As Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz has underscored, we are closer to the beginning of this unthinkable health crisis than the end. That’s true for all of Alaska. With such drastic upheaval of lives and families, schools and jobs, we will be forever changed. Yet vital, heroic work goes on in shelters and food banks, in clinics and hospitals, in care homes and, yes, grocery stores. Alaskans can make it through these hard days by following the now-familiar directives to stay home and practice good sanitation. We add helping the helpers to that list.

Photo by Esther Pederson

Rasmuson Foundation is committing $2 million to help Alaska respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Initially we are supporting the emergency grants being awarded through The Alaska Community Foundation and United Way of Anchorage. (Details below.) Scroll down for a toolbox of help for Alaskans and nonprofit organizations with special emphasis on some of our grantmaking areas including homelessness and the arts. Our staff is combing through state, regional and national resources. We are updating the list regularly, so keep checking back.

Please reach out to us if you know of additional resources. Is there something you are looking for and can’t find? Nonprofit organizations, if you are accepting volunteers, let us know. People want to help. Connect with us at and 907-297-2700.

How to help

If you are able, considering donating to AK Can Do, the new Covid-19 statewide relief fund. You can donate to the general cause or target your gift to either nonprofits or individuals and families. You can even pick the geographic area you want to help.

Catholic Social Services, Bean’s Café, the Food Bank of Alaska and other groups also accept selected goods as donations. Criteria has changed during the pandemic. Visit individual web sites and Facebook pages for more.

General help

United Ways in Alaska: One stop resource for help through Alaska 2-1-1

Food distribution: April 2020 food distribution calendar

Emergency grants 

The Alaska Community Foundation: We have joined other funders in offering emergency grants of up to $20,000 for nonprofits through a pooled relief fund.

Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority: Emergency grants of up to $25,000 to organizations serving trust beneficiaries

Community foundations: Local foundations have created their own emergency funds.

Mat-Su Health Foundation: Emergency support grants in the Valley

Premera Rural Health Fund: Current round of grant funding closes April 24. This isn’t specific to COVID-19; rural health care providers are invited to seek funds for their biggest need.

Rasmuson Foundation: $2 million emergency relief fund; will target critical gaps.

Sealaska: $1 million relief fund will help Alaska Native communities and specifically nonprofit organizations delivering urgent recovery services.

United Way of Anchorage: Support for laid-off workers and financially strapped families, at first through the Anchorage Cares fund and more recently through AK Can Do. We are supporting this with a challenge grant to encourage others to give.

United Way of Southeast: Relief Fund

United Way of Tanana Valley: Relief Fund

Resources for nonprofits and small business

The Foraker Group: COVID-19 resources include webinars on re-imagining fundraising, crisis communications and hosting virtual meetings

Nonprofit Quarterly: Article on the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES Act) including forgivable loans for nonprofits in the $2.2 trillion federal relief package One-pager on the loan program

National Council of Nonprofits: Handout on loans for nonprofits in CARES Act

Alaska Small Business Development Center: Handout explaining the new loans

Thompson & Co: Free public relations services for Alaska nonprofits

Work to solve homelessness

Anchorage Coalition to End Homelessness: Resources for the community

Bean’s Cafe: Temporary shelters at Sullivan Arena and Ben Boeke Ice Arena

Catholic Social Services: Clare House and Brother Francis Shelter still open

Covenant House Alaska: Open for youth; also here’s their wish list for this hunker down time.

Additional shelters: Salvation Army of Alaska’s McKinnell House and Anchorage Gospel Rescue Mission are among others that remain open.

CDC guidelines: Resources to support those experiencing homelessness

National Alliance to End Homelessness: Webinars, fact sheets on population at risk, action steps and more

National Low Income Housing Coalition Webinars on coronavirus and homelessness

Help for artists and art organizations

Alaska State Council on the Arts and Alaska Arts & Culture Foundation: Relief funds for artists, Alaska arts agencies, what to do if you feel sick and more. This list is being updated regularly. *New: COVID19 Freelance Artist Resource, Arts Ready and Women Arts, emergency funds for all disciplines.

United States Artists: A relief fund offers $5,000 grants to artists facing dire emergencies as a result of coronavirus. Cycle 1 opened April 8 and closes April 23.

Americans for the Arts: Relief funds for artists and other resources

Anchorage Museum : Resources and opportunities for freelance artists

National Endowment for the Arts: Statement on impact of CARES Act

New York Foundation for the Arts: Emergency relief for visual artists over age 40 who identify as a woman

No Film School: Small grants of $250 to $500 to help documentary filmmakers with basics

Help for parents, caregivers and children

Camp Fire Alaska: Two emergency childcare sites opening April 6; care is free for youth of critical workers as defined by the mayor. Register here.

Help Me Grow Alaska: Guidance for parents and other caregivers including information for those caring for children with autism

Stone Soup: Family friendly resource page

thread: Resources for childcare providers and families including tips on working from home

Public Health

U. S. Centers for Disease Control: Official CDC website includes what to do if you feel sick, cases in the U.S., government guidance

State of Alaska: Impacted communities, press briefings and official announcements

Municipality of Anchorage: Emergency orders, multilingual guidance and other key information


New York Times: Live updates

Anchorage Daily News: All coverage on coronavirus

Alaska Public Media: All coverage on coronavirus

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: All coverage on coronavirus

Juneau Empire: Coronavirus coverage

KTUU: Coronavirus coverage

KTVA: Coronavirus coverage

Anchorage Press: Coronavirus coverage