November 5, 2020

New grant opportunity to advance community advocacy

The Horizon Foundation offers new grant funding to build local organizations’ organizing and advocacy capacity


The Horizon Foundation of Howard County leads community change so everyone in Howard County can live a longer, better life. The Foundation is committed to improving health through program initiatives, collaborative partnerships, strategic grant making and thoughtful advocacy.

Through this RFP, the Foundation is seeking to partner with an organization (i.e., staff, leadership and members) that:

  1. Is passionate about the Foundation’s mission and at least one of the following strategic campaign areas including:
    • diabetes prevention (e.g., enacting policies that make healthier food and drink more readily available, accessible, and affordable and/or increase county funding for active transportation and complete streets)
    • mental health (e.g., permanently expanding school based mental health supports to all schools in the Howard County Public School System)
    • equity (e.g., advancing county policies that would close racial disparities in health, education, and housing)
  2. Is relatively new to policy work and wants to further develop its organizing, advocacy, communications, and other policy campaign-related skills by fully participating and practicing these skills in a real-time campaign together with the Foundation and other partners;
  3. Has demonstrated interest and experience in engaging communities of color; and
  4. Is not a current grantee of the Foundation or is a grantee who hasn’t been awarded more than $10,000 from the Foundation in the past year. Organizations operating as a fiscal sponsor are excluded from this requirement.

Community Advocacy Grant

The purpose of this strategic opportunity is to build the organizing and advocacy capacity of community organizations by helping them to use their power to advance issues that matter most to them and their community. The organization selected will become a key partner in one of the Foundation’s issue campaigns. Its staff, leadership, and members will learn essential organizing and advocacy skills by practicing them in a real-time policy campaign in conjunction with the Foundation and its other partners.

Grant Opportunity and Applicant Criteria

Applicants should have experience in serving and working with communities of color, be willing to advocate and mobilize community members and also have a passion for one of the strategic campaign issues listed above. The successful applicant will commit to:

  • Fully participating and/or leading campaign activities including but not limited to:
    • Planning meetings, decision-maker hearings, awareness events, actions, etc.
    • Coalition building
    • Hearing “turn-out” related efforts
    • Media events
    • Quarterly trainings and related assignments*
  • Raising Awareness
    • Sharing information with members about our joint campaign, and help develop and share social media content around the campaign.
  • Engaging with other partners
    • Building a base of partners and community members that will help accomplish the development and completion of a successful campaign
  • Reporting
    • Completing short quarterly reports about each of the trainings and campaign learning to date, along with a midyear and final report.

*All trainings/learning sessions will be offered with a virtual option if/until a safe in-person meeting is possible.

One grant of $20,000 will be awarded. Organizations must be tax-exempt under IRS Section 501(c)(3) to apply. The grant period will be from January 1, 2021 through December 31, 2021.

How to Submit Proposals

All proposals must be submitted using our online grants system.

The deadline to submit the application is November 30, 2020. Proposals will be reviewed and finalist interviews will conducted the last week of November. The selected applicant will be notified by December 7.

Log in to our online grants system and select “2020 Advancing Community Advocacy Grant” to submit your application.

Interested in learning more?

For questions about this RFP, contact Jennifer White at

For help navigating the grant system or submitting the application, contact Kenitra Fokwa at