Frequently Asked Questions
What is a community foundation? It’s a grantmaking public charity dedicated to improving the lives of people in a defined geographic area. Community foundations are able to generate sustainable and permanent assets to support charitable activities and local nonprofits.
How does this model work? Donors’ gifts are invested in permanent endowment funds. Annual income earnings accrued from those endowments are used to match donors’ charitable interests with needs in the community through grants and scholarships. The original gifts are never spent, thereby making the funds permanent.
What PCF endowed funds can donors give to? Currently, PCF has 2 endowed funds:
PCF General Fund (established 2017): used for grantmaking
PCF Operating Endowment Fund (established 2017): used for sustaining the foundation
(There are a variety of types of endowed and non-endowed funds a donor can establish. For instance, interested donors can set up a new special interest endowed fund with an initial gift of $25,000.)
When did PCF form? PCF was established in 2017. There are a total of 11 community foundations across Alaska affiliated with The Alaska Community Foundation (ACF) in partnership with Rasmuson Foundation.
How long has ACF been active in the state? ACF was established in 1995 to connect people who care with causes that matter by encouraging philanthropy through permanent endowments. ACF currently manages over 550 funds and is accredited through National Standards for Community Foundations, meeting the nation’s highest philanthropic standards for best practices.
What is PCF’s mission? To support local resilience and self-reliance for Matanuska River Communities, now and into the future. We are committed to maintaining Palmer and its feeder communities as vital and healthy places where people can live, work, raise families, and retire.
What is PCF’s vision? We promote individual, family, and business philanthropy and provide grants to organizations. We offer a local vehicle for residents and visitors to invest their time, talent, and resources in helping the Palmer area thrive.
What are PCF’s core values? Integrity, Respect, Leadership, Community, Sustainability, Impartiality, Equity, Inclusion, Relationship-Building
What is the board make-up? The PCF Advisory Board has a minimum of 5 year-round seats. Terms are typically for three years, and board members may serve three sequential full terms. A board member may serve additional terms after taking off at least a year, or may request a board-approved waiver of the one-year hiatus to continue to serve.
What will I do as a board member? Board members are ambassadors for PCF and represent PCF at public functions. Members are expected to actively participate in monthly board meetings and to make a personal financial contribution to the organization annually. Board members may be asked to assist in identifying and cultivating donors, writing thank-you notes to donors, helping create and prepare newsletters/ask letters for mailings, reviewing and updating policies, helping plan and host donor events, and providing food for PCF events.
What are PCF’s committees?
*Active year-round – Board Development, Communications, Donor Development
*Annually – Grantmaking (entire board)
*As needed – Ad Hoc Grant Review, Policy Review
Besides PCF, what are the other current Affiliates operating under ACF? The other 10 Affiliates are the Sitka Legacy, Kodiak, Petersburg, Ketchikan, Golden Heart (Fairbanks and North Pole), Jessica Stevens (Talkeetna), Seward (also serving Moose Pass), Kenai Peninsula, Chilkat Valley (Haines), and Cordova Community Foundations. ACF also partners with the independently-run Bethel Community Services Foundation, Homer Foundation, Chugiak Eagle River Foundation, Juneau Community Foundation, and Arctic Slope Community Foundation.
What roles does ACF serve for its 11 Affiliates? ACF’s financial experts manage the Affiliates’ endowed funds, and ACF staff provide financial, legal, and communications support for each Affiliate. ACF has also partnered with Rasmuson Foundation to provide numerous monetary incentives to Affiliates since 2008 to grow philanthropy across the state. The most recent incentive was a match of up to $185,000 for Affiliate endowed gifts made between 2017 and the end of 2020.