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Horizon Foundation Level 3 Grant Opportunities

Monday, July 14, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz
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Background

The Horizon Foundation is an independent philanthropy dedicated to improving the health and wellness of people living and working in Howard County, Maryland. We invest in strategic grants and initiatives to achieve the greatest impact. We also build partnerships and advocate for public policy changes that advance our mission.

Approach

The Horizon Foundation's strategic plan guides its grantmaking approach and its responsive grant funding criteria. Although Howard County residents are generally healthier than the rest of the state, the county still faces major health challenges in a few key areas. Our strategic plan and initiatives were developed after careful and thoughtful examination of our community's health data, including:

• More than half of all adults and one in four children in Howard County are overweight or obese.
• Being obese or overweight is a known risk factor for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and some cancers, and together, these diseases cause over half of all deaths in Howard County each year.
• Nearly 1.6 million Marylanders have diabetes or pre-diabetes and about one out of three children born today will likely develop diabetes in their lifetimes.
• Residents face significant barriers to accessing primary and preventive health in the county, including financial, language, and health literacy barriers.
• A significant proportion of residents visit the hospital emergency department for preventable conditions.
• Increasing number of residents receive behavioral health care at the hospital emergency department.
• Racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic disparities exist across obesity-related and access-related measures.

The Foundation's strategic plan is focused on two primary areas: Promoting Healthy Lifestyles and Increasing Access to Health Care. These are the most significant areas of opportunity for us to improve health and wellness in Howard County, and we are looking for partners who have innovative ideas and programs to help achieve our vision of long, healthy lives for those who live or work in Howard County.

Letters of Intent

The Foundation is accepting Letters of Intent (LOI) in the form of an online questionnaire from non-profit and public entities serving Howard County, Maryland for its Strategic Level III Grant Funding cycle. All requests must be submitted via our online grants system, which can be accessed here. The deadline to submit the LOI is August 15, 2014. Questionnaires will be reviewed and qualified applicants will be invited to submit a full proposal no later than September 1, 2014.

The Foundation will consider requests of $50,000 to $150,000 a year for up to two years and will fund a total of $400,000 in 2014. Funding amounts and the number of awards may vary depending on the quality of the applications the Foundation receives.

Program Areas

Consistent with our strategic plan, the Foundation is interested in funding focused proposals and projects aimed at improving health and wellness in Howard County specifically including:
Promoting Healthy Lifestyles

Goal: All Howard County children will achieve a healthy weight.

The Foundation is seeking to fund evidence-based strategies to reduce obesity in the county, particularly for children and their families. More and more evidence is showing that poor nutrition is the greatest contributor to our nation's high obesity rates. Even Howard County data show that residents drink too many sugary drinks and are not eating the recommended number of fruits and vegetables daily. Sugary drinks, as the largest single source of added sugar in children's diets, are a major cause of our national and local weight gain. The Foundation launched "Howard County Unsweetened" in December 2012 and is working to improve health in key settings (e.g., schools, childcare, doctor's offices, employers, and community organizations) and educate parents about healthier drink and food options for their families.

The Foundation is interested in funding effective programs, projects and policies that:

1. complement and/or expand upon the Howard County Unsweetened Campaign;
2. improve the nutrition and physical activity environment where children live, learn and play;
3. educate parents and children regarding healthier nutritional choices, particularly in lower socioeconomic and diverse families;
4. advocate for public policy changes to support childhood obesity prevention;
5. increase access to healthier drink and food options for county residents; or,
6. enhance the built environment to foster greater routine physical activity among residents, especially children.

Increasing Access to Care

Goal: All Howard County residents will have access to quality, affordable health care.
The Foundation is seeking to fund programs that ensure access to high quality, affordable health care to every resident of Howard County. The Affordable Care Act extends health insurance options to many residents, but accessibility, language, culture, and affordability remain barriers to care. In addition, the county has geographic "hot spots" where residents of all ages frequently use the emergency room for basic care or are admitted to the hospital with preventable conditions. Our community can also improve care transitions for patients leaving the hospital for home or another facility.
 
The Foundation is interested in funding:

1. education programs focused on prevention, wellness, and the importance of having a usual source of comprehensive primary care;
2. expansion of comprehensive primary, preventive, and chronic care services for county residents;
3. care transition programs focused on reducing preventable hospital admissions and readmissions; or,
4. programs that expand the full continuum of mental health care in the county.
The Foundation recognizes that community solutions may emerge outside of the above areas and welcomes proposals that outline alternative ways to achieve the Foundation's strategic objectives.

Eligibility Criteria

1. Proposals will be accepted from organizations that directly benefit people who live or work in Howard County so we can create a healthier community.
2. Organizations must be: (a) tax-exempt under IRS Section 501(c)3 or (b) public entities.
3. Proposals should demonstrate a direct link to the priority areas listed above and/or focus on a significant health and wellness or innovation concept or issue in the county.
4. Programs should strive to reach a significant proportion of county residents and/or a significant number of lower income residents and/or racially and ethnically diverse residents. Programs can be piloted, but must include a sufficient number of residents to determine impact and to expand over time.
5. Priority will be given to organizations with demonstrated experience or ability in collaborating with other organizations to reach collective goals.
6. Organizations awarded a Level III grant must meet BBB Standards of Accountability, Maryland Nonprofits Standards for Excellence, or other similar industry specific standard by the time of award. To get a head start on the BBB Standards of Accountability please visit the Better Business Bureau/Greater Maryland.

Guidelines

Projects may include organizational sustainability improvement, pilot or innovation programs, capacity building, program development, planning grants, or strategic collaboration. At present, the Foundation does not support capital campaigns, endowments, individuals, or bricks and mortar projects.

Projects should be planned for a specific timeframe. The Foundation will consider proposals up to two years. If submitting a multi-year grant, detailed line-item budgets for each year must be submitted separately.

The Foundation is most interested in supporting organizations that provide evidence of collaboration to leverage resources and to creatively solve problems. Nonprofits that are part of a collaborative effort funded by the Foundation may also seek funding for their individual projects.

The Foundation places a high priority on organizations that are able to clearly articulate organizational goals, present a clear plan for achieving results, and track outcomes related to the people and communities served.

Organizations invited to submit a full proposal will be required to conduct a site visit at the Horizon Foundation with staff and members of the Board of Trustees.

Timeline

Request for Letters of Intent (LOI) July 8, 2014
LOI questionnaires due August 15, 2014
Requests for full proposals- by invitation only No later than September 1, 2014
Full proposals due October 10, 2014
Reverse Site Visits - required 1st week of November
Board Approval November 20, 2014
Level III Grant Award Notification 1st Week of December

Should you have any questions about the Level III grants, please visit our website, and/or contact Rosimar Meléndez, Senior Program Officer, at the Foundation office (443-766-1213).


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