FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Where do the funds for HSF come from?

The Hill-Snowdon Foundation was created by Arthur B. Hill with a gift of shares in stock in the Johnson & Johnson Corporation (J&J). Until recently, 100% of HSF funds came from our investments in J&J stock; however, since then the board has made a commitment to diversify its portfolio by shifting funds to socially responsible investment stocks. In 2017, our assets stood at approximately $39 million dollars, and we conitinue to give out approximately $2 million each year.

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What social justice strategies does HSF support?
HSF has adopted community organizing as its core social justice strategy. We believe that community organizing is the best way to enliven the sense of individual and collective power of disenfranchised and marginalized communities and push through the systemic barriers that bar people of color and low-income communities from participating fully in the democratic process. While we realize that community organizing is just one of many social justice strategies, HSF supports organizations that have community organizing as a major aspect of their overall work.

 

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What is the size and length of a typical grant?
The size of HSF’s grants typically range from $25,000 to $35,000. Typically, a new group will receive a grant near the lower end of this range, while groups that have been partners for a while tend to receive higher grants. Also, the largest grants are reserved for those groups that merge multi-generational organizing and economic justice organizing. HSF mostly makes general support grants. Recently, HSF adopted an eight (8) year time limit for its major grants. Our grants are renewed in one-year increments, but groups that have been supported by us for longer than three years are eligible for a streamlined renewal process.

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How can I apply for a grant?
Due to our small staff, HSF does not accept unsolicited proposals. However, we actively seek out information from new groups whose work intersects with our interests. We also encourage organizations to thoroughly review our website to see if they fit with our interests. If you believe there is a strong fit with our Program Areas and what we look for in organizations, then reach out to us so that we can talk further about your work, or fill out our Inquiry Form; it is always better if you come on the referral of one of our grassroots, funder or other partners. We make every effort to return all calls and emails promptly, but please be patient if we do not get back to you immediately.

 

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How do I apply for HSF’s Small Grants Program?
Only current HSF grassroots partners are eligible for HSF Small Grants Fund. The HSF Small Grants Fund was established to provide organizations with timely small grants to current HSF grant recipients to help respond to urgent and unanticipated events, unique opportunities or capacity building needs between grant cycles. Current HSF Grassroots Partners can apply for one-time discretionary grants of up to $5,000 per year between regular grant cycles. Because the funds are limited and on a first come, first serve basis, we ask that applicants make every effort to calculate actual costs, rather than general requests for the full $5,000. The Small Grants Fund is divided into two pools of funds, the Opportunity Fund and the Capacity Building Fund. If you are a current HSF grant recipient, please visit the Grassroots Partners web-page to learn more about applying for a Small Grant.

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Does HSF have a regional focus for its grantmaking?
Under HSF’s 2012-2015 strategic plan, we have simplified our geographic interest areas. The Fund for DC is our program area that is limited to a specific locale (e.g., Washington, DC). In our Youth Organizing and Economic Justice Organizing program areas, the majority of our grant funds(60-70%) will be directed toward the US South, and the remainder will be available for grantmaking will made for strategic investments throughout the country that help promote the goals of our Youth Organizing and Economic Justice Organizing program areas. The Making Black Lives Matter Initiative and Defending the Dream Fund both emphasize the South as a priority region, but also include the Mid-West and other under-resourced areas as well.

 

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What does HSF mean by multi-generational organizing?
Multi-generational organizing refers to organizing efforts that bring together youth (18 years and younger) and adults to share leadership and power within organizing campaigns and decision-making structures (i.e., organizations, coalitions, networks, etc). For our purposes, there are two types of multi-generational organizing arrangements:

  • Inter-generational: where youth and adults share leadership in the design, implementation and evaluation of organizing campaigns, as well as the management of a particular organization (i.e. board or senior management level).

  • Cross-generational: where youth-led organizations/projects and adult led organizations come together in networks or coalitions to do joint work. Youth in these settings have power and leadership in the direction of the coalition’s efforts, but not within the decision-making structures of the other coalition member organizations.

In both formations, we would like to see that there is a growing intention to develop, promote and integrate youth leadership as a “cultural” norm. Our hope in promoting multi-generational organizing is that it will create a stronger and more vital movement by utilizing the strengths of adult and youth organizers, create a pipeline for a new generation of social justice leaders and increase the sustainability of the social justice movement overall.

 

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What does HSF mean by anti-Black structural racism?

Structural racism is the normalization and legitimization of an array of dynamics — historical, cultural, institutional and interpersonal — that routinely advantage whites while producing cumulative and chronic adverse outcomes for people of color. Structural racism encompasses the entire system of white domination, diffused and infused in all aspects of society, including its history, culture, politics, economics and entire social fabric.  Anti-Black Structural Racism is the term used to specifically describe the unique discrimination, violence and harms imposed on and impacting Black people specifically.  We see anti-Black structural racism as the foundational architecture for the strategies, tactics, tools and cultural worldviews that propagate and maintain racial oppression, repression and exclusion in the U.S. and the world.

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