February Newsletter: Planned Giving

Recent Grants

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

South Peninsula Hospital Foundation

In an effort to build a broad coalition to tackle the local housing shortage, a group of organizers are working together to create a public forum intended to listen to residents and empower them to participate in solutions. Organizing members are from the City of Homer, Homer Chamber of Commerce, KPEDD, SPHF, and Resilience Coalition.

SPHF is planning on hosting a professionally-facilitated event at the end of March (Possibly March 25th) with the intention of bringing people of various backgrounds together to move forward as a community. We aim to collaboratively identify the barriers to housing solutions and break out into specific focuses to plan how to advance the needs of our area. This grant is for $1,500 to support this event.

Homer Community Food Pantry

Homer Community Food Pantry received $4,936 from the Opportunity Fund to bridge a gap in State funding  used to provide breakfast foods to our community for the next two months. Because families are prioritized in this program, students will be going to school after a nutritious start to the day and better able to focus on learning. 

New Funds
Marilyn Wythe “Believe in Yourself” Scholarship Fund

We are excited about the creation of a new scholarship fund!

Created in honor of the late Marilyn Wythe by her husband and children, the “Believe in Yourself” scholarship fund will be awarded annually to one graduating high school senior who attends school in The Homer Foundation’s service area, which includes all of the communities between Ninilchik and Nanwalek.

The award will start at $1,000 per year with the hope of increasing that in the future.

If you would like to give to the fund to help make that happen, please click the link here, then click the “Donate” button, then select “Marilyn Wythe Scholarship” from the dropdown menu.

Any students interested in applying for scholarships should click the link here.

Peony Gardens Beautification Fund

We are pleased to announce that the Peony Gardens’ Beautification Fund has been established at The Homer Foundation with an initial gift of $10,000!

Grants from this new fund will be administered by the Homer Chamber of Commerce, with the intent to continue the Peony Gardens Beautification Project in the Central Business District of Homer.

As the City of Peonies, this Fund will allow non-governmental organizations, as well as businesses located within Homer, Alaska’s Central Business District to apply for funding through the Chamber in order to create or maintain gardens of peonies.

Cook Inletkeeper “Climate in Action” Agency Endowment Fund

This fund will support community-led climate action projects within the Cook Inlet watershed, with an emphasis on the establishment of woody vegetation to meet conservation goals. The fund has been established with a generous $3,000 gift from a local resident invested in Cook Inlet watershed issues, as well as $7,250 transferred to Cook Inletkeeper from the Kenai Watershed Forum.

Focus On Planned Giving

We will soon be starting a new campaign on KBBI emphasizing planned estate gifts of any size. Listen out for our spot just prior to the morning newscast on our local public radio station every Monday through Friday!

Do you want your generosity to help meet community needs on the South Peninsula for years to come? You can do exactly that with a planned estate gift of any size to the Homer Foundation. A bequest gift is an enduring commitment to the community which ensures that the things you care about will continue here at home.

A bequest of any size can easily be made in your estate plans. We will work with you and your advisor to evaluate giving options that reflect your values and address your tax situation. Contact the Homer Foundation today to ensure your legacy for the next generation.

Update from the Executive Director

Recently, together with attorney (and HF Board member) Terri Spigelmyer, we spoke to the Homer-Kachemak Bay Rotary Club about end-of-life giving. We talked about the why, who, what, and how of this topic. This month and next, I’m going to tease out those areas a little. 

Why are we talking about this now? We are at an exceptional time in history. Baby Boomers are getting older and over the next 20 years, $30-40 Trillion dollars WILL change hands generationally (according to Forbes magazine.), more than at any other time in history.  What does that mean for our society?

Well, for one, as we get older, many people are starting to think about the causes and organizations they love and what will happen to them when they are gone. As they say, none of us are getting out of here alive. Whether it’s the arts, education, the environment, fighting hunger, or something else, people are concerned about the causes and organizations to which they have dedicated so much. They want to continue supporting what they spent a big part of their lifetime caring about. Those people are turning to end of life gifts to continue to support those things they gave to in life.  

Who is making end of life gifts? There is a misconception in some quarters that end of life gifts are a tool of  millionaires and billionaires.  Nothing could be further from the truth. While large gifts are amazing and get a lot of attention, the truth is much more marvelously mundane. The average end-of-life gift (sometimes called a “bequest” gift) is $37,000. That is the average gift, meaning about half are less than that amount.

Most donors making these gifts are people of average means. Many donors like the idea of leaving a bequest gift, and can give a larger bequest gift than they felt comfortable giving while they were alive. At this point, they don’t need the resources and can give without fear of running short. Other facts are that both women and men make bequest gifts, but women are slightly more likely to do so. And not surprisingly, about 80% of people including a bequest gift in their estate plans are over 44 years old.  

Next month: What can be given as a bequest gift? What are the the mechanics of giving a bequest gift? What is the Homer Foundation’s role in the community?


Philanthropy Fact of the Month: small gifts make a BIG difference!

Very large gifts by some of the wealthiest Americans reached a total of nearly $15 billion in 2021. Yet, these types of megagifts (defined as gifts of $450 million or more) represent only about 5% of all individual giving.