September 11, 2017

2017 Horizon Foundation Strategic Health Initiative Grants Request for Proposals


The Horizon Foundation is the largest independent health philanthropy in Maryland. We lead community change so everyone in Howard County can live a longer, better life. We are committed to improving health through our innovative initiatives, collaborative partnerships, strategic grantmaking and thoughtful advocacy. Our work is driven by the community’s needs, and shaped strategically around solutions that promise the greatest, lasting impact on physical and mental health in our community.

The Horizon Foundation’s strategic plan guides its grantmaking approach and grant funding criteria. Our two key priority areas are promoting healthy lifestyles and increasing access to quality, affordable health care. 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.

Request for Proposals: Strategic Health Initiative Grants

The Foundation is currently accepting proposals from nonprofit and public entities serving Howard County, Maryland, for its Strategic Health Initiative Grants funding cycle.

All proposals must be submitted using our online grants system.

The deadline to submit the application is Oct. 20, 2017.  Proposals will be reviewed and qualified applicants will be required to conduct a site visit at the Horizon Foundation with staff and members of the Board of Trustees. 

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

Priority Areas

Consistent with our strategic priorities, the Foundation seeks to fund focused proposals and projects aimed at improving health and wellness in Howard County that address the following issues:

Promoting Healthy Lifestyles
Goal: All Howard County children will achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

The Foundation seeks to fund evidence-based strategies to maintain healthy weights in the county, particularly for children and their families. This includes 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 for families from lower-income and racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds;
  4. educate businesses and community organizations about steps they can take to make healthier food and drink choices more readily available to their employees and clients;
  5. advocate for public policy changes to support chronic disease prevention; or
  6. help residents choose healthy, active transportation options, like biking and walking, to get to school, work or other destinations in their communities.

Increasing Access to Care
Goal: All Howard County residents will have access to quality, affordable health care.

The Foundation seeks to fund programs, projects or policies that expand access to high-quality, affordable health and mental health care to every resident of Howard County. This includes efforts to:

  1. expand comprehensive primary, preventive and chronic care services for county residents;
  2. reduce preventable hospital admissions and readmissions;
  3. expand the full continuum of mental health care services in the county; or
  4. help residents with end-of-life care planning and choosing a health care agent who can communicate their wishes.

The Foundation also 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 aim to improve health for everyone in Howard County, Maryland, including those who live or work here.
  2. Organizations must be: (a) recognized as tax exempt by the IRS or (b) public entities.
  3. Proposals should demonstrate a direct link to the priority areas listed above and/or focus on a significant, evidence-based health and wellness issue in the county.
  4. Programs should strive to reach a significant proportion of county residents and workers and/or a significant number of lower-income residents and/or racially and ethnically diverse residents. Programs can be proposed as a pilot, but must serve a sufficient number of people 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 strategic health initiative grant must meet BBB Standards of Accountability, Maryland Nonprofits Standards for Excellence or other similar industry specific standard by the time of award. To learn more about the BBB Standards of Accountability please visit the Better Business Bureau serving Greater Maryland.


Projects may include organizational sustainability improvement, pilot or innovation programs, capacity building, program development, planning grants, advocacy or strategic collaboration. Presently, 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.


Requests for Proposals Sept. 11, 2017
Full Proposals Due Oct. 20, 2017
Reverse Site Visits – required Oct. 26, Nov. 1 and Nov. 16, 2017
Board Approval Nov. 16, 2017
Strategic Grant Award Notification End of November 2017

For answers to further questions, please contact Senior Program Officer Rosimar Meléndez at 443-766-1213.