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Cassandra Stalzer
Rasmuson Foundation
(907) 334-0520
FOR RELEASE
Wednesday
September 25, 2013

ALASKA'S RASMUSON FOUNDATION WINS HUD SECRETARY'S AWARD FOR PUBLIC-PHILANTHROPIC PARTNERSHIPS FOR HELPING ALASKANS DEVELOP SUSTAINABLE CAPITAL PROJECTS
HUD & Council on Foundations honor work of 10 foundations across the country

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Council and Foundation today announced that the Rasumuson Foundation of Anchorage is one of 10 foundations across the country to win a 2013 HUD Secretary's Award for Public-Philanthropic Partnerships.

Rasmuson Foundation was cited by HUD and the Council for its Pre-Development. Launched by the Foundation in 2006, the Pre-D Program helps Alaska non-profits, tribal organizations and municipal governments plan sustainable capital projects such as housing, health clinics and libraries that contribute to the long-term viability of the non-profits and the communities they serve. Founding collaborators were the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority and the Denali Commission. To date, the Pre-D Program has assisted in the construction or renovation of more than 50 capital projects across Alaska.

The award announcement was made by Secretary Donovan today at the Council on Foundations' Community Foundations Conference in San Diego. In addition to the Rasmuson Foundation, other winners of the 2013 Secretary's Award for Public-Philanthropic Partnerships included the Empire Health Foundation of Spokane, the Fairfield County Community Foundation of Connecticut, the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland, the Raymond John Wean Foundation of Youngstown, the Rhode Island Foundation, the St. Paul Foundation, the United Way of Greater Los Angeles, the Women's Foundation for a Greater Memphis and the Wells Fargo Regional Foundation serving New Jersey, eastern Pennsylvania and Delaware.

"These organizations are doing the heavy lifting to improve neighborhoods, often without much thanks. Today, we say thank you!" said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. "These foundations are teaming up with public and private partners to bring about positive change and lasting solutions that are making a real difference in their communities."

"These awards provide us all a moment to reflect on the good work that foundations are doing to advance communities across the country," said Vikki Spruill, president and CEO of the Council on Foundations. "I am grateful to HUD and Secretary Donovan for recognizing the many different ways that foundations are thoughtfully responding to the needs of those around them."

"The Pre-D Program offers unparalleled guidance to organizations planning new facilities and renovating or expanding existing ones," said Diane Kaplan, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Rasmuson Foundation. "That guidance has greatly improved the outcomes for more than 50 building projects in Alaska. Equally importantly, it has enabled private and public funders to collaborate with nonprofit organizations throughout the building process from concept to execution, creating new opportunities for learning and ongoing partnership. Ultimately we want to ensure that facilities are right sized, right priced and sustainable over the long term."

The Rasmuson Foundation's Pre-D Program is based on the principle that capital projects are more likely to succeed if they are well planned, right-sized, reasonably priced, properly vetted and are affordable to operate over the long term. Funding partners include the Foundation, the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority, Denali Commission and Mat-Su Health Foundation. The State of Alaska also has been a funder. The Foraker Group operates the program. Funding partners pay the annual $1.05 million in operating costs. The three larger partners each contribute $300,000 per year. Mat-Su Health Foundation contributes $150,000 per year.

The Pre-D Program offers guidance and technical resources to plan new facilities and renovate or expand existing ones. It helps nonprofit, municipal and tribal organizations determine feasibility of their projects and develop the documentation needed for funding applications. Organizations in the Pre-D Program also benefit from funders perspectives at an earlier point in the planning process.

HUD Secretary Awards are given to place-based funders for completed or ongoing initiatives that are executed in partnership with a local, regional, or federal government agency.

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The Council on Foundations (www.cof.org), formed in 1949, is a nonprofit membership association of grantmaking foundations and corporations. Council members include more than 1,700 independent, operating, community, public and company-sponsored foundations, and corporate giving programs in the United States and abroad. The Council’s mission is to provide the opportunity, leadership, and tools philanthropic organizations need to expand, enhance, and sustain their ability to advance the common good.