Strengthening Organizations Fund is Making a Difference for Nonprofits Across the State

The Strengthening Organizations Fund, launched in 2012 by a partnership between The Alaska Community Foundation and the Rasmuson Foundation, is designed to support the capacity-building efforts of Alaska nonprofits.

Nonprofits rely on operational funds to function, but acquiring them can be complex due to the time it takes to see tangible benefits to the communities they serve. Grants from the Strengthening Organizations Fund support critical business operations, allowing nonprofit grantees to allocate their resources better to further their cause and missions.

2022 grantee, Alaska Humanities Forum, used their grant to host a series of workshops to strengthen bonds among staff by further developing a sense of community & shared purpose. The Public Narrative project was a resounding success! 53 Alaskans were trained in Public Narrative, and 29 of those people went on to do the Train-the-Trainer workshop. The organization became more connected internally and externally, and participants grew significantly in their ability to communicate the stories behind their calling and do leadership coaching.

Through the 2023 spring grants cycle for Strengthening Organizations, the fund supported 24 organizations in their requests for leadership development, product purchases, strategic planning, and more. Many applicants focused on developing sustainable procedures that would assist them in maintaining their expanding roles in the community. Covenant House Alaska and The Alaska Youth Orchestra were examples of this theme.

Covenant House Alaska (CHA) was awarded $10,000 to acquire a new purchase order system that will streamline its efficiency, enabling the organization to serve its communities with a vast array of services. With its mission of serving all youth experiencing homelessness, CHA makes numerous essential purchases. From helping youth meet their basic needs while living on the streets to managing the Youth Engagement Center, a 40-bed shelter for young adults, the new purchase ordering system will save the staff and the organization time and money that can be redirected into CHA’s mission and its commitment to its communities.

The Alaska Youth Orchestra (AYO) expanded its mission through the pandemic to offer more programs to more age groups. The AYO will be using its $4,000 grant to receive training from The Foraker Group to give the board the education and tools needed to support AYO’s expanding vision as well as make the programs sustainable so they can be accessible for years to come. This recent expansion allows the organization to continue supporting young musicians with the education, access, and opportunities they need to succeed at a low cost.

ACF is inspired each day by the dedication and fortitude of nonprofit leaders in Alaska. We look forward to hearing more about the long-term impact of the spring grants. A second round of grants will be available this fall, beginning October 4th.

Strengthening Organizations Grantees 2023 Spring Cycle

Organization NameStrengthening Organizations Project NameAmount Awarded
Alaska TrailsIncreasing Alaska Trail Stewards Volunteer Crew Leader's Confidence and Skills$2,400.00
Alaska Children's MuseumBoard/Leadership Training through Foraker Group$1,800.00
Moose Pass Public LibraryMoose Pass Public Library (MPPL) Strategic Planning for the Greater Moose Pass Area. $2,991.00
Native ConservancyCapacity Building for Native Conservancy$7,200.00
Homer FoundationFinancial Software Onboarding $4,500.00
Big Brothers Big Sisters of AlaskaBBBSAK Volunteer Recruitment Strategy Development$5,000.00
Four Winds Resource CenterFWRC Strategic Planning$3,145.00
Alaska Food Policy CouncilImplementing a Development Plan for Organizational Sustainability$6,000.00
Hatcher Pass Avalanche Center INCStrengthening Organizational Leadership and Communication$4,875.00
Kids Corps IncExecutive Transition$3,600.00
Special Olympics Alaska IncPost Covid "Refresh" our Board$2,825.00
Anchorage Park Foundation2023 Comprehensive Strategic Planning$4,550.00
Mat Su Ski ClubMSSC Staff Training and Leadership Development$650.00
Haines Assisted LivingHaines Assisted Living/St. Lucy's Senior Living Board Development & Strategic Planning 2023$2,720.00
Alaska ZooValues and Motivators Workshop for Alaska Zoo Strategic Planning$5,400.00
Northwest Inupiat Housing AuthorityStrategy Planning Session for Community Expansion$7,875.00
Island Trails NetworkQuickBooks Online Skills to Strengthen our Accounting, Grants Tracking, and Donor Management$2,800.00
Life Alaska Donor ServicesPost-Pandemic Board of Directors Reset$5,287.00
Bethel Family Clinic2023 Bethel Family Clinic Operational Assessment Project$5,000.00
Yupiit of Andreafski2023 Yupiit of Andreafski QuickBooks Accounting Training Project$4,500.00
Alaska Youth OrchestrasAlaska Youth Orchestras Board Training and Strategic Planning$4,000.00
Tyonek Tribal Conservation DistrictTyonek Tribal Conservation District Strategic Planning$7,810.00
Guys Read Gals Read IncGuys Read/Gals Read (GR2)$4,800.00
Covenant House AlaskaPurchase Ordering System for Covenant House Alaska$10,000.00