The Alaska Children’s Trust’s nearly $11 million endowment, formerly managed by the Alaska Department of Revenue, was granted to The Alaska Community Foundation for the benefit of the Alaska Children’s Trust as of July 1.
Gov. Sean Parnell included the appropriation of the full value of the trust’s endowment to The Alaska Community Foundation in his FY12 capital budget, which was signed and finalized in late June.
“I was honored to work with these wonderful organizations and get the language inserted into the capital budget, transferring the fund to ACF,” said Rep. Anna Fairclough, R-Eagle River. “I am confident ACF will be a valuable asset to the trust. With their help and deep connections in our state, children will get the help they need and lives will be saved. We are one step closer to ending child abuse in Alaska.”
The Alaska Children’s Trust Fund is now one of the largest agency endowments of The Alaska Community Foundation, which consists of similar endowments for organizations like Juneau-based Perseverance Theatre, the Alaska Native Heritage Center and dozens of others.
“We are excited to add such a well-respected community asset to our organization,” said Candace Winkler, president of the foundation. “The Alaska Children’s Trust does incredible work on behalf of Alaska’s children and families and we are so proud to be entrusted with the opportunity to help in that mission.”
The Alaska Children’s Trust awards annual grants to community-based prevention projects that promote safe and nurturing environments for Alaska’s children. Since its inception in 1996, the trust has granted more than $3 million to innovative, community-based child abuse prevention projects across the state, including Anchorage, Juneau, Bethel, Nanwalek, Sitka, Hoonah, Wasilla, Palmer, Togiak, Seward, Fairbanks, Northern Alaska and Dillingham. The trust functions as a savings account for prevention of child abuse and neglect in Alaska, which has one of the highest per capita rates of child abuse in the nation.
“The trust has grown and having it as a unit of state government no longer made sense,” said Diane Kaplan, chair of the board of the Alaska Children’s Trust. Kaplan explained that although no legislature ever did so, technically the ACT fund balance could have been tapped to pay for general expenses of the state. Having it reside with a third party like The Alaska Community Foundation protects it while ensuring sustainable growth and long-term stability.
Established in 1995, the Alaska Community Foundation grants approximately $6 million a year to charitable projects and nonprofit organizations across the state. ACF is comprised of over 280 component funds and endowments, including the Seward Community Foundation, the Alaska Disaster Recovery Fund, the Anchorage Schools Foundation, the Alaska Children’s Trust and many others. ACF’s mission is to grow philanthropy and connect people who care with causes that matter. The foundation helps individuals, organizations and communities create funds that – like the Alaska Permanent Fund – provide financial resources to improve the quality of life in Alaska now and forever.