Rasmuson Foundation Announces $5M Grant to The Alaska Community Foundation

Rasmuson Foundation Announces $5M Grant to The Alaska Community Foundation


Rasmuson Foundation has announced a four-year, $5 million grant to The Alaska Community Foundation to support the Affiliate Program, a statewide effort to create, support and sustain locally-driven philanthropy.

The ACF Affiliate Program was established in 2008 by a grant from Rasmuson Foundation for the express purpose of supporting local communities in galvanizing philanthropic efforts through charitable giving and grantmaking. The Alaska Affiliates, led by local volunteer advisory boards, inspire local philanthropy in Alaska by growing permanent, geographically-based endowment funds in conjunction with ACF’s statewide charitable funds. As these Affiliates understand the causes that are most important to their communities, they recommend grants to local nonprofits and lead efforts to support organizations within their communities. Through the Affiliates, donors can also establish funds for local causes they care about.

Today, the Affiliate Program encompasses nine communities in Alaska: Chilkat Community Foundation (Haines), Golden Heart Community Foundation (Fairbanks), Greater Sitka Legacy Fund, Jessica Stevens Community Foundation (Talkeetna), Kenai Peninsula Foundation, Ketchikan Community Foundation, Kodiak Community Foundation, Petersburg Community Foundation, and Seward Community Foundation.

After nearly a decade of support, Rasmuson Foundation has now announced a new four-year funding plan that will enhance the program by providing new resources to existing and new Affiliate communities. One such expansion of the Affiliate Program is the addition of a local part-time program manager for each Affiliate community, who will provide ongoing operational, administrative, and executive support. In addition, there are incentives for each community’s unrestricted grantmaking endowment fund, along with the creation of a new operating endowment fund. Through the next four years, a total of up to $185,000 in matching funds will be available for each Affiliate: Rasmuson and ACF will provide an additional dollar for every dollar raised in each Affiliate community. Many communities are already meeting the challenge by raising substantial gifts through their local donors, including individuals, families, and businesses. Finally, the Affiliate program will add six new community foundations across the state by 2019.

“The Affiliate Program is core to our mission and the heart of what we do at ACF. We believe our Affiliates best understand their needs and the causes most important to ensure vibrant and prosperous communities long into the future. We are greatly appreciative of Rasmuson Foundation’s support of the Affiliate Program and for the impact that it has had on strengthening Alaska. Rasmuson Foundation has brought the visions of many communities into reality in an unprecedented way – and is enabling Alaskans to support the future of our communities for generations to come.” —Nina Kemppel, President & CEO, The Alaska Community Foundation

"Encouraging and supporting philanthropy across Alaska is central to the mission of Rasmuson Foundation. We hope that this new investment in our partnership with The Alaska Community Foundation and its Affiliates will expand charitable giving at the local level, and increase the effectiveness of dedicated volunteers who are working to make life better for Alaskans in communities large and small." —Diane Kaplan, President & CEO, Rasmuson Foundation 

As part of this next phase of the Affiliate Program, ACF has hired two new staff members:

  • Mariko Sarafin has been hired as Affiliate Community Officer, transitioning from a four-year position at ACF as Senior Program Associate of the Affiliate Program. Mariko moves to this new position with a wealth of experience with ACF and the details of the Affiliate Program, as well as long-term relationships with our Advisory boards across Alaska. Her expertise is invaluable for ACF as they move to the next steps of this important program.
  • Shawn Rivera has joined The Alaska Community Foundation as the Affiliate Program Officer, bringing his passion for philanthropy and extensive experience in nonprofits and fundraising, program and volunteer management, and community engagement and outreach. He also comes from a background in public service and IT, specializing in project management, web design and technical writing.

For more information about the Affiliate Program at ACF, visit www.alaskacf.org and select "Affiliates." To learn more about Rasmuson Foundation and its work in Alaska, visit www.rasmuson.org.