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. 

January 2023 Newsletter

Connecting generosity to community need.
Image courtesy of @Arctic Stills Photography.

Image courtesy of @Arctic Stills Photography.

The Homer Foundation has passed another milestone. Total assets under management at the Foundation have exceeded $6,000,000. The most important thing we can say about this is: kudos to the residents of the Southern Kenai Peninsula! Over the past thirty-two years, your community foundation has grown from a bold new idea for Alaska, to a well-established model and community resource awarding over $5,000,000 in grants and scholarships right here on the Southern Kenai Peninsula.   

Connecting generosity to community need is more than our mission, it is the passion of every volunteer, staff member and donor at the Homer Foundation. These simple words are painted across one of our office walls in beautiful burgundy letters just beneath our logo. They greet every visitor to our office and guide every conversation at our meeting table. 

Area residents are increasingly turning to the Homer Foundation as a trusted partner – from  individual donations to legacy giving and estate planning. Homer Foundation investments are professionally managed and invested in Vanguard funds and overseen by the Homer Foundation Finance Committee.

A modest percentage of earnings (typically 4% of a eight quarter average of funds) are made available for annual grantmaking while the corpus continues to grow, helping donors and the foundation sustainably meet today’s urgent needs while building for the future. As the Foundation has grown, so have the ways to give and invest with options for endowed and non-endowed funds.  We continue to steward these assets both for today’s needs and for tomorrow’s promise. 

It is a privilege to do the work that we do everyday. Thank you for believing in this bold idea for Alaska! Thank you for investing in your community’s future with the Homer Foundation. Let’s keep growing together! 

Steadfast Service

At its December meeting, the Homer Foundation Community Grants Committee recognized three outgoing committee members: Kathy Hill, Francie Roberts (pictured above) and Tom Collopy. This all-volunteer community committee has the important job of reviewing grant applications and making funding recommendations to the Homer Foundation board of directors. Francie Roberts served on the committee for seven steadfast years. Tom and Kathy served on the committee since it was founded in 1992 – an incredible thirty-one years of service. Kathy Hill shared with committee members that “It has been a privilege and honor to serve on this committee. I especially loved being able to see what organizations are doing across the community and to watch them and the Homer Foundation grow.” Thank you Kathy, Francie and Tom! To learn more about volunteer opportunities at the Homer Foundation, contact Mike Miller, executive director, mmiller@homerfoundation.org, 907-235-0551.

Thank you Dave & Beth

As we kick-off 2024, we would like to extend a big thank you to Dave and Beth Schroer for their year-end $25K Opportunity Fund Matching Gift Challenge. We are excited to report that you, our donors, exceeded the challenge and set an Opportunity Fund giving record!

Your response tells us you care about your community and you value the Homer Foundation. It also tells us how much Dave and Beth are personally appreciated by people across the Southern Kenai Peninsula. Countless donors specifically mentioned Dave and Beth when making their gifts. Some were friends, some were simply inspired by the Schroer’s generous call to action. 

We thank Dave and Beth, and you our donors, for your generous support of community. The unrestricted Opportunity Fund is one of the most important funds at the Homer Foundation, making it possible for the Foundation to support urgent and sometimes larger community needs, and to create new opportunities such as the Community Cares Fund launched in the fall of 2023.   

Alaska Chess
Ninilchik Food Bank/ARCHES
Chapman School

“The impact is felt for the entire family as they play chess together and with other families.”

Chess has exploded in popularity over the last few years and Alaska Chess would like to keep the momentum going. The non-profit organization, founded in 2018, was recently awarded a Quick Response grant of $3,160 to provide chess sets and instructional programs for 70 students from Ninilchik, Anchor Point, Homer and Seldovia. “Chess instructs so many skills and brings the family together. Research repeatedly concludes that students involved in chess had higher math and reading test scores and an increased interest in STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) for boys and girls,” says Andy Haas, a founding instructor, Alaska Chess.

“More on the tables of our community”

Ninilchik Food Bank/ARCHES Alaska organization was awarded a Quick Response grant in the amount of $3,800 to help establish a food pantry in Ninilchik.

ARCHES (Arts, Recreation, Conservation, Humanity, Education, and Science) was created as the steward organization for Salmonfest in 2019, ARCHES’ mission is to support worthy endeavors on the Southern Kenai Peninsula.

Grant funds will be used to update aging equipment used by food pantry volunteers including refrigerator, freezer and shelving.

“Emphasis is on learning through direct experience in the outdoors.”

Students at Chapman School in Anchor Point have been working hard in preparation for Expedition Yellowstone, a five-day curriculum-based residential program in Yellowstone National Park. In addition to tackling pre-expedition classwork, students have been fundraising for the expedition. A Quick Response grant of $5,000 from the Homer Foundation will help them meet their fundraising goal. Expedition Yellowstone is a program of the National Park Service designed to increase understanding of natural and cultural history through the lens of Yellowstone National Park. The program also helps students build teamwork and stewardship skills as they study, plan and execute their trip.

New Year…New Inspiration! Volunteer!

Looking for something fun, easy and inspiring this winter? Serving on the Homer Foundation City Grants Committee is as easy as

1-2-3 and one of the most rewarding ways to support your community:

1) Participate in a 1-hour Orientation Meeting

2) Read through grant applications (approx. 2-3 hours reading time)

3) Participate in a 2-hour Decision Meeting

It’s really that easy. In addition to being fun, it’s a great way to meet community members, learn more about what is going on in Homer and to share your voice. Don’t take our word for it, past committee members tell us it is one of the easiest and most rewarding community volunteer experiences they have had.

To learn more about the City of Homer Grants program, see City of Homer Grant Program below. **To qualify for the City of Homer grants committee, you must be a resident of Homer.**

To apply, click here. https://www.homerfoundation.org/committee-members/

Now Accepting Applications:  

City of Homer Grant Program

The City of Homer and the Homer Foundation are pleased to announce that 2024 City of Homer (COH) grant program is open.

This program provides general operating support to locally based non-profit organizations that deliver services to residents within the City of Homer and Kachemak City. Funds for the program are made possible through a generous annual allocation from the City of Homer combined with earnings from the City’s endowment fund at the Homer Foundation.

The 2024 grant program has $34,200 available to award. This is a competitive grant process open to non-profits located within Homer City limits whose core programs, activities, and services are offered within the Homer City Limits. Applications must be received by midnight on Friday, March 1, 2024. Notification letters will be mailed by March 31, 2024. For details and to apply, click here.  

It’s that time of year in Alaska! 

It that time of year again…time to recycle wrapping paper, toss out any remaining holiday cookies, maybe put on stretch-y-er pants and oh, yes, fill out your application for the Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD). PFD applications are now open thru March 31st and we’d like to give you a new way to think about your PFD by investing in the Homer Foundation Community Cares Fund (CCF).

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.

You can get started today with a CCF investment of $5,000 – and even less! For the first 10 donors to the fund, just $2,500 gets your CCF rolling thanks to a generous 1:1 match from the Homer Foundation Board. From here, you can begin to build your legacy. 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.

While your PFD might not get you all the way there, it could make that legacy dream a lot closer. To find out more, contact Mike Miller, executive director, today!  



Update from the Executive Director

Image: Thank you to Homer photographer Andrew Tomey for sharing
his work in this edition of the Homer Foundation eNews. To see more,
find him on Facebook and the web @Arctic Stills Photography.  

New Year….New Legacy

I hope everyone had a great holiday season. I spent time outside in Wisconsin and the Kansas City area.  Along with Christmas I was there as my step daughter got engaged (congratulations Sarah and David) and in Kansas City visited with two of my children and 6 of my 7 grand children. They are the most amazing little people (ages 3-14).

Many of us have causes we donate to throughout our lifetime. We help important charities with funding missions we care about, sometimes deeply. The Foundation just came through our yearly giving campaign and had a great response from donors who believe in and support the Foundation’s mission. Thank you all so much for your generosity.  As a not-for profit leader it is always humbling to see and feel such amazing support. 

Yearly giving is an important event to all nonprofits. Legacy giving, however, is a little different. Yearly donations are the answer to the question: “how can I help today?” Legacy gifts are the answer to: “how can I help tomorrow?” and “how would I like to be remembered?”

People usually think to look at their estate documents at some milestone event. A birth, a wedding, a funeral all can prompt us to think about our lives. At the start of a new year people sometimes consider the state of their life and want to make adjustments. One of those questions can be what has been the impact of my life? A legacy gift to a cause you care about can be one part of the answer to that question.  

So how does one make a legacy gift?  It’s very easy and there are couple of ways:

  • You can leave detailed instructions in your estate documents (a will or trust.). These documents can cover all types of gift including stocks, bonds, money, real estate and all sorts of valuable personal property. 
  • For life insurances, bank accounts etc. you can designate a “pay on death beneficiary.” At the donor’s passing the funds are transferred to the beneficiary.
  • You can leave the Foundation a “directive to beneficiary” which is a description of how you want your donation used. That can be as informal as a signed note or letter. It can also take the form of a donation agreement approved by the donor and the Board of Trustees in advance which will become active as soon as it’s funded. Many donors like the surety of knowing exactly how their donation will be used.

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

Happy 2024!

Philanthropy Reflection of the Month

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in service to others.

December 2023 Newsletter

Connecting generosity to community need.

Scholarship Applications Open Dec. 1-Mar. 24
Paul Story, HHS Counselor, Lauren Seaton, HF Office & Program Manager, and
Dorothy Fry, Nikki Geragotelis (Fry) Memorial Scholarship, recently met with parents
and students during the HHS Financial Aid and Scholarship Information Night.

Lauren Seaton, Homer Foundation Office & Program Manager, and Dorothy Fry (Nikki Geragotelis (Fry) Memorial Scholarship), recently participated in a Financial Aid and Scholarship Information Night at Homer High School (HHS). The event was hosted by HHS counselors Paul Story and Sue Reynolds and attended by approximately 50 parents and students.

The Homer Foundation is proud to be the largest local awarder of scholarships on the Southern Kenai Peninsula. This year, over $40,000 is available for awards through our 16 scholarship programs. Homer Foundation scholarships are supported by permanent endowments administered by the Foundation and would not be possible without the vision and generosity of community donors. Since the Foundation started administering scholarships in 2000, it has awarded 349 individual scholarships totaling $463,997. 

“These scholarships have value well beyond the monetary. Each one sends an important message to the recipient and their family: ‘You have a future and your community believes in you,” said Mike Miller, Homer Foundation Executive Director.

Scholarship Applications are open Dec. 1, 2023 – March 24, 2024. For information on current year awards, deadlines and applications, visit: www.homer.org/scholarship-applications/ or follow the QR code below.

Legacy Giving

“Homer Foundation knows our community and they are here for us.” Cameale Johnson

Our donors have many reasons why they chose to partner with us from local expertise, trust & accountability, personalized service and holistic community focus.

Cameale Johnson recently sat down with us to share her personal story of how the generosity of others transformed her life at a pivotal moment, and why she has chosen to become a Homer Foundation Legacy Donor. (follow this link)

From Annual Giving to Legacy Giving, the Homer Foundation offers a variety of options for donors to invest in our community. To learn more, contact Mike Miller, Executive Director, mmiller@homerfoundation.org, 907-235-0551.  

CCF Welcomes Angie and Chris Newby

Homer Foundation is pleased to welcome Angie and Chris Newby as our first Community Cares Fund investors. “We’re excited to establish a CCF fund. Creating a fund with the Homer Foundation is something we’ve been thinking about for a while and this is just the opportunity we’ve been looking for,” shared Angie Newby.

Curious? You can get started today with a CCF investment of just $5,000 – and even less! For the first 10 donors to the fund, just $2,500 gets your CCF rolling thanks to a generous 1:1 match from the Homer Foundation Board. From here, you can begin to build your legacy. As return on your CCF grows, it is invested back into the community thru grants awarded under the guidance of the Homer Foundation Community Grants Committee, helping to meet most urgent community needs and greatest opportunities for impact. 

To find out more, contact Mike Miller, Executive Director, today at 907-235-0551 or mmiller@homerfoundation.org

Hospice of Homer
Homer Trails Alliance
Kachemak Heritage Land Trust

“Volunteers come to Hospice of Homer with so much to give…Targeted education can enrich the experience for
clients, caregivers, and volunteers.” 

Hospice of Homer received a $5,000 grant to support “Walking Each Other Homer”, an education journey for their End-of-Life doula program. Volunteer death doulas complement the existing healthcare system and ease some of the strain on home health nurses at South Peninsula Hospital. The number of individuals ages 65 and older living in the Southern Kenai Peninsula is growing more rapidly than in other parts of Alaska. Hospice of Homer is looking ahead to the needs of this community and building sustainable programs to help them to safely live in their homes longer and to die with dignity and respect in the location of their choosing.

“This grant helps make it possible possible for us to spend more time doing what we do: building and maintaining trails

In early summer 2021, community volunteers organized to champion trails and connectivity within Homer’s neighborhoods. As a result, the Homer Trails Alliance was (HTA) created to advocate for trails, to coordinate safe walkability efforts
with community partners, and to maintain and develop trails on the north side of Kachemak Bay. A $5,000 grant will help fund the purchase of an ATV so HTA can  “spend more time doing what we do, building and maintaining trails, instead of spending so much time figuring out logistically how we are going to move materials by hand or who would be willing to lend us their ATV.” 

“As the KHLT land conservation portfolio grows and the complexities of permanent
land conservation increase, we must focus on efficiency to remain nationally accredited and meet the needs of our community and land we protect.”

Founded in 1989, KHLT is the oldest Alaskan land trust. Their mission is to acquire and conserve
land. KHLT then monitors their lands annually to identify if there are any changed conditions that are inconsistent with the conservation purposes of the property, whether it is owned
outright or protected through a conservation easement. A $4,000 grant from the Homer Foundation will help KHLT advance GIS mapping technologies and staff skills. 

Update from the Executive Director

December Potpourri…..

Annual Report: Our Fiscal Year 2023 Annual Repot is out now. Along with being a large part of our transparency and a great marketing tool, the report contains some interesting facts about the Foundation. (Did you know we’ve given away more than $5,000,000 in grants and scholarships?)  The report also has some great  stories about grants and donors. If you’d like a hard copy send a note to info@homerfoundation.org or you can find it on our website here 2023-Annual-Report.

Annual Meeting: Thank you for everyone who came out to the annual meeting. It was wonderful to see so many friends.  Many thanks to the Homer Council on Arts for hosting the space for us, especially Scott Bartlett who along with Homer musicians, Martie Krohn, Cathy Stingly and Cindy McKenna, provided the evenings music. They were simply wonderful. Also congratulations to the “People’s Choice” grant recipients, Homer Council on the Arts $500 and two grants to the Homer Community Food Pantry for a total of $1000! The people have spoken.  

End of year giving: Wherever you give, don’t forget to be generous to the causes you care about. Inflation cuts into their ability to accomplish their missions too. If you can manage it, help a little extra where it does the most good.

While we’re talking about giving, don’t forget about the ongoing donation match we have at the Homer Foundation. Through the end of the year thanks to a generous gift, Dave and Beth Schroer will match all gifts to the Homer Foundation Opportunity Fund up to $25,000. The Opportunity Fund is what we use to make community grants right where they’re needed. You can double your gift to your community!

That’s a happy holiday! Be warm and safe. 

Philanthropy Reflection of the Month

Giving reminds us of our capacity to make a difference. 

November 2023 Newsletter

How your giving makes a difference in communities from

Nanwalek to Ninilchik and everywhere in between.

The Milky Way over Cook Inlet, Alaska, October 2023. Joe Llenos.  
The Milky Way over Cook Inlet, Alaska, October 2023. Joe Llenos.  
Please help spread the word…Grant Opportunity 
Youth Advisory Committee
Awarding $20,000 this year
Grant Applications Open until November 28, 2023
For details and to apply, click here.
Questions? Contact info@homerfoundation.org

Community Cares Fund Kicks Off! 

As a donor, do you like the rewarding feeling of responding to the community’s most urgent needs? Have you ever day-dreamed about creating an individual or family charitable legacy at the Homer Foundation? The new Community Cares Fund (CCF) may be just what you are looking for.

You can get started today with a CCF investment of just $5,000 – and even less! For the first 10 donors to the fund, just $2,500 gets your CCF rolling thanks to a generous 1:1 match from the Homer Foundation Board. From here, you can begin to build your legacy.

Next, give your fund a name. It might be a family name, a clever name, or any name that is meaningful to you. You may also remain anonymous. Either way, your direct investment in your CCF is never touched. It is pooled with other CCFs and invested to grow into the future under the management of the Vanguard Group, Inc., an American registered investment advisor, overseen locally by the Homer Foundation Finance Committee.  

As return on your CCF grows, it is invested back into the community thru grants awarded under the guidance of the Community Grants Committee. This group evaluates incoming grant proposals to determine the most urgent community needs and greatest opportunities for impact.

Add investment to your CCF over time, at your own pace and enjoy that rewarding feeling of building your legacy while helping to support community today.  

To find out more, contact Mike Miller, Executive Director, today!



Celebrating the Work of Recent Grant Recipients
Anchor Point Library

“We have patrons from Homer to Ninilchik that regularly make use of our library. We offer services to everyone who comes through our doors. We have found that computer use is a big part of the services patrons are seeking.” 

The Anchor Point Library serves thousands of area patrons every year. A $10,000 Community Impact grant from the Homer Foundation will help the library replace broken and out-of-date computer equipment vastly improving the library’s ability to manage operations and serve patrons.


“Jam sessions are a crucial component of musical education and development, providing a framework and structure for participants to explore their musical
voice, style, and technique.”

Homer Council on the Arts launched community jam sessions in 2022 as a forum for community members to
gather in a no-pressure artistic and creative space. Sessions are egalitarian in nature; each individual makes their own selection or passes. Some attendees
prefer to sing along or just listen. A $4,800 Quick Response grant from the Homer Foundation provides funding for additional jam session equipment and facilitator honoraria.

West Homer

“Our program gives a
large number of children the opportunity to try this fantastic recreational
opportunity in our town when they otherwise would not be able to.”

Begun in the 1990s, the West Homer Elementary Cross County Ski program serves up to 60 students each year. While some students have their own ski equipment, many do not, opting to utilize skis, poles and boots provided through the program. A $5,000 Quick Response grant will provide funding needed to replace 19 sets of equipment that are at the end of their usable life. 

Thank you

& Welcome

“We live in a wonderful community and this is a way I can add sustained value.” 

                  Lawrence Radcliff

This month we say thank you to two board members and welcome to our newest! 

Terri Spigelmyer and Lawrence Radcliff are completing their service on our board. Terri Spigelmyer is a past board president and vice president. Most recently she has served as Development Committee Chair, leading new efforts such as the annual spring Eggs Benefit fundraiser which raised over $47,000 last year. Terri has graciously committed to continue serving on the Development Committee.

Prior to joining the board, Lawrence Radcliff served on our Community Grants Committee. The experience inspired him to join our board where he continued to be a champion for community projects including the SPARC, and philanthropy, also serving on the Foundation’s Development Committee. 

We are delighted to welcome Dr. Bill Bell to our board. Dr. Bell arrived in Homer in 1981, working with Dr. Eneboe. Shortly thereafter, Eneboe and Bell founded the Homer Medical Clinic. Bell has been a donor to the Foundation since it’s inception with a particular interest in supporting the Health Care Providers Scholarship Fund and the Homer Mariner Fast Pitch Softball Fund. Interested in helping Dr. Bell grow these funds? He has a pitch to make!   

Update from the Executive Director

Bear 128, known as Grazer, became a first-time champion of the
2023 Fat Bear competition hosted annually by the National Park Service. 

Impactful Donations

Here is a little non-profit “inside baseball” for you. Almost half of nonprofits (47%) start their end of year giving in November. Over 30% of all giving in the United States happens in December of each year. For the Homer Foundation it is also the giving season. While knowing when is good, knowing why people give is even more important

Most giving is a response to one of several areas. Reasons like personal connection to the issue or cause, positive experience with the nonprofit, social influence or being asked by a friend all are important to donors. What I want to focus on here is donations making an impact.

When donors see the impact their donations made, they are willing to give more to make a progressively bigger impact. Ninety-seven percent of donors cite the impact of their gift as the main reason for giving. Donors want to make a difference. It’s not about need. It’s about impacting that need.

Will a donation to the Homer Foundation make an impact? Yes. Your gift to the Homer Foundation makes an impact where it’s needed most. Right now, through the end of the year your gift can make twice the impact due to a generous challenge match by Dave and Beth Schroer. The Schroers will match the first $25,000 in donations to the Homer Foundation Opportunity Fund. The Opportunity Fund is how we make the grants that are most needed in our communities. Grants supporting youth activities, supporting food programs, care for veterans and much, much more.

As you consider your giving this season, make the biggest impact. If you want to hear more about your donation’s impact, come to our annual meeting (above) and mix and mingle with your friends as we unveil our latest annual report.

Make an impact on what you’re passionate about!

Philanthropy Reflection of the Month

“Walk humbly, now.

You are not obligated to complete the work,

but neither are you free to abandon it.”

Rob Radtke, President of Episcopal Relief & Development

October 2023 Newsletter

October Newsletter

How your giving has helped make a difference in your community.

Heather Pancratz Memorial Scholarship at Faith Christian Preschool

Congratulations Wesley! Wesley is the first recipient of the Heather Pancratz Memorial Scholarship at Faith Christian Preschool. The fund was started in memory of a beloved educator from the southern Kenai Peninsula, Heather Pancratz. Wesley’s mom, Alyssa shared the following: “We are happy to accept this generous donation toward Wesley’s first year with Homer Faith Christian Preschool. We are truly grateful to be part of furthering Heather’s commitment to youth, community and family. We look forward to the 2023-2024 school year with excitement and anticipation for all that’s to come.” 


The Alaska Warrior Partnership has been awarded a $5,000 grant from the Community Grants Committee and Opportunity Fund in support of the AKWP Veteran Outreach and Engagement to Combat Isolation in Homer project. Over the next year, AKWP will host quarterly convenings to assist the Homer veteran community. Image: Alaska Warrior Project.


The David & Mary Schroer Fund has designated 11 area schools and community organizations to receive a total of $24K: Homer Middle School, Homer Foundation Youth Advisory Committee, Homer High School Booster Club, KBBI Radio, Homer Community Food Pantry, Homer Mariner Softball, West Homer Elementary, Paul Banks Elementary, McNeil Canyon Elementary, Homer High School and Homer Flex School.   


Homer’s Guiding Growth conversation series received a $2,050 grant from the Willow Fund to support a comprehensive community conversation training led by the Alaska Humanities Forum. Through civic discourse, good conversation, and relevant resources, Guiding Growth’s purpose is to empower diverse participation in the vision of how the Homer community develops.

To find out more, contact mercedesharness@gmail.com.

Update from the Executive Director
A good fall goes a long way to make up for a wet summer. 

In honor of October being National Estate Planning Awareness Month, the Homer Foundation wants to honor our Legacy Society members (both named and anonymous). These are individuals who have included gifts to the community through a Homer Foundation fund in their estate plans. Whether it be a gift via a Will to establish a scholarship, provide a steady income to one of our area nonprofits, or provide funding for an area you were passionate about in your life, legacy gifts have become an important way for people to continue in death what they loved in life.

Your dream matters and your gift counts. Legacy gifts help the foundation fulfill its mission of connecting generosity to community needs.  We can work with you and your estate representative to ensure your gift makes the impact you wanted it to make, while at the same time working to minimize tax impacts so more of your estate does what you intended it to do.

If you’re not satisfied with your estate plans (will, trust, beneficiary designations), or your life situation has changed, please take time this month to schedule a time with your estate planner. At the same time, connect with me at the Homer Foundation and we can help you find the right place to give. mmiller@homerfoundation.org or 907-235-0551.

If you want to know more about the Foundation’s Legacy giving follow this link: https://www.homerfoundation.org/homer-foundation-legacy-society/

Philanthropy Fact of the Month

The five pillars of philanthropy: inclusion, transparency, empowerment, collaboration and celebration.

September 2024 Newsletter

How your giving has helped make a difference in your community.

Recent Grants


Kachemak Bay Lions Club provides Thanksgiving food baskets to families in need each year, and have been doing for over 30 years. Last year, they were able to provide baskets to 193 families, serving 670 people, and they anticipate providing approximately 200 families this year. Due to the COVID pandemic, their traditional fundraising model is no longer successful and they have requested this grant during their transition to a new fundraising model. They have received $5,000 from the Homer Foundation. 


Razdlona School is planning on building a shed and selling it as a practical application of math skills for their students. They are receiving a $4,272 grant from two donor advised funds of the Homer Foundation. The grant is split between the Dave and Beth Schroer Fund and KLEPS Fund. After the kids have finished the lesson, the project shed will be sold and the proceeds used as seed money for future programs going forward. 

Update from the Executive Director
And just like that….. it’s fall. 

Why a “community foundation?”

Some of you may be considering starting a personal or family charitable fund. Lots of investment companies can do that for you. As a matter of fact, they will ask you to keep your funds with them.  So why consider using a community foundation? Are there any benefits? Yes, and very important benefits if you have general or specific goals for your giving. 

Here are eight reasons…..

1. Personal local service. You don’t have to call a 1-800 number routed to Denver or New York to get in contact with us. We offer our donors a personalized level of service tailored to their needs. At the Homer Foundation, you can call directly to Lauren or I who can work with you, your family and your professional advisor to provide a customized giving plan. We can meet over coffee, at your kitchen table or in the office, wherever you’re comfortable.

For example, when one recent donor wanted to create two special funds with her estate, we sat down in our office mapping out her wishes, and created a unique giving plan for her estate. “I just feel like you guys understood what I wanted to do,” said the donor. 

2. Local Commitment.  We’ve been here for 33 years and given out over $5,000,000 right here in our communities. Our local Board of Trustees is made up of knowledgeable community leaders and volunteers like you, who serve as the policy makers and ambassadors for the Homer Foundation.

3. Local Area Expertise We provide donors with localized community expertise. Not sure where the community needs are? Ask us. We make grants to many of the same nonprofits our donors support. We work closely with non profits across our area and understand their needs. This deep understanding allows us to help you align and make the most impact with your charitable dollars. 

4. We can help donors manage their long-term legacy.  With the Homer Foundation, donors have many options for building a lasting legacy. Whether you want to support a single agency or an entire field like “social services” or “the environment” we can help you reach that goal. 

5. Effective giving solutions. Our agility to create custom giving plans helps you maximize the tax advantages of giving, creating a donor-advised fund, or using beneficiary designations. We help donors to identify the best way to carry out their philanthropic goals. We are the perfect partner to help manage a meaningful and lasting charitable legacy.

6. We accept a wide range of assets. In addition to accepting gifts of cash or stock, we also accept a range of non-cash assets such as real estate, annuities, life insurance, metals, vehicles, other valuable personal property and more. We can help donors and their professional advisors identify which assets would be best to give.

7. Immediate and Long-Term Impact. The Homer Foundation is committed to the stewardship of assets to ensure that the charitable goals of donors are met now and for generations to come. We also have shorter term giving options to see a more immediate impact of giving.

8. Privacy. You decide when or whether you want to be recognized for your gift or remain anonymous. You can feel secure in knowing that your personal information will never be disclosed.

By giving through a community foundation, you are supporting local philanthropy and the causes you care about in a long-term manner. 

Apologies on the tardiness of this email, we have been busy!

Philanthropy Fact of the Month

In 2022, the largest source of charitable giving came from individuals, representing 64% of total giving. 

City of Homer Grant Program: Now Accepting Applications

The City of Homer Grants program is now open and accepting applications until March 1st, 2024. 

A reminder, this program is made possible through an annual allocation from the City of Homer and annual earnings from the City of Homer endowment funds. Criteria have been established taking into consideration the City of Homer’s intent to support locally based non-profit organizations that provide services within the City of Homer.

This funding is for general operating support for organizations who provide programs and services that enhance the life for the residents of the City of Homer.

This year, $34,000 is available in this competitive grants process. 

A reminder that the previous year’s evaluation must be submitted by February 24, 2024 in order to be eligible for this years funding as well. 

Contact the Office and Programs Manager Lauren Seaton at lseaton@homerfoundation.org or 907-235-0544 with any questions or concerns.

2023 Annual Meeting

Reminder: Annual Meeting this Week

Please join us this week for our Annual Meeting as we celebrate the good work of grant recipients and generosity of donors who help to make the Southern Kenai Peninsula a better place to live. Enjoy a glass of wine or a cup of tea, visit with friends and neighbors, community leaders and donors. 

The meeting features the presentation of our latest annual report, including investment performance review, highlights from our grant programs, and stories of how you, the donors, are strengthening our community.

In addition, you have a chance to win one of three different $500 People’s Choice Award mini-grants for your favorite eligible nonprofit. Each person registered by 6:00 PM will be entered for a chance at nominating an eligible nonprofit from the Southern Kenai Peninsula to receive one of these awards!

We are your community foundation, we hope to see you there.

Please note: this is an in person meeting, no Zoom available

2023 YAC Grant Program Opens

Did you see the exciting news from the Homer Foundation: the Youth Advisory Committee (YAC) Grant program is now live and accepting applications through November 28th, 2023? This program is accepting applications from organizations that provide programs or services to the youth of the southern Kenai Peninsula.  You are included because your organization has received funding from this program before or I thought it might be of interest.

This year, the committee is looking to support projects or programs that support any youth program/project on the southern Kenai Peninsula. Preference is for out-of-school programming and for programs that target some or all of the 4-14 age range. 

For more information or to apply, find our application here.

This is a competitive grant program with a total amount of $20,000 awarded. 

Apply by November 28, 2023.

Do reach out if you have any questions or concerns to Office and Programs Manager Lauren Seaton at lseaton@homerfoundation.org or 907-235-0544.

August 2023 Newsletter: Summer… finally

How your giving has helped make a difference in your community

Recent Grants
Burning Basket: $1,200 from Bryce Golden Memorial and Opportunity Funds

Burning Basket is celebrating 20 years and has received a $1,200 grant from the Homer Foundation to support project expenses.

This is a grassroots community interactive, impermanent art experience that builds community and empowers individuals through creativity and imagination. All ages are invited to participate in the building of a large outdoor intricately woven sculpture at Mariner Park Sept. 3-9, daily from 11am-8pm, to learn new skills and share ideas, and to decorate it in the theme of gratitude, remembrance of departed loved ones and personal unburdening. The basket, as temporary art, is ultimately ignited and burned as a performance of fire-art to symbolically disperse our collective positive intentions and is experienced by many as public art as a healing force. This year’s theme is CREATE – Basket of Remembrance & Unburdening.

Alaska World Arts: $5,000 from Opportunity Fund

Alaska World Arts aims to cultivate global connections through the arts. While they can’t take a whole community to see how other cultures live, Alaska World Arts is working to bring those cultures to

Homer and expose our community to a broader worldview.

AWA recently received a $5,000 Quick Response Grant from the Opportunity Fund for costs associated with the production of a night of two musical performances with AbbaFab, an Abba tribute band; a night of storytelling with an NPR Moth winner, a New Zealand storyteller, homesteader Atz

Kilcher, a black history storyteller, and a world-traveler; African dance and drumming workshops; and an international

dance performance.

Nanwalek IRA: $4,032 Grant from the Opportunity Fund

The Nanwalek IRA Council has run a summer youth worker program for over twenty years. With the first round of COVID relief funding, the council also decided to purchase a greenhouse, with the intention for the summer youth worker program to maintain the greenhouse each summer with food produced for the entire village of Nanwalek. In addition to planting, the youth are learning about seed gathering, fertilizing, and composting while waiting for the plants to grow. They received a grant of $4,032 from the Homer Foundation to implement this program. 

Annual Donor Thank You Picnic

The Foundation’s 2023 thank you picnic for donors was our best-attended ever. After welcoming 60 guests a year ago, this year’s picnic drew 80 donors!

A special tribute video was shown and a presentation was made to mark a significant lifetime giving milestone by Dave & Beth Schroer, who have heavily invested in our local community, particularly in the schools. The Schroer’s lifetime contributions to the Homer Foundation have now reached $1 Million!

In addition, our Executive Director, Mike Miller, and our Board President, Van Hawkins, both spoke and gave updates on the state of the Foundation. Giving in fiscal year 2023 was exceptional, and enabled the Foundation to do some robust grant making right here at home on the Southern Kenai Peninsula. We had an increase of 90 donors this year, up a whopping 25% over our last fiscal year. We had 313 donors a year ago, but this year went over 400 donors, our most ever! We have also reached $10 Million in total donations since our founding in 1991, as well as $5 Million granted out to the community. What a year of milestones!

Whether you were able to make it to the picnic or not, we are grateful for every one of our donors, and every dollar given. You are the ones who make it possible to improve the quality of life for residents of our communities – from Ninilchik to Nanwalek, and everywhere in between!

Update from the Executive Director
Summer… finally

Staff Transition

As many of you know, 7/31 was Director of Development and Marketing Jonathan Hamilton’s last day with the Homer Foundation. Jonathan did a great job making the Homer Foundation better known in our area. Through social media, mailings, and radio he spread information about the good work of the Homer Foundation. He is looking forward to spending time with his family and being a pastor of a church in Anchor Point. We will miss him.

The good news is that after recruiting all over Alaska and the Pacific Northwest, we have found our next Director of Development and Marketing right here in Homer. Jennifer Gibbins will start in the position on September 5th. Most recently Jennifer was the executive director of the Pratt Museum until March of this year. Before that, Jennifer held several communications and executive positions in nonprofits in Alaska. Jennifer brings great experience, nonprofit knowledge about marketing and fundraising, and a passion for this area. We look forward to having her on board.

Summer. Get out and enjoy it while it’s here!


Charities need flexibility in how they use donations. Designating money to a specific project is great, but you should also consider giving without conditions, allowing the organization the flexibility to meet changing needs – including just keeping the lights on.

Learn More.