Recruitment of Homer Foundation Executive Director

The Homer Foundation, founded in 1991, values its vital role as a community foundation in enhancing quality of life through local grant-making and developing philanthropic potential in the Foundation’s service area.  We serve communities in Homer, Anchor Point, Ninilchik, Seldovia, Nanwalek and everywhere in between.


The Homer Foundation has experienced significant growth and is poised for increased impact in the future. Prudent resource stewardship and impactful grants solidify our role as a trusted community partner for both today’s donor and long-term endowment donors. Our successes demonstrate that the Homer Foundation will exist as an independent community foundation in perpetuity.

With an office in Homer, the Foundation is located on the southern Kenai Peninsula, one of the most beautiful places in Alaska.  We are seeking an inspirational servant leader to steward the next stage of our expansion. This visionary leader will continue to build the reputation of the Foundation as the preferred source for long-term philanthropy and enhancement of community resources throughout the region.

Position Overview: The Executive Director position will lead with an entrepreneurial spirit, aiming to grow and diversify revenue streams, expand our reach, and enhance the programs and services. These efforts will enrich our communities and provide opportunities for continued growth of the Foundation’s impact. Working with a Board of Trustees and a staff of two, the Executive Director will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of the organization’s operations, including fundraising, program development, financial management, staff supervision, and volunteer engagement.

The Executive Director will be an articulate, passionate, and motivational leader who inspires others to engage with our mission. They will work closely with the Board of Trustees to ensure that the Foundation is fulfilling its mission and serving its constituents effectively. The Executive Director will also be responsible for cultivating and maintaining relationships with key stakeholders, including donors, partners, fellow philanthropies, community leaders, and represented citizenry.

The Executive Director will be a strategic thinker who is able to balance short-term needs with long-term planning. They will have excellent communication skills and be able to represent our organization to a variety of audiences.

The position is a .8 FTE with a starting salary range of $80,000- $87,000 DOQ. The Homer Foundation offers a flexible work place, a 403B retirement plan, 10 paid holidays and PTO.

Qualified interested individuals should submit a cover letter and resume. The position is open until filled. First screenings will happen May 13, 2024.

Resumes and questions can be emailed to:  edsearch@homerfoundation.org

May 2024 Newsletter

Greater Measurements

With deep gratitude, we are excited to share that our second annual Spring Eggs Benefit breakfast was attended by over 90 guests, raising over $60,000 for Opportunity Fund grants and Homer Foundation operations. This included a very generous $25,000 matching gift challenge from Dave and Beth Schroer.

Speakers at the event included Denise Pitzman, board president,Paula Martin, board vice president, Mike Miller, executive director and Cameale Johnson, fund donor. Miller told the gathering that thanks to the generosity of area donors, “the success of the Homer Foundation is the community’s success.” Miller invited the audience to think about the many ways in which we can measure success.

“What if we measured success by the success of local nonprofits who we help empower to do more for the causes they so passionately fight for? Or how many kids had a moment of inspiration they’ve never had before, or how many people went to bed unafraid of where their next meal was coming from? All great measurements,” said Miller. “What if we measured by how much “community” and the passion for community was in the foundation? Those are all part of what we do. That’s the Homer Foundation.”

“You are here today because you care about your community. It’s not about moving the needle on the dial, it’s not even about a bigger pile,” said Miller. “It’s about making a difference in someone’s life. It’s about together, making a difference in our communities.”

The Homer Foundation is grateful to our guests, our Table Captains and our event sponsors Land’s End and Wagon Wheel. And, deeply grateful to Dave and Beth Schroer for their generous matching gift challenge that inspired and motivated us all.

If you would like to learn more about you can partner with the Homer Foundation to help make a difference in our communities today and for the future, contact Mike Miller, executive director, mmiller@homerfoundation.org. If your business is interested in sponsoring Homer Foundation events, contact Jennifer Gibbins, jgibbins@homerfoundation.org.


GRANTS AWARDED

INDEPENDENT LIVING CENTER

PROJECT GRAD

ANCHOR POINT SENIOR CENTER

The ILC TRAILS program has “helped our clients,who struggle with mental health and/or substance abuse disorders get involved in their community, build natural supports and improve their overall wellbeing on their paths to recovery.” – Jon McGhee, South Peninsula Behavioral Health Services. Inc.

“When PGKP staff show up …. our families know that not only will they have a fun evening learning and connecting, but will not have to worry about providing food for their children,”– Penny Bearden-Brown, Principal, Nanwalek School.

“It really does take a village.” – Cindy Burns, executive director, Anchor Point Senior Center

Homer’s Independent Living Center has been awarded a $3,462 Homer Foundation Quick Response grant in support of equipment for their TRAILS One Hit Wonders program. TRAILS was created to provide peer support for people and families living with disabilities, including preventing isolation by fostering lasting friendships and connections across communities. Within TRAILS, One Hit Wonders brings participants together in fun and exciting outdoor settings for activities such as dip-netting for salmon and berry picking, visits to the Homer Farmer’s Market, Seldovia,and area horse farms. Homer Foundation grant funds will help support the purchase of camping equipment for seasonal activities. “We see success in many different ways,” says Michael Gavillot, TRAILS program director.

A $5,000 Homer Foundation Quick Response grant will help support Kenai Peninsula Alaska Native Education Program Family Nights hosted by Project GRAD. According to Project GRAD, one in nine Alaskans struggle with hunger, a number that rises in rural and Alaska Native communities. Enriching Family Nights are offered quarterly during the dinner hour with activities and meals that families can enjoy together. The grant will help support 16 events in four communities thru June 2025: Port Graham, Nanwalek, Tyonek and Seldovia. Each community has a population of approximately 200-250 people. Project GRAD Family Nights gatherings reach about 20% of the overall population per event. “Bringing community together for a meal and engagement improves mental health and wellbeing,” says Jane Beck, executive director.

Since 2016, the Anchor Point Senior Center Incorporated (APSCI) has seen a steady increase in area seniors seeking help, support,activities and meals, with the number doubling in the past year alone. A $5,000 Homer Foundation Quick Response Grant will help complete the final stage of a three-year building restoration project including staining, patching, exterior lighting and signage to the Center’s log-home structure. “Presenting an agency building that shows it is cared for will do wonders to exhibit the pride we have for our community,” says APSC.APSCI has a core membership of 240 with many from Homer and Ninilchik taking part in activities, and an additional 500+ people a month engaged through outreach programs.


FRIENDS OF THE HOMER PUBLIC LIBRARY

“Studies by Dominican University show that students who participate in summer reading programs score higher on reading achievement tests at the beginning of the next year than those who don’t.”

ANCHOR POINT CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

“This project will enhance unity and civic pride in our community” – Anchor Point Chamber of Commerce.

Summertime fun at the Homer Public Library includes programs that help established and emerging readers stay motivated to read while also providing important social opportunities. A $5,000 Homer Foundation Quick Response grant will support Read, Renew, Repeat,an eight-week reading and literacy program this coming June and July that includes exciting programming with themes of conservation, environmental education and wellness led by local area experts in gardening, beekeeping, art,yoga, sign language and more.This Quick Response grant will also support large-format printing of stories for the Library’s outdoor Story Walk stations

The Anchor Point Chamber of Commerce (APCC) is undertaking a project to replace the two “Welcome to Anchor Point” signs on the Sterling Highway. “We firmly believe that investing in the revitalization of our welcome signs will yield significant returns by boosting tourism,enhancing community pride, and fostering economic growth. Furthermore, it will underscore Anchor Point’s commitment to creating a welcoming and vibrant environment for all who visit and reside here,” says Susie Myhill, APCC executive director. Community input is being sought on design and a fundraising committee has been established to secure additional project funds.

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR SEARCH

Our Executive Director, Mike Miller, is retiring this summer and the Homer Foundation is now seeking applicants for the ED position. Founded in 1991, The Homer Foundation was the first community foundation in Alaska. Our mission is to connect generosity to community need. We serve the communities of the Southern Kenai Peninsula, from Ninilchik to Nanwalek and everywhere in between. Under the general direction of the Board of Trustees, the Executive Director serves as the chief executive officer responsible for promoting the mission of the Homer Foundation and overseeing the administration of its planning and operations within the policies and goals of the Board of Trustees. The position is open until filled.Review of applications will begin this month. A job description and details onhow to apply can be found at https://www.homerfoundation.org/recruitment-of-homer-foundation-executive-director/.


SPRING 2024 SCHOLARSHIP AWARDS

Investing in Learning

Please join us in congratulating our Spring 2024 scholarship award recipients! Through the incredible generosity of our donors and community partners, the Homer Foundation is pleased to award 18 scholarships this spring,totaling $46,000 for area students.

Fifteen scholarship committees, comprised of 64 local community volunteers met in April to review applications with awards ranging from $1,000 to $7,000. The Foundation’s scholarship program offers support for a broad array of educational interests. This year’s awardee interests were heavily weighted in the sciences including marine biology, engineering, maritime industries and nursing. We want to extend a sincere thank you to our many scholarship donors and volunteer scholarship committee members for their investment in our student’s bright futures this year and for many years to come! We would also like to thank every applicant – whether you received an award or not – for your interest, time and effort in applying. We wish you every success.

A friendly reminder to all area students and potential scholarship committee members, the Homer Foundation Scholarship program opens again in the fall of 2024 and in the meantime, you can start to prepare by visiting https://www.homerfoundation.org/scholarship-applications/

To apply to be a committee volunteer, visit https://www.homerfoundation.org/committee-members/.

To help support area students by donating to an existing scholarship fund, or to create a scholarship fund, contact Mike Miller, executive director, mmiller@homerfoundation.org.

Frida Renner: Nursing Studies Scholarship.

Noah Spencer: Fish and Wildlife Scholarship, Homer Community Science Scholarship, Sutton James Miller Memorial Scholarship, (Mary) Joyce Robinette Memorial Scholarship, Diane Wambach Shoot for the Stars Scholarship.

Hazel Pearson: Homer Community Science Scholarship, Beluga Tail Non-Fiction Writing Scholarship.

Makary Reutov: Drew Scalzi Memorial Maritime Scholarship.

Sydney Shelby: Nikki (Fry) Geragotelis Memorial Scholarship.

Mindadora Reutov: Drew Scalzi Memorial Maritime Scholarship,Southern Kenai Peninsula Community Scholarship, Marilyn Wythe Memorial Scholarship, Drew Brown Memorial Scholarship.

Carrie Beach: Healthcare Providers Scholarship.

Livia Polushkin: Healthcare Providers Scholarship.

Deborah Weisser: Healthcare Providers Scholarship.

Briar Boyd: Healthcare Providers Scholarship.


MIKE’S MESSAGE

Being prepared is really this simple…

Scholarships are done, can summer be far off? We’ve had a busy spring already. As these seasons are changing, spring, it seems, is known for beginnings. It is a time of graduations and weddings. New things growing figuratively and literally. All around people are preparing – fisherman, contractors, excursion operations, gardeners. The short, intense season has everyone preparing.

If you are in a season of preparing and updating your estate plan, then you might want to consider making the commitment of a legacy gift to one of our amazing non-profits. We have funds that serve seventeen different local agencies with agency specific funds:

-Aquila Fund for the Homer Foundation

-KBBI Public Radio Endowment Fund

-Kachemak Heritage Land Trust Fund

-Hospice of Homer Fund

-Pratt Museum Fund

-Homer Council on the Arts Fund

-Center for Alaska Coastal Studies Fund

-Alaska Marine Conservation Council

-Kachemak Bay Family Planning Clinic Fund

-Homer Animal Friends Fund

-Friends of the Homer Public Library Fund

-Bunnell Street Arts Center Fund

-Homer Mariner Fastpitch Softball Fund

-Peter Larson Compassion in Action Fund benefiting Hospice of Homer

-Pier One Theater Gary Thomas Live Large Agency Endowment Fund

-Library Endowment Fund benefitting Homer Public Library

-Storyknife Writers Retreat Fund

If you love one (or more) of these agencies, and want supporting them to be part of your legacy, consider including a gift to these funds in your estate plan. Donating into one of these funds provides annual support to the agency in perpetuity. Include this directive in your estate documents or make the fund a pay-on-death beneficiary with the following simple language:

For a will or trust: I bequeath _____________(describe dollar amount, property to be given, or portion of residuary estate)to the Homer Foundation (EIN #92-0139183), a tax exempt organization under IRS Section 501 (c)(3), to be added to the __(fund name)________ Fund, a component fund of the Homer Foundation, and I direct that this bequest become part of this Fund.

Pay on death Beneficiary for bank accounts, insurance policies, etc.: Make the beneficiary: “Homer Foundation (EIN #92-0139183),  _______(name of fund)______.

It really is just this simple. Let me know if you have questions or would like to have a conversation about legacy giving with the Homer Foundation.

Let’s be prepared!

Mike

A complete list of our Family of Funds with options to give today online can be found by clicking here.

April 2024 Newsletter

A message from our Board of Directors

After five years with the Homer Foundation, Executive Director, Mike Miller will retire at the end of June. The Board of Directors would like to acknowledge Mike’s significant contributions to the organization.

Denise Pitzman, Board Chair, shared “Mike’s visionary leadership has been pivotal in advancing the mission of the Homer Foundation. During his tenure, the Foundation has grown to over 100 funds with more than six-million dollars in assets. We acknowledge and honor his invaluable contributions to shaping the past five years, as well as helping to set a successful course for the future of the Homer Foundation and the communities we serve. We wish him all the best in this new chapter of his life.”  

The board has appointed an ad hoc search committee and will conduct a national search for the next Homer Foundation leader. That committee includes Board President Denise Pitzman, President Elect/Treasurer Dr Paula Martin, Past President Van Hawkins, Leadership Policy & Planning Committee Chair Liz Downing and Board Trustee Doug Baily.

A job announcement and description can be found at www.homerfoundation.org.  

Mike’s last fulltime day in the office will be June 30th. As the time approaches the Board will appoint a transition committee to plan a smooth transition and transfer of knowledge.

Thank you for your continued support of the Homer Foundation. We look forward to continuing to work with and serve the communities of the Southern Kenai Peninsula.


To our Homer Foundation Family,

Recently, I informed the Board of Directors and staff that after five years as executive director, I will be retiring this summer. It’s time. It’s the right time for me, my family and I think for the Homer Foundation too.

Over the past five years, we’ve made a good number of system upgrades, so many in fact, that at one point I was asked to not upgrade anything else for 6 months, lol. Furthermore, with generous investment by our donors, combined with the careful stewardship by our board, the Foundation’s funds have grown significantly.

The Homer Foundation is in excellent financial health, has strong governance (best board I’ve ever worked with) and a small but mighty staff team. The Foundation is ready for continued growth and will be here in perpetuity.

My last fulltime day will be June 30th. I’ve told the board I’ll continue half time through the end of summer to ensure a smooth transition if the position has not been filled by then.  

There will be time for tallying score cards and teary goodbyes later but let me say it has been my privilege to be here and more than that, it has been fun. I know I’ll enjoy spending more time with my seven grand children, (and a bit more fishing) but will miss the good work we do together and I will miss all of you.

Mike


Opportunity (Fund) Abounds!
HOWL
Pratt Museum

“Looking forward, HoWL is trying to diversify the activities and expeditions we offer in order to appeal to a wider group of youth and to provide new challenges for returning HoWLers.”

“The goal of these programs is to inspire a deeper interest in engaging with the natural and social environment in ways that reflect the artist, historian and citizen scientist within each of us.”

Homer Outdoor Wilderness Leaders (HoWL) has been awarded a $4,224 grant from the Homer Foundation Opportunity Fund and the Daisy Lee Bitter Marine and Coastal Education Fund. HoWL’s mission is to empower young leaders through outdoor experiential education by providing fun and dynamic adventures in Alaska. On expeditions, HoWL participants can engage in a variety of activities such as rock-climbing, backpacking, kayaking and exploration. Based on feedback from program participants, the grant will support HoWL’s efforts to expand program offerings by providing more advanced expeditions for experienced youth “HoWLers” who are aging out of current programs.

The Pratt museum has received a $5,000 Homer Foundation Opportunity Fund grant in support of History + Nature Come Alive! Public Programs at the Pratt. Building on previous seasons of high-quality art, culture and science based educational programming, offerings will include workshops for all ages in nature journaling, foraging for wild foods, basket art weaving, fungi identification and sketching led by Homer area instructors such as Mavis Muller, Kim McNett, and Carla Klinker Cope. Additionally, the grant will support a summer student intern position who will work alongside museum staff to to create an  Historic Walking Tour along Pioneer Avenue that explores the rich and engaging story of Homer’s growth and adaptations.

Anchor Point Public Library
Pier One Theatre

“We have patrons from Homer to Ninilchik that regularly make use of our library.”

“Our mentorship program provides opportunities for teens to explore technical theatre, as well as stage management & directing as they work alongside experienced thespians.”

Opened in 1959, the Anchor Point Library is an essential resource for the approximately 2,000 people who live in the Anchor Point area. In addition to providing access to books and other reading materials,the library provides patrons access to computers and the internet. A recent Homer Foundation Opportunity Fund grant helped the library purchase new computer equipment; and now, a complimentary$4,900 Opportunity Fund grant has helped the library purchase a new printer. Not only will the printer be used by library staff, it will be available to library patrons, supporting needs such as faxing, scanning and printing that are not otherwise readily available in the community.

Youth theatre instruction is an integral aspect of Pier One Theatre’s mission. A $5,000 grant from the Homer Foundation Opportunity Fund will help support summer camp intensives for students ages 5 to 17, and technical theatre mentorships throughout the mainstage season. Pier One embraces the philosophy that hands-on, open-ended practice allows students to gain social skills and learn about responsibility, self-reliance, cooperation, and empathy; and that theatre activities engage their bodies & minds as they stretch toward creative goals.


New Partners

In Memory of Linda Kay Gjosund

Rotary Exchange Student Fund

The Homer Foundation is a catalyst for giving that strengthens communities in the Southern Kenai Peninsula area.

With generous investment from donors at all levels, and careful stewardship by our board, we invest in local organizations and area youth to help make our communities healthier, stronger now and in perpetuity.

Some donors choose to give to an established fund. Others chose to start their own fund. Others still, do a combination of investments.

At the Homer Foundation, your goals are our goals.

To find out more, contact:

Mike Miller, executive director 907-235-0551 mmiller@homerfoundation.org.

The Homer Foundation Healthcare Providers Fund has received a $10,000 donation from Louie Gjosund in memory of his wife, Linda Kay Gjosund.

Linda and Louie married just before he joined the Navy, and they were joyfully married for 50 years. Eventually the couple moved to Alaska, where Linda worked as the secretary for Paul Banks School, legislative aide for a state representative in Juneau and as president of the Center Mental Health Clinic in Homer.

Later in life, Linda experienced multiple medical issues and spent extended time in healthcare facilities. Their experience in the healthcare system inspired them to want to support the dedicated staff they worked with. In memory of Linda, Louie donated to the Healthcare Providers Scholarship Fund to help support students entering the healthcare field.

Homer resident Boyd Walker has been an active Rotarian for years, with a particular interest in supporting Rotary exchange students.

With a $10,000 gift, he recently established the Homer Foundation Rotary Exchange Student Fund to help support 5010 Rotary District Youth Exchange Students who are economically challenged.

Boyd shared with the Foundation the transformative power of a Rotary exchange student, both for the student and the communities that host them. Rotary exchange students come from all corners of the world, and all walks of life. Some arrive with more resources than others. The new fund will help provide financial assistance for eligible expenses.  


City of Homer Grants

Since 2000, the Homer Foundation has administered the City of Homer Grants Program, awarding  over $960,719 to Homer nonprofits in support of the programs and services they provide to the community.

This year, we are pleased to share that a total of $34,170 was was awarded to 13 organizations.  

As we celebrate our grant recipients, we also acknowledge the contributions they make to the fabric of our community. In 2023 alone, these organizations generated over $7.1 million in revenues, including $3.6 million in new money coming into Homer from State, Federal, and Foundation grants. They also employ 100 full, part-time, and seasonal employees with combined personnel expenses exceeding $4.1 million. The data from these organizations helps to illustrate just how important Homer’s nonprofit sector is as an economic driver in our economy.

Please join us in congratulating our grantees:

Bunnell Street Art Gallery, $1,000

Center for AK Coastal Studies, $3,000

Cook Inlet Keeper, $1,000

Homer Animal Friends, $1,500

Homer Community Food Pantry, $4,170

Homer Council on the Arts, $4,000

Homer Farmers Market, $1,500

Homer Hockey Association, $3,000

Homer OPUS, $3,000

Kachemak Bay Family Planning Clinic, $4,500

Kachemak Heritage Land Trust, $1,000

KBBI, $ 3,500

SPROUT, $3,000

The Homer Foundation thanks the City of Homer for our continued partnership in support for Homer’s vital, and economically important nonprofit community.


Mission Moment: Alaska Warrior Partnership

With support from the Homer Foundation Opportunity Fund, the Alaska Warrior Partnership (AWP) recently hosted the second in a series of quarterly gatherings in Homer. The purpose of the gatherings is to bring relevant service providers and community leaders together to increase awareness and understanding of resources for area veterans and to build results oriented connections.Convenings focus on eight quality of life areas including housing, employment, strong relationships, spirituality/purpose, education, access to earned benefits, access to healthcare, and participation in recreational activities. To find out more, contact Program Lead, Jesse Lakin, jlakin@alaskawarriorpartnership.org.

Grants like these are made possible thanks to generous donors like you!


– SAVE THE DATE –

FUNDRAISER FOR NIKKI GERAGOTELIS MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP FUND

Part of the Homer Foundation Family of Funds

March Newsletter: Spring into Community Cares Funds

Keep It Cool!

Homer Hockey Association (HHA) has been awarded a $25,000 Community Impact grant from the Homer Foundation. With a service area from Ninilchik south, HHA programming serves 15,000 area residents with a full slate of non-weather-dependent recreational opportunities at the Kevin Bell Arena from October thru April. Last summer, regular maintenance at the arena revealed that the current 19-year old condenser – the system that makes the ice and keeps it cool – has significant corrosion, which has led to irreparable leaks in piping.

“This grant is a great example of the impact that the Homer Foundation’s Opportunity Fund can have in our community,” says Mike Miller, executive director. “Community donations to the Opportunity Fund make it possible for the Foundation to help with these kinds of larger special projects that are vital to the quality of life in our area.”

HHA began planning for replacement of the unit immediately, putting the project at the top of the rink’s maintenance list for summer of 2024 when the rink will be closed. Total project cost is anticipated to be $155,000. The new condenser will be a stainless-steel unit, which will better withstand Homer’s harsh marine environment. In addition to the Homer Foundation grant, additional-to-date funds have been secured from the HHA reserve, Rasmuson Foundation and the HHA board, advisory committee and members. HHA has also recently launched a public Keep It Cool! campaign to complete project funding.

“The Homer Foundation has a long track record of supporting capital projects that make important and lasting investments in our community, and the Foundation’s mission to enhance quality of life in the region is a natural fit with our goal of offering fun, diverse and healthy recreational options for local communities,” said Shelly Laukitis, Kevin Bell Arena/Homer Hockey Association Finance Chairperson.

HHA receives no regular municipal, borough, or state funding. A staff team of four part-time rink attendants and one part-time bookkeeper keep things rolling at the rink. Additionally, HHA volunteers contribute 14,000 hours annually, including the volunteer advisory committee which takes primary responsibility for maintenance and staffing of the rink.

To find out more about the HHA Keep It Cool! campaign, visit https://www.kevinbellarena.org/ and/or contact Shelly Laukitis, Finance Committee Chairperson, info.kevinbellarena@gmail.com, 907-235-2647. To learn more about the Homer Foundation Family of Funds, contact Mike Miller, executive director, mmiller@homerfoundation.org.


Welcome!
Steve & Noko Yoshida Fund

In 1990, Steve Yoshida was enlisted by his friend Ken Castner to begin drawing up the necessary paperwork establishing the Homer Foundation – Alaska’s first community foundation. Since that time, the Yoshida family has continued their generous support, helping to grow and strengthen the Foundation and communities of the Southern Kenai Peninsula.

Over 30 years later, we are thrilled to share that Steve, Noko and their family recently established the Steve and Noko Yoshida Fund.

House Martin Fund

We are delighted to welcome Holly and Dean Martin to the community of Homer and the Homer Foundation family.

“We are beyond thrilled to join the Homer community. We look forward to growing our family here for many years to come!”

Holly and Dean recently established the House Martin Charitable Fund to support environmental preservation and community welfare on the Southern Kenai Peninsula.


It’s Scholarship Season

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 17 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 learn more about our scholarships and to find the application forms, click on over to https://www.homerfoundation.org/scholarship-applications/.To apply:

Keep the Community Heartbeat Strong!

Awarding scholarships helps keep the heartbeat of our community strong and we need volunteers like you to serve on upcoming Scholarship Committees.

How it works:

1. Homer Foundation scholarship committees are comprised of a cross section of community members.

2. Homer Foundation staff review submitted applications before passing them along to scholarship committees.  

3. Honoring guidelines set by the donors, scholarship committees review applications and select award recipients for final approval by the Homer Foundation Board of Directors.  

Please consider applying to serve today! This is a great way to support the community and to honor the people, professional communities and causes reflected in the Homer Foundation Scholarship program.

To learn more, click on over to:

Questions? Contact Lauren Seaton, lseaton@homerfoundation.org.


Mission Moment: A Record Day at Olson Mountain

On a sunny Sunday in February, the Homer Rope Tow on Olson Mountain saw a record day with over 200 skiers. “As you can see, this is a happening place. You meet all kinds of friends and family here. It is a great cross section of community,” said Randy Wiest, president, Kachemak Ski Club.  As Wiest checked-in arriving skiiers at the base station, a continuous swarm of mostly youth and young adult skiiers zipped by on their way to catch the tow back up the mountain. According to Wiest, the Rope Tow saw some difficult times back in the 80’s with so few skiiers that the Club almost folded. In more recent years, things started to pick up and then during the COVID pandemic, things really took off as the entire community looked for healthy, outdoor opportunities – creating what might be called a “successful problem.”

“We had a real safety issue with vehicles on Olson Mountain Road and we were aware we had to do something,” Wiest explained. A $25,000 Community Impact grant from the Homer Foundation helped launch a parking lot improvement project. “Through a collaborative effort with the snow machine club, who had original permission from the Borough to have a trail head, we enlarged [the parking lot] which is shared with all public users. Before, we had people walking all over the road, and now they cross in just one or two places.”

Kachemak Ski Club (KSC) was founded in 1948, incorporated under the laws of the State

of Alaska in 1981 and exists as one of Homer’s oldest continuously operating nonprofits. An all volunteer-run organization, it has no paid staff and a nine member volunteer Board of Directors, plus two Ex-Officio members (former club presidents). While the uptick in skiiers was great for the KSC, upwards of 80-90 cars frequently lined Olson Mountain Road during the ski season creating safety issues for skiiers, pedestrians, vehicles and others recreating in the area as well as challenges for road crews. KSC anticipates that the demand for off-road parking will continue to significantly increase over the next 3-5 years.

The grant from the Homer Foundation was combined with $15K from KSC, a Tier I grant from the Rasmuson Foundation, additional donations and in-kind contributions. “This is a great example of the power of generosity and the impact a community can have through its local community foundation,” said Mike Miller, executive director. “In awarding this grant, our board saw that the Foundation could help address a significant community safety issue, while at the same time helping KSC secure additional funding and meet match requirements.”  

Sarah Banks, KSC board secretary, says the Homer Rope Tow has become a crucial part of their family. “It is a fabulous resource for the community and we try to keep costs down so families can afford it,” says Banks. “Kids can show up and parents can go off and ski or sit by the fire and watch their kids ski. It’s a place where people can meet up and have fun. Now we have a fully functional parking lot and we can get kids, cars and people off the road.”


Recent Grants
Homer Animal Friends

Homer Animal Friends (HAF) has been awarded a $5,000 Quick Response Grant to support a spring 2024 low-cost spay/neuter clinic. HAF was originally organized to create an animal shelter in Homer in 1986. Spay/neuter clinics are one of the three missions that HAF has supported for 35 years. “Helping to make spays and neuters available for those who want or need to have their dogs “fixed” reduces the stress of unwanted puppies in our community. This service also reduces the number of dogs

relinquished to the Homer Animal Shelter, thus helping to keep their costs down,” says HAF.

Affinity Films

A $3500 Quick Response grant was awarded to Affinity Films to help raise awareness of issues surrounding Parkinson’s Disease. Told through the lens of Homer resident, George Faust, producer Mary Katzke says the film will raise awareness of the disease and impart compassion for community members affected by Parkinson’s and other degenerative conditions. “The film will be valuable for anyone affected by

Parkinson’s including family members, caregivers, and professionals,” says Katzke. Founded in 1982, non-profit Affinity Films has produced a succession of award-winning films on a range of powerful subjects including breast cancer, mental health and cancer.


The Place We Love and Call Home…

Our donors come from all walks of life, but we all share a love for this place we call home and care about giving back to our community.

Five Top Reasons to Partner with the Homer Foundation:

1.Local knowledge and community expertise.

2.Personalized service.

3.Professional investment advisors paired with local oversight and transparent reporting.

4.Options for all levels of giving and a wide range of asset types.

5.Flexible fund options: community, field of interest, donor advised, scholarship, agency, designated.

Want to find out more? Contact Mike Miller, executive director, today!



Mike’s Message

It’s defiantly still winter, but it seems somehow less harsh than it did a week ago. Maybe it’s the extra daylight or perhaps the moderating temperatures. It could also be having 50 plus redpolls, pine siskins and red crossbills at my feeders every morning. My dog Jade, a German Shorthair Pointer, has a little meltdown whenever they come in. Not even the Camp Robber Jays will come near when that troop is around.

It’s also a great season to warm up to starting your own philanthropic legacy. We still have $2,500 matches left for those wanting to start their own Community Cares Fund. As a reminder, a CCF is an unrestricted fund used for grant-making in our community. The minimum fund size is $5,000 but the Homer Foundation will match the first $2,500 donated to start a CCF. That means you, your family, and your business have its own charitable fund for a $2,500 donation. These are endowed funds meaning it will carry your name forever as the funds grows. It’s a great way to give back to your community forever. Call the office at 235-0541 or email  mmiller@homerfoundation.org to find out more. In the meantime, here is a link to the fund announcement.

Mike

Mike Miller, Executive Director

The Homer Foundation

New! Community Cares Fund

New unrestricted fund to provide flexibility in meeting urgent and changing community needs while building for the future. For details, click the attached fund announcement.

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

907-235-0551.


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!  

mmiller@homerfoundation.org

907-235-0551.


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!

mmiller@homerfoundation.org

907-235-0551


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.

HCOA

“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.” 


ALASKA WARRIOR PARTNERSHIP

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.

DAVID & MARY SCHROER FUND AWARDS $24k

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.   

GUIDING GROWTH CONVERSATION

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.