March 2023 Newsletter: End of Life Giving

Recent Grants

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

Photo Credit: Long Bach Nguyen on Flickr
Civil Air Patrol – Homer

CAP was awarded a $1,577 Quick Response Grant supporting the program’s aviation/aerospace education objective involving multi-month builds of remote-controlled planes. The activities teach many engineering and technology principles, reinforce teamwork, and encourage the reaching of shared goals.

Once very active in the Homer area, the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) is a private, non-profit humanitarian organization. The program fills a need in the community as it supports science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) goals in education. The newly reinvigorated local program already has 15 participants.  

The benefit to the community includes growing demonstrated skills in youth, as well as STEM-based education. Participants grow a deep appreciation for applied science, volunteerism, and giving back to the community while growing in confidence and leadership abilities.

This project provides participants with real hope for their futures by inspiring them to build their futures through education. It builds confidence that they can be successful in what they apply themselves to, and creates a long-term, life changing impact to many who participate.

Photo Credit: Homer OPUS
Homer OPUS

OPUS was awarded a $5,000 Quick Response grant to streamline technology and update its strategic plan. Due to great local success and rapid expansion, OPUS has a need to improve it’s website and develop a new strategic plan to guide its steps. The project includes an information management overhaul including website, database, and e-newsletters.  Additionally, because of the recent successes and attaining of goals, the strategic and development plans need to be updated to better reflect the past successes and plan for the future.  Good job OPUS!

Photo Credit: HoWL
Homer Outdoor Wilderness Leaders (HoWL)

HoWL was awarded a $2,865 Quick Response grant to increase inclusivity in programming. Funds will be used to increase participation, train staff, and offer transportation and other scholarships.  

Scholarship Season

Just a reminder that it is scholarship season at the Homer Foundation. Scholarship applications need to be completed by March 24th. Our scholarships range from $500 to $8,000. Most are available to graduates from any high school in our area from Ninilchik to Nanwalek, including homeschool graduates. Some are general in nature and others are specific for certain fields of study like healthcare, wildlife, and science to name a few. Follow this link to learn more or apply.

Photo Credit: Mike Miller

Update from the Executive Director

End of Life Giving, Part II (continued from February newsletter):

Happy March. My goodness, the days are feeling nicer almost every day.

Last month I started doing a deeper dive regarding end-of-life (bequest) giving. This month we’ll cover some additional aspects. I’m also going to show you the simplest way to leave a bequest gift. 

What can be given as a bequest gift? Basically anything you could have given in life, plus a couple of things you can’t give in life.

A bequest gift can be simple or complex. The more complex the gift, the more likely you will need some sort of estate document to guide it. Even aside from end-of-life giving, a will or a trust document are a good investment whose benefit extends far beyond charitable giving. Generally, they bring clarity to loved ones during a difficult and emotional period. They help your loved ones make sure your wishes are carried out, as well as ensure that your gift will do what you want it to do after you’re gone.

Cash, stocks, securities, and precious metals are often given as bequest gifts. Some people will leave their home or other property as a gift. Valuable art, vehicles, and other significant personal property can also be the basis of a bequest gift. In these cases the nonprofit will typically sell the property and use the proceeds of the sale as the gift.

As the giver, you can give direction about exactly what you want to happen with your gift in one of two ways. One alternative is to give detailed instruction about the gift in the will or trust. For example:

“My home is left to ABC Food Pantry and the value is to be used to buy food for hungry children.” Alternately, you can leave general instruction in the will or trust and use a “directive to beneficiary”  to the recipient detailing what you want to happen with the gift.  The will would read something like: 

“I leave all my estate to the “Better Arts Academy.”

Then, the directive to beneficiary states more specifics like:

“50% of the estate shall be used to develop new dance programs, 25% shall be used in painting programs, and the remainder shall support operations.”

The benefit of the second option is you can change the direction of the gift without opening up the will or trust documents. These are just made-up examples but you get the idea. It seems complex, but it is actually quite easy when you jump in.

A Simple Gift: Speaking of easy…You can leave a bequest gift with nothing but your signature. Really??? 

Yes, really. If you have life insurance, a bank account, or an IRA, you can designate that a nonprofit be a “Pay on Death Beneficiary.” You do this by filling out the beneficiary information on your account or policy to designate a local nonprofit be the beneficiary at your passing for all or part of the balance. Speak to your agent, broker or banker to get the right form. No need to open the will or trust and it bypasses the probate process. Easy-Peasy.

Here’s a “Pro” tip. Whether it is in a will, trust, or a pay on death beneficiary form, make sure to include the agencies name and EIN. Nonprofits frequently have similar names. The EIN is the taxpayer number for the agency. No two are the same. You can call the agency for the number or find it online at sites like GuideStar or ProPublica.  The Homer Foundation’s EIN is 92-0139183. 

With a minimal amount of leg work you can leave an amazing legacy. Don’t let the mechanics be a barrier to your giving plans.


Next month: What is the Homer Foundation’s role in the community regarding end of life giving?