Our deep commitment to advancing dedicated, skilled, and compassionate professionals and volunteers to serve Alaska’s nonprofit and tribal organizations is guided by the Foraker Nonprofit Sustainability Model.
We know that for vital nonprofits that serve our communities and bolster our economy to succeed, they need to be strong, stable, and ready to innovate and collaborate. Foraker offers Alaska nonprofits and tribes the knowledge, skills, and experiences they need to thrive.
Remaining relevant to our Partners and Alaska’s nonprofit sector is key to our success. Our Theory of Change articulates the way we work with organizations, their leaders, and the sector as a whole, as well as the outcomes we expect at various points of engagement. At the same time we are listening and soliciting feedback from our Partners, funders, and the sector to help us stay on track and achieve greater impact. Together, the model and the theory provide the basis for our accountability and assure that our programs and services remain dynamic and vital resources for the sector.
You have our commitment to provide mission-centered, creative, high quality, and cost-effective services to all regions of Alaska. Our approach is rooted in our core values to meet you as staff, board, and volunteers where you currently exist, working with you to foster new skills, collaborative partnerships, sustainability, and strategic thinking.
These values are: Sustainability – Strategic – Collaborative – Urban/Rural/Native/Non-Native. The last value reflects our commitment to serving all Alaska’s people and communities.
Our core values are reflected in our acknowledgement of the land where we live, our commitment to serving nonprofits and tribes in urban and rural Alaska, and our obligation to address the systemic racism and oppression that is deeply rooted in our history as a state. It is from this, that we begin our understanding of the oppressive systems and structures in our sector that impact people. For some time now, the Foraker board and staff have been exploring what it means to be a diverse, equitable, and inclusive organization. The following is a high-level summary of the five tenants that describe our commitment.
We are part of the journey. We believe we are a catalyst. We recognize that our understanding will deepen and grow and that no single path fits every organization.
We believe strong nonprofits are diverse nonprofits. Through our research, consulting, and educational programs, we seek a shift in board and staff composition that reflects the community and mission of each nonprofit.
We know our work is upstream and downstream. We must simultaneously work with what exists now while creating lasting systemic change.
We focus on race and intersectionality in our work. We champion our commitment to diversity and focus on creating true inclusion and belonging for every person.
We create and hold space for conscious conversations. Instead of shying away from difficult conversations, we embrace the opportunity to oppose racism and deepen the understanding that diversity and equity are essential to every mission.
At Foraker, we are dedicated to the ideas that:
Long-term goal: Lead innovative systems change in order to strengthen the ability of Alaska nonprofits to significantly improve our communities.
Achieving our long-term goal: Our values and theory of change articulate the way we work with organizations, leaders, and the sector to achieve our goals. They ensure that we provide excellence to our programs and services while we strive to achieve new goals. The Foraker Group will act as a leader, catalyst, convener, innovator, and connector for the Alaska nonprofit sector to achieve the goals set out in our 2022- 2027 strategic plan.
In 1998, the United Way of Anchorage set a strategic goal to create a model of shared services for the nonprofit sector based on the consolidated services of several oil companies on the North Slope of Alaska. That idea germinated over time and was cultivated in a moment of great change in Alaska’s philanthropic and corporate landscape. Foraker was launched under the United Way umbrella in January 2001 with the clear intent to serve all Alaska nonprofits and tribes by building their internal capacity and promoting philanthropy.
Guided by a governance board and an advisory board made up of Alaska’s business, philanthropic, and nonprofit leaders, we were positioned to serve the larger economic and social environment in Alaska. Initial financial support came from the Rasmuson Foundation, United Way of Anchorage, M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, ConocoPhillips Alaska, and BP Alaska. Dennis McMillian was Foraker’s founding President/CEO who expertly led the organization for 15 years.
We officially assumed the responsibilities of the state nonprofit association through a formal relationship with the National Council of Nonprofits in 2009. Today, we offer a wide range of services, educational programs, and public policy initiatives that help assure the success of Alaska’s nonprofit sector.
In the same way, The Foraker Group “stands beside” Alaska’s nonprofit professionals, working with them to build effective, strategic, and sustainable organizations.