Go figure: Alaska nonprofit marks 9-digit donations goal
An Alaska group is celebrating $100,000,000 of giving by the state's residents, nearly half of it from an anonymous contribution.
For the Alaska Community Foundation, the sum represents a remarkable milestone and achievement.
On Wednesday, ACF announced at Catholic Social Services in Anchorage that the sum has been raised from about 1,800 donors across the state. It included a $40 million gift from a unnamed single donor.
"If you had told me five years ago we would raise $100 million for philanthropic causes that people care about, I would have probably not believed you," said Nina Kemppel, the foundation's president and CEO. "I continue to be surprised by the generosity of Alaskans."
The group was founded in 1995 and embarked on a campaign to "raise unrestricted money for non-profit organizations across the state." Its goal is simple, Kemppel says: "To grow philanthropy across the state of Alaska."
The money will go to wide range of groups. Ten affiliate communities in the state, as well as other nonprofits will receive financial help.
"It could be for senior programs, children's programs; it's really what the donor wants to invest in." said Diane Kaplan, the president and CEO of the Rasmuson Foundation.
One of the organizations being helped is Facing Foster Care in Alaska.
"We're all about teaching youth to be able to break the cycle of abuse and neglect," said its founder, Amanda Metivier. "So when Alaskans give to community foundation and that funding comes to us, we're able to do that."
The initial goal was $50 million but when the group achieved it, Kemppel – a four-time Olympic skier and nine-time Mount Marathon winner – says her athletic roots took hold.
"I had the same sense of nervousness that i did when going into an Olympic race of 'Are we really going to be able to do this today?,'" Kemppel said. "That sense of drive to be able to get it done was there."
Staying positive and being thankful for every gift received the foundation reach Wednesday's finish line.
"We're delighted and thankful to all of our donors," Kemppel said.
Ann Ringstad, a lifelong Alaskan donated.
"I want to give back to Alaska," Ringstad said. "My heart is here, my kids are here, my grandkids are here, and I want to do something to make a difference in this state."
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