the right of the search bar below. You may also search by fund name if you know it.

It is a privilege to do the work that we do everyday. We welcome the opportunity to better understand your goals and how we can best support your wishes while building a lasting investment in the future of the Southern Kenai Peninsula. To learn more, contact Mike Miller, mmiller@homerfoundation.org, 907-235-0551.

Welcome H & H Smile Fund

We are delighted to welcome Brian Harrison and Suzanne Haines to the Homer Foundation Community Cares Fund (CCF) family. Brian and Suzanne recently established their CCF, giving it the name “H & H Smile Fund”. 

“As long-time Homer residents, our family has benefited from living in this community in so many ways. It feels right to pay that kindness forward. The Homer Foundation CCF is the perfect vehicle to help us in that pursuit. We share a common vision with the foundation and are excited to become a part of it,”  shared Brian and Suzanne.

To learn more about starting your CCF or any of the six fund types at the Homer Foundation, contact Mike Miller, executive director, mmiller@homerfoundation.org, 907-235-0551.

Future of Philanthropy

We are so very grateful and proud of the work of our Youth Advisory Council (YAC). Go YAC! This youth-led team managed a $20,000 youth impact grant program from start to finish. They assessed local youth needs, published an RFP, reviewed and discussed grant proposals and awarded grants to eight local non-profits.

Congratulations to the 2023 YAC grant recipients: SPARC (Friday Night for Teens), HCOA (Mary Epperson Music Camp), Anchor Kings Wrestling (Equipment), USA Softball (Uniforms and bats), Homer Hockey Association (Free Ice Skating), Ninilchik Youth Camp (Horse Camp), Behavioral Health (Lending Library), Homer Trails Alliance (Stihl Brusher).

The YAC grant program is made possible by generous local donors who believe in the power of investing in community to strengthen community – and in particular, in investing in our youth. YAC members are provided the platform, professional resources and funding needed to identify, prioritize and help meet youth needs in our community. Through this experience, YAC members gain philanthropic understanding, experience and skills that they can build on throughout their lives.       

Do you have or know a high school aged student in our service area that might be interested in the YAC experience? If so, mark your calendars and keep your eyes peeled: Applications to serve on YAC open annually in September. The volunteer committee is open to all high school aged students in our service area (Southern Kenai, Ninilchik to Nanwalek and everywhere in-between!) including home schooled students. Meetings can be attended online. For more information, contact Lauren Seaton, lseaton@thehomerfoundation.org.

Thank you to our donors for making YAC possible and, a powerful and inspiring experience  for our youth! 

Applications OPEN thru March 24, 2024

What is the most important thing we can tell our young people? We believe in you and we want you to realize your goals!

Our 16 student scholarship programs provide awards ranging from $500 to $6,000, totaling $45,000 in funding for 2024. Thanks to the generosity of our donors, the Homer Foundation is proud to be the largest local provider of student scholarships on the Southern Kenai Peninsula. Since the Foundation started administering scholarships in 2000, it has awarded 349 individual scholarships totaling $463,997.

Applications are open thru March 24, 2024. Applicants must have graduated from a high school in our service area, which includes the following high schools: Connections through KPBSD (residence must be on Southern Kenai Peninsula), Homer High, Homer Flex, Kachemak Selo, Nanwalek, Ninilchik, Nikolaevsk, Port Graham, Razdolna, Susan B. English, or Voznesenka.

Application tip: Please take a few minutes to read through the scholarship descriptions. You may find that the name of the fund doesn’t tell you everything you need or might want to know. For example, you might be eligible for a scholarship that at first didn’t sound like a match.

To apply: https://www.homerfoundation.org/scholarship-applications/

Building Legacy thru Pick.Click.Give.

The 2024 PFD filing season is under way. Pick.Click.Give. (PCG) allows Alaskans to donate a portion of their Permanent Fund Dividend to causes they care about statewide – including the Homer Foundation.

PCG can be a great building block to establish or further your charitable giving legacy. You can use PCG to make an individual donation, contribute to a fund – or even start your own fund at the Homer Foundation. Homer Foundation Community Cares Funds (CCF) start with an investment of $5,000 – and for the first 10 CCF funds, just $2500 gets you rolling thanks to a generous 1:1 match from the Homer Foundation.   

The CCF is great for a family, couple or individual looking for an easy way to begin or expand their legacy; and, for people who want to invest for the long-term while still helping to meet the changing and urgent needs of communities today. Within the CCF family, your fund is tracked individually so you know how your legacy is growing under the professional management of The Vanguard Institutional Investment Funds and overseen by the Homer Foundation Finance Committee.

Get started today by going to pfd.alaska.gov to add a pledge to the Homer Foundation. To start a CCF fund or learn more about charitable giving opportunities with the Homer Foundation, contact Mike Miller, executive director, mmiller@homerfoundation.org


Update from the Executive Director

Love and the Future

I was recently able to transfer a family heirloom to my oldest grandson. It came with the story about my great-grandfather who gave the same heirloom to me. It was one of the best feelings I’ve ever had. Twenty years ago, I don’t think I could have imagined actually doing that. It was an unexpected expression of love.

February is the month of love. Marketers spend billions of dollars to help us remember that. One thing all donors to the Homer Foundation have in common: they all love their community, in whole or in part. That is why they give. They are compelled by a love and a passion for this place we call home.

One of the ways you can show your love to your community is through making an end-of-life gift to a fund managed by the Homer Foundation. By making a bequest through your will or trust, you can help meet our community’s needs that we can’t even begin to imagine today. Legacy gifts, or gifts through estate plans, can support the nonprofits in our community for generations to come.

Join the Legacy Society

We know that we can’t predict our community’s future needs, but it is a safe assumption that there will always be needs – whether it is an arts organizations working to enrich community, a social service group addressing hunger, or an ambitious and exciting new community project. Fortunately, the other thing we can be sure of is that there will be people who love their community and will work on those needs.

Because the Homer Foundation was created with the future in mind, we steward assets to last in perpetuity. We will continue to partner with donors, local non-profits and the community. When you include the Homer Foundation in your philanthropic legacy, you become part of loving your community in a new and larger way.

We appreciate the leadership of our legacy donors—philanthropists with the over the horizon vision for community support and change. Whether your gift continues the specific philanthropic work you are most committed to or is a gift to Homer Foundation to use in future needs, you can know with certainty those good works will continue.

Your legacy giving plan, whatever it is, is your gift to the future.  Contact us if you want to learn more. 

If you want to know more about how to create your personal legacy, call, email or stop by the office.

Philanthropy Reflection of the Month

What is a community foundation?

We are friends and neighbors who believe in the exponential power of local generosity and investment.