September 27, 2022

Pursuing trust-centered philanthropy

The Horizon Foundation is embarking on a new year-long strategic planning process that will determine the key priorities of the organization for the next several years. You’ll hear more from us in the coming weeks and months about our goals, how our process will work and how we plan to engage with the community. One thing we do know is that authenticity and pursuing trust-centered philanthropy will be at the core of this process and throughout all our work.

Across the philanthropic sector, trust-centered principles are increasingly being utilized among funders working to create more equitable communities. In general, these principles represent a more holistic approach to grantmaking that is rooted in shared values and true partnerships with grantees.  Practices such as providing more long-term, unrestricted funding, simplifying paperwork and reporting, being transparent in communications and acting on honest feedback all help funders build deeper relationships with grantees, along with mutual trust and accountability.

The Foundation is implementing many of these principles in our grantmaking processes currently. Some examples: Our most recent equity grants are three-year operating grants; our grant applications are more streamlined; and we are working with our Healthier Choices Coalition grantees and partners to determine our joint advocacy priorities. We will continue to learn and incorporate more trust-centered practices as we move forward.

Our goal is to be an organization that builds trusting relationships with our community and operates through authentic partnerships where grantees not only provide input but co-create programs and policy solutions with us that achieve our joint vision of social change. We do not have all the answers, and we will make mistakes. But the Foundation is committed to being part of the change we want to see in Howard County and beyond. We look forward to working with all of you to build partnerships that will break down historical systems of oppression and overcome long-standing obstacles to good health. Together, we can build a healthy, equitable community where everyone has the opportunity to thrive.