July 1, 2021

Changemaker Challenge is back! What’s your big idea to spark social change in Howard County?

Win up to $35k in prize money!

The Horizon Foundation, United Way of Central Maryland, the Women’s Giving Circle of Howard County and the Community Foundation of Howard County are excited to announce the launch of the third Changemaker Challenge, focused on sparking innovation and fresh thinking to address some of Howard County’s most pressing social issues.

We’re looking for innovative thinkers who are ready to elevate, accelerate, and activate their big idea to make Howard County even better. Individuals, teams and nonprofit organizations are invited to pitch a big idea and have a chance to potentially receive up to $35,000 in prize money. Ideas should focus on sustainable actions to help residents and communities recover from the pandemic and the inequities it exposed. Howard County could benefit from fresh ideas that address issues like expanding equity, stable housing, access to healthy food, mental health, digital access, early childhood and youth education.

 How does it work?

  • All big ideas to make Howard County better must be pitched at www.changemakerchallengehc.org by August 29.
  • If an idea is chosen, it will be presented to a virtual, live audience on November 9.
  • A panel of judges will select four winners to receive grants totaling $60,000. All finalists will be eligible for a grant of either $25,000, $15,000, a $10,000 grant for an initiative that supports women and girls in Howard County and an audience choice award of an additional $10,000.

Pitch your idea now>>

Howard County has a long history of tireless work by many individuals and organizations that have brought creative solutions to some of these pressing problems. The Changemaker Challenge is designed to spark and celebrate new and continued innovation in our community. Social innovation is a novel solution to a social problem that is more effective, efficient, sustainable or just than current solutions.

“Changemaker Challenge has a tradition of bringing our community together to showcase the best outside-the-box social change innovation Howard County has to offer,” said Nikki Highsmith Vernick, president and CEO, Horizon Foundation. “We are excited to continue our partnership with other local philanthropic organizations to celebrate the grand ideas that will, no doubt, establish a lasting impact that will take us through COVID and well beyond.”

Learn more about the Changemaker Challenge, including official rules, terms and conditions online at: www.changemakerchallengehc.org.

Pitch your idea now>>


Learn about past winners

2019 Changemaker Challenge winnersFrom supporting recovery from alcoholism with healthy alternatives, to making sustainable building materials from recycled goods, to supporting residents with intellectual disabilities, our past changemakers are leading the way to drive positive change in our community. Learn more about our 2019 and 2017 winners!

Read more>>