Many of CVCF’s grantees are based in Haines, Alaska. Photo: mffoto/shutterstock
Many of CVCF’s grantees are based in Haines, Alaska. Photo: mffoto/shutterstock

Philanthropy in Alaska is somewhat unique in that the vast majority of funders based in the state have a very local focus that doesn’t extend to other parts of the U.S. and world. Perhaps this is due to Alaska’s remote geography, the state’s independent-mindedness or sizable needs that national foundations don’t address. Community foundations, such as the Chilkat Valley Community Foundation (CVCF), are often among the few funders truly in tune with hyper-local needs in Alaskan communities. Here are few things grantseekers should know about this locally focused funder.

The Foundation Serves Around 2,500 People

Some community foundations serve major cities with millions of people, or large geographic areas that span multiple counties. On the other hand, CVCF is solely focused on the Chilkat Valley, including the Chilkat Indian Village of Klukwan and the Haines Borough. Only around 2,500 people live in the valley on a permanent basis, though many more arrive seasonally as visitors.

The needs of the valley’s full-time residents are CVCF’s focus. Major issues in the region include unemployment, economic decline, environmental concerns due to natural resource depletion, access to rural healthcare, and sustaining a tourism industry that often generates significant revenue.

There Are Over 75 Nonprofits in the Region

Despite the fact that the Chilkat Valley is home to only around 2,500 residents, it’s home to over 75 nonprofits. That suggests considerable charitable needs and a strong local interest in serving people in need. A majority of these nonprofits are based in and focus on Haines, Alaska. Local nonprofits in the Haines Borough include Haines Animal Rescue Kennel, Haines Senior Village, Haines Assisted Living and the Haines Arts Council.

CVCF Has Broad Grantmaking Interests

CVCF’s interests a broad and it awards grants to many different local causes. Examples include health and wellness, the great outdoors, arts and culture, education and community development. Like many community foundations around the country, CVCF values a collaborative approach and gravitates towards organizations that partner with other groups to accomplish their goals.

There Is an Annual Competitive Grant Cycle

CVCF is an accessible community foundation with one competitive grant cycle per year. It uses a straightforward online system to accept new requests. In the past, the application cycle has been open between the end of July and the end of September. CVCF typically awards grants for operating support, new programs and special projects, as well as capital grants.

CVCF Is an Alaska Community Foundation Affiliate

Another fact to bear in mind about CVCF is that it is well-connected in the regional philanthropy scene. It’s an affiliate of the Alaska Community Foundation, which has over $100 million in assets and manages over 500 funds, 11 affiliates and five partner community funds.

Grantseekers are advised to direct questions about CVCF to the program manager at the Alaska Community Foundation. However, CVCF stays connected to its region through an advisory board, which has 12 members, three of whom are seasonal. The foundation also has committees for board development, grantmaking, communications, donor development and programs.

Learn more about this funder and others that give in Alaska in IP’s Northwest funding guide.

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