Horizon Community Funds of Northern Kentucky

OVERVIEW: This funder is relatively new on the community grantmaking scene and focuses efforts on three Kentucky counties. Interests are poverty, arts, education, health, and community development.

FUNDING AREAS: Poverty, arts, education, health, and community development

IP TAKE: Donor involvement hasn’t been historically strong in this region of the country, but some powerful business leaders are trying to change that. Now, while the funder works out a grantmaking strategy, is a good time to introduce yourself to HCF’s president.

PROFILE: The Horizon Community Funds of Northern Kentucky (HCF) was formed by a group of business and civic leaders to address needs of a historically underserved region of Kentucky. This is a relatively new community foundation. It's based in Covington, Kentucky, with a focus on the counties of Boone, Campbell, and Kenton. Initial support has come from the leaders of major corporations, including the current and retired CEOs of the E.W. Scripps and the CFOs of Kroger and Proctor and Gamble.

Bill Butler, Chuck Scheper, Bob Zapp, and Will Ziegler founded HCF in 2016, and it was established as a 501(c)3 in 2017. HCF offers community impact funds, donor-advised funds, and designated funds. Grantmaking interests are poverty, arts, education, health, and community development.

From its start, this foundation has aimed to mobilize donors across economic levels. In addition to large donors, it looks for residents of all backgrounds to contribute whatever they can to support their community. The foundation pointed out that the region’s population is at least 400,000, representing 22 percent of the metropolitan population, while only two percent of aggregate funds invested in local community foundations comes from this region.

General questions should be directed to Nancy Grayson at NGrayson@HorizonFunds.org or 859-757-1552. Grayson is the president of the foundation and key staff member to know. She has a strong background in education funding and previously worked as the director of strategic initiatives for the Northern Kentucky Education Council. Otherwise, HCF is governed by a council of trustees, and executives carry out their own programs while reporting to the council.

As the time this profile was written, HCF had not yet publicized how local nonprofits can apply for grants. The initial focus was to attract donors and build up the fund so that it can become an effective local grantmaker. Check the funder’s news section to learn about updates on application opportunities, guidelines, and deadlines.  


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