Profiles in Planned Giving

Jack Hornor: The Privilege of Giving


Jack Hornor moved to Hampshire County in 1992, a year after coming out as gay. “I needed a place where I would be welcome,” Hornor says.

Hornor quickly got involved with gay causes, including working to get Northampton to recognize same sex domestic partnerships. That issue failed at the ballot, but helped to energize the cause, and let to Hornor doing more political work. “Nobody had an issue about me being gay,” Hornor says, “They just wanted me to help out.”

Since then, Hornor has helped out in spades. His volunteer and board work includes Chair of Northampton Community Preservation Committee, chairing the Northampton Housing Partnership, working on the State Hospital Citizens Advisory Committee, and serving on the United Way of Hampshire County’s audit committee. In addition, he was a founding board member of MassEquality (dedicated to a Massachusetts without discrimination and oppression based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression), serving as co-chair of the development committee, chair of the finance committee, member of executive committee, and treasurer. In 2012 he was named Democrat of the Year by the Northampton Democratic Committee.  

All this work has given Hornor a holistic understanding and appreciation of the region, which is one reason he and his husband Ron Skinn support the United Way at the Tocqueville Society level. “The United Way analyzes greater community needs and adjusts support as needed,” Hornor says, “They refocus priorities. It is not about doing the same thing year after year.”

Hornor is unusually qualified when it comes to philanthropy. He has worked at two local non-profits as a fundraiser and volunteered for others, experiences which have given him a strong understanding of nonprofits from the inside. He is also generous with his expertise and resources, which he parlayed into work as a fundraising consultant, focusing on ethical, donor-centered philanthropy. “I know about nonprofits and philanthropy from both sides,” says Hornor. “I know a lot about asking for money. I also have the good fortune to be able to give back. How many people are like me? I’m lucky.”

Hornor says his situation further explains his support of United Way. “United Way is a vital part of the nonprofit community,” says Hornor, “and not just because it collects and distributes money, which it does very well. It plays an important leadership role. The United Way is the place to give, and it is a privilege to be part of it.”

Fred Ames TK