Community Foundation Focused on Local Ideas


Brianna Gibbs/KMXT

The Kodiak Community Foundation wrapped up its first year of fundraising and is looking for ideas on where to spend some money on the island. and that corpus would stay in an account and we would be able to put some of that interest back into that so that the fund itself grows and then we would also be able to use some of that funding to support local projects and local organizations here.”

She said it’s a way for people give back to Kodiak, but also have a voice in what is supported – things like community projects, organizations, schools, and wherever else people feel it should be distributed. Last year, thanks to matching funds from the Rasmussen Foundation, Kodiak’s Community Foundation ended the year with almost $95,000, which was the needed seed money to start gaining interest in future years.

St. John said that money will serve as the organizations financial foundation, and future interest will be put toward the community. However, they were able to create a $5,000 grant opportunity and are soliciting the community for ideas on how to spend it locally
Katie St. John sits on the foundation’s advisory board and said the relatively new organization raises funds for a permanent endowment in the Kodiak community.

“So as Alaskans we’re all pretty familiar with the Alaska Permanent Fund which is an endowment. And each year we receive dividends from the income from that endowment. So the main corpus of the fund stays there and we just receive the income form that and similarly, the community foundation, we would raise funds.

“If there is a project that an individual has an idea for and wants to see happen, the community foundation can work with different organizations to create a partnership there, even if it’s just a pass through – because we do have to give to an organization that’s eligible to receive donations. But we can really sort of play it by ear and see what’s out there that people want to have funded.”

She said they are launching a poll in the community to find out what people what them to fund.

“So we’re putting together a Facebook survey and then we’ll do some hard copy versions as well for those who are not so dedicated to Facebook that we can hopefully see people at Safeway and have them fill out. But asking what your top three organizations we should support and also fill us in on projects that we don’t’ know about that need funding locally.”

St. John gave the example of the Larch Street Community Garden needing a water system installed. It was a project the community foundation hadn’t heard about, but has been starting discussions about how it could help with funding.
She said folks can follow the organization on Facebook to give their input, or contact her directly.

In the future, St. John said she hopes people will think of the foundation in terms of annual giving, or even start crafting it in their wills. Folks can always have a say in where their money goes, and it is a good way to leave a legacy in Kodiak.

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