September Newsletter: Recommitting to Vanguard Investment Management

Update from the Executive Director

Last month, the Board of Trustees of the Homer Foundation recommitted to using Vanguard Investment Services as our investment managers. Since moving to Vanguard in 2018 we have experienced positive and predictable growth following their market based strategy. In fiscal year 2019 (July 1 – June 30) our performance was 6.53%, in 2020 we were at 5.42%, and last year we were 33.50%.

Many funds, including ourselves, had an exceptional year last year. While happy about the returns, no one really expects that level of return every year. What’s as important as the amount of the return is the predictability of our returns. The target of the fund is to follow the S&P 500 average, although we typically lag slightly behind that average due to a portion of our investments being in bond funds which are more stable, but give a lower return. 

Per our investment policy our strategy is to: ” ….ensure effective management of the Foundation’s assets in order to serve current needs and long term best interests of the southern Kenai Peninsula. The Homer Foundation assets are a collection of individual donations from private citizens and other organizations. The investment policy is primarily designed to provide sufficient annual income for the support of local charitable needs. A secondary emphasis of our policy is to grow the purchasing power of the principal in perpetuity.”

We want our donors and agencies to know we steward donations with the same care that went into developing that donation. It is truly a privilege to be trusted with these donations. You can find more on our policies on our website here.

Get out and enjoy the fall colors!


IRA Minimum Distribution

If you are 70½ years old or older, you can take advantage of a simple way to help charities like the Homer Foundation and receive tax benefits in return. You can give up to $100,000 from your IRA directly to a charity, without having to pay income taxes on the contribution. This can be accomplished with an IRA Charitable Rollover gift.

At some point, you have to withdraw money from your IRA. Once you turn 70½, you must take a required minimum distribution (RMD) each year from your IRA, and the RMD amount increases with your age. You are taxed on the RMD at ordinary income tax rates, as opposed to lower capital gains tax rates. And if you do not take your full RMD, you may be subject to a tax penalty.

How do you make an IRA Charitable Rollover gift? The process is All you need to do is instruct your IRA custodian to make a distribution from your IRA directly to the charity or charities of your choosing. Your IRA custodian should include your name and address, as well as any specific instructions you have for the use of the gift, along with the payment.

To make a gift of this type to the Homer Foundation, you may need the following information:

Our EIN: 92-0139183

Our Physical Address: 3733 Ben Walters Lane, Suite 7, Homer, AK 99603

Contact the Staff at the Homer Foundation with any other questions. We are happy to help you with your IRA Rollover gift.

Congratulations to our new Fund: James Family Fund

Congratulations to the James Family Fund, a new donor advised fund to the Homer Foundation Family of Funds. This fund hopes to support the food pantry and other activities that increase the capacity of the community to feed itself (ie agricultural projects); organizations and projects that support victims of violence; Homer Public Library for special projects; Disaster Relief; and special needs activities with a focus on Autism. 

YAC is Back!

The Homer Foundation Youth Advisory Committee (YAC) was formed to provide a hands-on learning opportunity for Southern Kenai Peninsula youth, aged 12-18, focusing on philanthropy and charitable activities. YAC has had several iterations in the past, but for this coming year and hopefully years to come, we have a new partnership between the Homer Foundation and Homer High School as a means to reach the youth. 

If you know of a high school student who would like to be involved, we are meeting during FOLs at Homer High School starting September 16th. Encourage the youth you know to attend and be a part of community philanthropy.  

If you would like to support this endeavor, click the link below to donate. Choose Youth Advisory Committee from the list of funds. 

Recent Grants

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

Kachemak Heritage Land Trust

With help from the national Land Trust Alliance, KHLT assessed its needs and identified potential solutions, resulting in a commitment to grow to achieve KHLT’s organizational goals. KHLT’s excellent staff is working beyond capacity and is forced to question whether KHLT is able to accept new projects. One of stewardship staff’s biggest stewardship stressors and challenges may be locating an existing file either electronically or as an original document (stored in fireproof cabinets). Finding such documents is required daily. It is not that the document doesn’t exist, it is that it may have been filed in an obscure category or was so generically named electronically that one may need to open up several documents just to find the necessary document. This has been a result of many staff people over the 32-yearn organizational existence coming up with their own file naming and category system.

This grant will provide the operating expenses to hire an outside contractor to create a new, all inclusive system and organize the existing files for this organization. 

We are continuing to see a decrease in grant applications. If you know of any non-profits in the southern Kenai Peninsula, encourage them to reach out to Homer Foundation to learn more about our grant programs or to apply for a grant.

Philanthropy Fact of the Month

Individuals are more likely to give to nonprofits if their parents did as well.