By investing in the stories, ideas, and community-building efforts of Alaskans across the state, the Forum’s Strengthening Communities Grants Program seeks to spark connection and deepen our understanding of others, ourselves, and our communities.
Each year, the Forum awards project grants to nonprofit organizations and state, local, and federally recognized tribal governments across the state. We also provide stipends to individuals looking to host community conversations through our Kindling Conversation program.
The Forum’s Grants team is available to answer questions and provide guidance on applicant eligibility, project ideas, budget questions, and technical difficulties submitting an application. All feedback or suggestions are based on our past experience working with grantees and our selection committee, and do not guarantee funding. Note, Forum staff do not make funding decisions; our Board of Directors has final approval.
Shoshi Bieler, Grants & Stories Programs Manager
STRENGTHENING COMMUNITIES GRANTS
This year, we are launching our new Strengthening Communities Grants Program. This program consists of three funding opportunities: Stories, Convenings & Dialogues, and Kindling Conversations. We intend to offer this grant program annually starting in Fall 2023.
Stories Grants (offered every fall)
Grants of $10,000 to organizations for projects working to build a more inclusive narrative of Alaska’s past and present by amplifying stories that have been underrecognized or excluded from the public discourse. Open for applications through November 29, 2023.
Convenings & Dialogues Grants (offered every spring)
Grants of $3,000 to organizations for projects working to spark connection and inspire understanding through participatory convenings and dialogues. More information coming soon. Currently closed, expected to open Spring 2024.
Kindling Conversation Stipends (rolling year-round)
Noncompetitive stipends of $250 for individuals or organizations interested in hosting short, thoughtful community conversations that connect people across difference and foster inclusive conversational spaces throughout the state. Open for applications on a rolling basis.
We have spent the last year assessing and redeveloping our grantmaking program guided by the following goals:
Deepening our grant program’s alignment with the Forum’s mission. Through each of the three funding opportunities in our Strengthening Communities Grants, we are committed to investing in projects across the state that “connect Alaskans through stories, ideas, and experiences that inspire understanding and strengthen communities.” We see this as not only a way to live our mission through our grantmaking, but also to support the many community-building projects led by organizations and individuals across the state.
Creating consistency and predictability in our grantmaking. Like for many other nonprofits, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a deep impact on our programming. Specifically for our grantmaking program, COVID-19 meant that our regular grantmaking has been more or less on pause for the past three years. This year, in 2023, we are excited to be relaunching an annual grant cycle. Not only does this mean that applicants across the state will be able to know what to expect of our funding opportunities and timelines, but it also means that we will be able to gather meaningful feedback to continue to improve our grantmaking year-to-year. To that end, if there are comments or suggestions you would like to share about what is working and what could continue to be improved, we welcome you to fill out this anonymous survey.
Re-assessing all aspects of our grantmaking through an equity, accessibility, and trust-based lens. Alongside an organization-wide effort to uplift diversity, equity and inclusion in our programming, we are working to re-assess all aspects of our grantmaking through an equity, accessibility, and trust-based lens. This includes everything from our application process and requirements, to our selection process, to monitoring and reporting requirements. Some changes we have already made include: removing our match requirement; removing the requirement for supplemental application materials such as detailed budget narratives and letters of support; and shifting the format of progress reports from written reports with each fund disbursement request to short phone/virtual check-ins a few times over the course of the grant period.
This work is ongoing and always in process. As we work toward more equitable grantmaking practices, we welcome feedback. If there are comments or suggestions you would like to share about what is working and what could continue to be improved, we welcome you to fill out this anonymous survey.
The Alaska Humanities Forum is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that designs and facilitates experiences to bridge distance and difference – programming that shares and preserves the stories of people and places across our vast state, and explores what it means to be Alaskan.
June 1, 2023 • Rachael McPherson
June 1, 2023 • Rachael McPherson
May 31, 2023 • Rachael McPherson