The Chilkat Valley Community Foundation awarded about $18,000 in grants to Haines non-profit organizations last week. Since its inception in 2009, the foundation has raised money for a permanent fund that its board hopes will support community organizations for years to come.
“I’ve lived here for several decades and I’ve really benefitted from the organizations that we support,” said community foundation co-chair Crystal Badgley. “I sent my kids to the preschool, we use the library regularly, the recycling center, we go out there. So I just see how all these organizations are truly enhancing the quality of life here.”
Badgley says, that’s what the community foundation is about – helping to sustain and enhance the quality of life in Haines.
“And give donors a good place to put their money so that it will be in a permanent fund for Haines.”
Each year, the foundation distributes grants to non-profit groups that apply for funding for a specific project or need.
“The big thing we want to know is how is your project going to support Haines, people in Haines, how many people will it serve, what will be the benefits to those people,” Badgley. “So we want to know how it’s going to benefit the Chilkat Valley.”
The foundation awarded about $18,000 to 14 organizations this year. The largest grants, about $2,500, went to Hospice of Haines and the Senior Center. Grants in the $2,000 range went to the Haines Dolphins Swim Team and the newly formed Haines Avalanche Information Center.
“This was our first community foundation grant so we’re really excited to be working with them,” said Erik Stevens, director of the Avalanche Information Center.
The $2,000 from the foundation is helping to pay for a weather station on Mount Ripinsky.
“It’ll be safer for people because our forecasts will be more accurate and more precise,” Stevens said. “And it’ll be safer for people because they’ll be better prepared before they go out. They’ll be able to check the current conditions at 3,000 feet before they even leave their living room in the morning.”
The other organizations awarded grants are the Haines Arts Confluence, Bald Eagle Foundation, Chilkat Valley Preschool, Friends of the Library, Friends of Recycling, Haines Hot Shots, Jilkaat Kwaan Heritage Center, Lynn Canal Counseling, Sheldon Museum and Lynn Canal Broadcasting, which operates KHNS.
A lot of the community foundation grants pay for things as basic as operating expenses. That’s what the grants for the swim team and hospice are for.
“Hospice of Haines, we want to support them as much as possible because they help a lot of people at a very critical time in their lives,” Badgley said. “So to me, offering operating support, it’s about their mission to help people. And so many people benefit from them.”
The Chilkat Valley Community Foundation was formed with support from the Alaska Community Foundation and the Rasmuson Foundation.
Rasmuson representatives visited Haines earlier this year, and they pledged a spur-of-the-moment matching grant of $35,000 to help the local foundation reach the $500,000 mark in their endowment. Badgley says they hope to get about $7,000 more in local donations to take advantage of the matching funds.
Badgley says awareness of the community foundation is growing in Haines. She says, it’s great for people to donate directly to non-profits here, but giving to the foundation is like an investment in the future of all of the non-profits.
“And yeah, some people tell us ‘I want to give to the organizations that I like to support,’ and we support that,” she said. “But ours is a little bit different because it is that permanent fund. And even though there’s a lot of money put aside in investments and we can’t give all of that money away, as that investment grows, we’ll be able to give more and more and that will be there in perpetuity. So it is a different way of supporting those organizations.”
Community Foundation 2015 Grants:
Haines Senior Center: $2,500
Haines Avalanche Information Center: $2,000 with $411 from Call Family Fund
Haines Arts Confluence: $1,200
Bald Eagle Foundation: $500
Chilkat Valley Preschool: $600
Friends of the Library: $926
Dolphins Swim Team: $2,000
Friends of Recycling: $844
Haines Hot Shots: $1,000
Hospice of Haines: $2,542 with $1,293 from Memorial Fund
Jilkaat Kwaan Center: $1,200
KHNS: $1,200 with $600 mini-tech grant
Lynn Canal Counseling: $500 from Environmental Fund
Sheldon Museum: $1,200