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Special Initiatives

Rapid Response Fund
Trustee Discretionary Grants
Joint Grants
Post-Katrina Initiative
Low Income Voter Empowerment (LIVE)

 

Rapid Response Fund
The Rapid Response Fund provides support to local community organizations in the aftermath of major natural and other disasters, such as the Asian Tsunami in 2004, Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the ongoing humanitarian crisis Darfur (2006), the cyclone Sidr in Bangladesh in 2007 and the series of hurricanes and tropical storms which hit Haiti in 2008.
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Trustee Discretionary Grants
Each HSF Board member has a discretionary pool from which to make grants to organizations that support their personal interests. These grants may fall outside of the major focus of the Foundation overall and are made at the sole discretion of each Trustee.
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Joint Grants
HSF understands that the structural inequities that negatively impact low-income youth of color also affect low- and no-wage workers and low-income communities. Thus we see a natural connection between our youth Organizing and Economic Justice Program Areas. If we have learned nothing else over the last several years of supporting youth organizing, we have learned that it takes more than just good intentions to effectively engage and promote the leadership of young people in organizing.

The purpose of HSF Joint Youth Organizing and Economic Justice grants was to:

  • advance HSF’s and the social justice field’s understanding of how to integrate youth leadership into adult social justice organizations;
  • to encourage other social justice organizations to integrate youth leadership into their work; and
  • begin to fund the vision of an “inter-generational” social justice movement.

Between 2005 and 2006, HSF made 8 joint grants totaling $360,000. As of 2007 though, HSF discontinued the Joint Grants Program Area. (In 2008, organizations which had been supported through the Joint Grants program area were either transferred to our Youth Organizing Program Area or Economic Justice Program Area, depending on the goals of their work.) Currently, lessons learned from the exploratory Joint Grants inform the Foundation’s overall strategy for supporting community organizing through grantmaking, learning and leveraging activities.
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Post-Katrina Initiative
Soon after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated the Gulf Coast in 2005, the Hill-Snowdon Foundation awarded grants totaling $20,000 to two organization supporting relief efforts: ACORN Katrina Survivor’s Association and the Southern Partner’s Fund for Katrina Relief & Reconstruction. In 2006, in response to the ongoing needs, slow pace of recovery and lack of equitable reconstruction in the region, the HSF board approved a recommendation to allocate $50,000 from the 2007 Grants budget toward an initiative supporting post-Katrina reconstruction in the Gulf Coast. A total of $46,000 was awarded to the following organizations: Gulf Coast Funders for Equity, Louisiana Disaster Recovery Fund, Louisiana Justice Institute and the New Orleans Survivors Council.
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Low Income Voter Empowerment (LIVE)
(2004 Only) The Low Income Voter Empowerment Initiative – LIVE – was developed to support organizations that sought to increase the civic participation of low-income communities through non-partisan voter registration, mobilization, and education. While 2004 presidential and congressional elections served as the immediate backdrop for this initiative, the overall conceptualization of the LIVE initiative extended well beyond the elections. On its broadest level, Hill-Snowdon Foundation viewed LIVE as a means of supporting the development of an infrastructure to engage residents in low-income communities and “enLIVEn” their participation in the civic life of the communities. Civic engagement, specifically voting, was seen as a potentially important tool in achieving the evolving aim of HSF’s Economic Justice, Program area – “community economic control.”
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