Homer Foundation Wrestles With The Market
The Homer Foundation’s investment fund saw a sharp decline in earnings from October through December of last year. The fund earnings are basically interest made from the investment dividends.
The Foundation donates its earnings to the Homer community through grants to charities and nonprofits. Homer Foundation Executive Director, Joy Steward, says the Foundation’s ability to give is directly tied to how well the investment fund performs.
“The day to day function of our grants program is determined on the earnings. The corpus [or principal], as I said, stays intact. It is the earnings that is distributed and when the earnings are in decline we have less money to distribute to the community,” said Steward.
The overall value of the investment fund is a key factor in how much money the Foundation makes in earnings. Steward says that fund has been declining over the past three years.
“A rather precipitous decline since July and a pretty straight decline since the last quarter ending in December. Our total investments were down for that period around $419,000,” said Steward.
But, things are looking up. She says this last year the Foundation raised an additional $30,000 in donations to help make up for the loss in investment earnings. And, she says, the Foundation’s investments improved during the first three months of this year.
“This current quarter things are turning around and the things we are invested in are doing much better. The activity on the call strategy has picked up. We have regained, as of today, all but $97,000 of that $419,000 loss,” said Steward.
Steward says it was disappointing to have less money available for grants. But, she adds, this is a snapshot in a bigger picture. She says over its 25 year history the Homer Foundation’s investments have performed very well.