Rasmuson Foundation recognizes the valuable contributions of our faith-based partners across the state, and we welcome grant applications for projects that align with our mission of providing broad benefits to Alaskans. 

Beulah Nowpakahok, commissioned lay pastor for Gambell Presbyterian Church, is seen on May 26 at far left with family members during the dedication of a new Presbyterian Church and community center in Gambell, on Saint Lawrence Island in Northwest Alaska. Rasmuson Foundation awarded $500,000 toward the project. (Photo courtesy of Presbytery of Yukon)

Early history of work in faith communities

The Rasmuson family came to Alaska at the turn of the century as missionaries. Long before National Bank of Alaska, Edward Anton “E.A” Rasmuson and wife Jenny Olson did work for the Swedish Covenant Church in Yakutat for over a decade. Faith and community service remained an important part of the family’s life and in the upbringing of children Elmer and Maud Evangeline. When Jenny Olson created Rasmuson Foundation in 1955 to honor E.A.’s passing, grants were regularly provided to faith communities, including the very first award — $125 to Wasilla Presbyterian Church for a movie projector. 

Awards today

Today, Tier 1 grants of up to $25,000 and larger Tier 2 grants are available to faith-based organizations, including places of worship and camps, when the project aligns with Rasmuson Foundation’s focus on community. Successful examples include, renovations to church spaces for community activities, equipment for church-run food banks, infrastructure for a community garden on church property, furnishing for a senior housing facility on church property, camp infrastructure and equipment, and playground equipment that serves the broader community. Projects where the primary benefit is focused more narrowly on the congregation — for instance, replacing seating in the worship area — are not eligible. Applicants are encouraged to reach out to staff prior to submitting proposals. 

What projects are eligible?

Examples of projects Rasmuson Foundation has participated in with our faith-based partners:

  • $500,000 to the Presbytery of Yukon to support construction of a community space within a new church;

  • $92,000 to Fairbanks Rescue Mission to replace the roof of its homeless shelter;

  • $175,000 to Covenant Youth of Alaska to purchase supportive housing available to rural students attending University of Alaska Anchorage;

  • $200,000 to Lubavitch Jewish Center of Alaska to construct an early care and learning center open to people of all faiths;

  • $169,825 to St. Mary’s Episcopal Church to furnish community spaces for the Thomas Center for Senior Leadership in Anchorage;

  • $18,000 to Willow United Methodist Church to install a walk-in cooler for the food bank in Willow;

  • $15,000 to First Baptist Church of Palmer to purchase equipment for a playground used by the community;

  • $15,000 to Love in the Name of Christ Tanana Valley to purchase a 15-passenger vehicle used to transport vulnerable clients to medical appointments, treatment and other important meetings;

  • $25,000 to St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Mountain View to construct community gardens used extensively by recently resettled refugee groups;

  • $20,000 to the Alaska Jewish Historical Museum and Community Center to install “The Miracle that Didn’t Happen: The Alaska Resettlement Plan,” exhibit; and

  • $15,000 to Alaska Christian College to purchase furnishings and equipment for community spaces within Taikuu Hall. 

Faith-based camps also have received awards, including:

  • $175,000 to Victory Ministries of Alaska to construct a barn and therapeutic riding facility;

  • $22,000 to Covenant Bible Camp to purchase off-road vehicles for a Unalakleet-based youth camp that serves kids throughout the Bering Strait region;

  • $15,000 to Birchwood Camp of the Alaska United Methodist Conference to construct a multipurpose cabin;

  • $5,000 to Tanalian Bible Camp to purchase a tractor;

  • $15,000 to Catholic Camp and Conference Ministries of Alaska to improve restroom facilities; and

  • $10,000 to Community Covenant Church to purchase sound equipment and fencing for Royal Family KIDS in Eagle River.

How to apply:

  • Faith-based applicants can apply using the Tier 1 and/or Tier 2 grant applications.