We have two grant cycles per year in the spring and fall, ending in May and November respectively. HSF has a small staff and thus does not accept unsolicited proposals or letters of inquiry. Our online grant application is available to organizations who have received an RFP and login information from HSF staff.
The majority of the grants we make are renewal grants. After the 2008 economic downturn, HSF chose to continue supporting our grassroots partners at 2007 levels through 2010 while many other funders were cutting back, despite more than a 20% reduction in our assets. Since 2011, HSF has been in a period of rebuilding its assets. As a result, funding for new groups is very limited at this time.
However, we actively seek out information from new groups whose work intersects with our interests. We encourage organizations to thoroughly review our website to see if they meet our grantmaking criteria. If your organization is involved in community organizing, and you believe there is a strong fit, then give us a call so that we can talk further about your work. It is always better if you come on the referral of one of our grassroots or funder partners. We make every effort to return all calls promptly, but please be patient if we do not return your call immediately.
HSF’s grants generally range from $15,000 to $40,000. Most of our grants are made in one-year increments; however, we are committed to a long-term funding strategy that does not impose automatic time limits. Renewal grants are made on a case-by-case basis and are informed by our relationship with each organization. Most of our grants are general support grants.