(Editor’s note: Nonprofit Spotlight is a new monthly feature of The Lane Report.)
Since Horizon Community Funds was founded in 2017, it has raised more than $25 million, uniting resources to improve the quality of life in Northern Kentucky. In the past two months alone, Horizon has raised nearly $2 million to support businesses, organizations and individuals impacted by COVID-19.
The Horizon NKY Coronavirus Relief Fund was launched March 17 and is supported by The Butler Foundation and The R.C. Durr Foundation as well as corporate citizens including Fischer Homes, Drees Homes Foundation, First Financial Bank and individual donors. More than $400,000 has been granted to six nonprofits so far.
“Early funding has been prioritized for nonprofits providing the most basic emergency needs for our community, such as food, health care, hygiene and cleaning items, and similar resources,” said Nancy Grayson, Horizon’s president.
The fund also complements the work of local public health, nonprofit and government entities, and helps support those experiencing hardships related to the pandemic.
“The fact that we were able to announce the fund with $1.8 million already available speaks to Northern Kentucky’s nature of standing shoulder-to-shoulder and rising up together to face a challenge,” Grayson said.
Horizon is also helping raise funds for the St. Elizabeth Associate Crisis Support Fund, which offers financial assistance to St. Elizabeth Healthcare associates during times of unexpected personal need. The community foundation also teamed with the Northern Kentucky Chamber and NKY Tri-ED to create a restaurant relief fund, which has provided relief grants to 37 establishments.
Horizon was formed with the guidance of longtime Northern Kentucky leaders Bill Butler (Corporex), Will Ziegler (retired attorney), Bob Zapp (retired bank president), Chuck Scheper (retired CEO) and others. It has three full-time employees.
50 E. Rivercenter Blvd.
Below, Grayson provides more information about the foundation.
How do you get people involved?
Aside from traditional outreach, we have introduced giving circles, which bring like-minded people together to combine their donations as one lump sum for a nonprofit selected by members.
How do you determine which organizations receive funds?
Community Impact Fund grantees are selected by our Council of Trustees through a very thoughtful, thorough process. Nonprofit funding requests are reviewed with a lens of acceleration, innovation and leveraging. That is, how does the request show that the nonprofit is quickly moving the needle to make change in Northern Kentucky; offering programs, services or strategies that aren’t currently offered or showcasing a “new” way of doing things; and utilizing existing resources and/or partnerships.
What sets Horizon apart from other grant-funding organizations?
Our main focus for funding and building philanthropy is in Boone, Campbell and Kenton counties. The relationships of our leadership team and our board are embedded throughout these communities, which allows us to have genuine, impactful conversations about the needs of these communities. ■
The Horizon Coronavirus Relief Fund is supported by The Butler Foundation, The R.C. Durr Foundation, Fischer Homes, Drees Homes Foundation, First Financial Bank, AT&T Kentucky, Central Bank, CTI Clinical Trial and Consulting Services, The Charles H. Dater Foundation, Drees Homes Foundation, Duke Energy, Fifth Third Foundation, Forcht Bank, Heritage Bank, Huntington Bank, The Milburn Family Foundation, Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Northern Kentucky University, Republic Bank, The Scripps Howard Foundation, and St. Elizabeth Healthcare. Many individuals have also offered support for the fund, said Horizon president Nancy Grayson.
Lorie Hailey is special publications editor of The Lane Report. She can be reached at [email protected].
To nominate a nonprofit organization to be featured in the Nonprofit Spotlight, email [email protected].