NKY Giving Circle Announces $16,000 in Funding for 2020 Grant

applications open October 1 for nonprofits serving early childhood needs

Horizon Community Funds of Northern Kentucky’s giving circle for emerging philanthropists, The 410, kicked off this week with a vote to determine which focus area in the nonprofit sector they would like to fund for the 2020 cohort.

The nearly 40 members voted to focus their combined gifts on early childhood, an area that is often referenced as overlooked and underfunded. According to 2020 data released by the Kentucky Governor’s Office of Early Childhood, Kindergarten readiness rates across Boone, Campbell, and Kenton counties hover below 60 percent. With 90 percent of the brain developed by age five, early childhood care and education is recognized as a common priority across the state.

“Members of this uniquely Northern Kentucky giving circle are again proving the importance of local, community-based, collective giving,” said Horizon Community Funds President Nancy Grayson. “By convening these passionate leaders, we all learn more about needs in our own community. Their voices have gathered in support of an issue that is more critical than ever- an issue that impacts our families, our schools, our workforce across sectors, and our shared future success.

Membership in The 410 is open, with a focus on Northern Kentuckians looking to explore philanthropy without the need to commit a high dollar gift themselves. The 410 is a giving circle, a well-established model of giving in which a group of people commits a certain dollar amount per person, and pools their money for a larger grant to an organization, project, or cause. More than 1,000 giving circles currently operate in the United States alone, as collective giving increases in popularity. Aside from the financial commitment of $410 from each member, the time ask from The 410 is for participation, virtual or in-person, in four brief meetings to move the grantmaking process forward. Members are responsible for determining what general focus area they would like to fund, learning more about existing nonprofits and work in that area, reviewing grant applications together, and deciding a final grant recipient or recipients.

“I’m in this because I love Northern Kentucky and get excited about any opportunity to make it even better,” said Newport on the Levee General Manager and 410 Member Justin Otto. “Having an easy way to combine my donation with my neighbors, and to meet community all-stars who want to improve this small piece of Earth we cherish, is immensely important to me.”

While the cohort has launched, membership remains open during the application process, through the end of October. More information and the commitment form can be found at www.horizonfunds.org/the-410.

In 2019, members of The 410 ultimately voted to fund a new mural project along Route 8 at I-471, to help commemorate the City of Newport’s 225th anniversary. The specific mural that the group helped to kickstart, “Education Empowers,” celebrates and honors Newport’s historic African American school, the Southgate Street School. A virtual unveiling of the mural will take place on September 24 at 4:00 p.m. The community is invited to participate via Facebook live stream at www.facebook.com/horizoncfnky.com.