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Grants to Colorado Nonprofits and Regional Indigenous Groups to Promote Social Justice

Chinook Fund Grant


GrantWatch ID#

Funding Source
Array ( )

Geographic Focus
USA: Colorado

Important Dates
Deadline: 09/14/23 Midnight Save

Grant Description
Grants of up to $4,000 and grants of up to $10,000 to Colorado nonprofit organizations and regional indigenous groups to promote social justice. Eligible applicants are organizations that are based in communities facing oppression or injustice and that are working to dismantle oppression and privilege. Funding is intended for proposals that can lead to permanent progressive change.

Chinook Fund seeds community-led, systemic change by mobilizing resources for and trusting in grassroots social justice organizations across Colorado. Chinook funds organizations working to challenge the root causes of oppression, rather than treating the symptoms. Chinook believes the root causes of the most serious social problems include systemic racism, sexism, heterosexism, classism, ableism, and ageism. The Fund identifies effective social change as efforts that strive to include these key elements:

  • Constituent-Led: The work is led by the people most impacted by injustice.  Unlike a traditional charity model, we believe that those most affected by the issue have the vision and solutions for their own liberation – and that the development of their leadership, skills, and power should be prioritized. 
  • Community-Wide: The work reflects all members of the constituency, especially those who experience multiple forms of oppression.  This ensures that change for the community leaves no one behind, especially for those who have less privilege within the community. 
  • Lasting Effect: The work makes change not just for one individual today, but for the community as a whole, and for future generations.  Generally, this means organizing collective action to change systems and institutions.

NOTE: Chinook's anti-oppression frameworks in the Giving Project model position Black Liberation & Indigenous Sovereignty as its national priority. This is not the only type of work Chinook will fund, but these are the communities and voices Chinook is centering in its work, internally and externally.

Priority is given to organizations that are:

  • Engaging in Community Organizing Work;
  • Collaborative or working in alliance with other progressive groups as a way to build multiple strategies for bringing social change;
  • Risk-taking by doing work that may be controversial, marginalized, and/or new and emerging;
  • Strategic and working with a long-term vision that clearly links to current plans;
  • Achieving concrete success which has positively impacted the community;
  • Raise money from multiple sources throughout the community, such as foundations, businesses, individuals, special events, and income-generating projects.

Chinook Fund defines Community Organizing as the process of bringing affected people together to use their collective power to win improvements in their community and change the power structure to advance social justice. For Components and examples of Community Organizing work, see the Community Organizing tab on the Full Grant Text RFP. 

Types of Funding

Start-Up Grants are available to groups that are less than 4 years old.  Groups must demonstrate a vision and plan for meeting Chinook Fund criteria but do not need a proven track record of success. 

Established Grants are available to any group, but the competition for grants is tougher, as it includes organizations that have been working successfully on social justice issues for a number of years.

Multi-Year Grants will be considered for organizations that apply in the Established category, have been funded at least twice during the last 3 years, and receive the highest level of funding in the current cycle.


Additional Eligibility Criteria
Chinook Fund supports non-profit organizations, including those that do not have 501(c)3 status. Fiscal sponsorship for those organizations without tax-exempt status is recommended but not required. If a fiscal sponsor is not used, an organizational bank account is required.

All successful applicants must:
- Be based in communities facing injustice or oppression, including but not limited to: communities of color, low-income communities, LGBTQ communities, disabilities communities, immigrant communities.
- Have democratic leadership, decision-making and organizing that is led by and accountable to people most directly impacted by the issue or injustice
- Demonstrate that the work can lead to permanent progressive change for their community
- Be engaged in efforts to dismantle privilege and oppression within their organization and community
- Be based in Colorado (with possible exceptions made for regional indigenous groups)
- Have an annual budget of $350,000 or less.

To comply with IRS regulations, Chinook Fund cannot:
- Fund organizations involved in electoral campaigns;
- Contribute substantially to support lobbying at the federal, state, or local levels; or
- Support private, in contrast to public, interest.

Pre-Proposal Conference
Workshops are held a month before the grant deadline. If you have any questions about the workshop, to RSVP, or would like to be on the workshop mailing list, please fill out the Workshop Webform on the Full Grant Text RFP page.

Pre-Application Information
The next application deadline is September 14, 2023.

Chinook typically awards grants twice a year. Deadlines for proposals are usually in February and September. Grants are dispersed in June and February. Grants must be submitted via the online portal by midnight on the application deadline.

The spring grantmaking workshop has passed, but you can watch the recording of the latest workshop here:

Estimated Size of Grant
Grants range from $4,000 to $10,000.

Types of Funding
- Start-Up Grants: The maximum grant award is $4,000.
- Established Grants: The maximum grant award is $10,000.

Term of Contract
Multi-Year Grants will be considered for organizations that apply in the Established category, have been funded at least twice during the last 5 years, and receive the highest level of funding in the current cycle.

Contact Information
Apply online:

Chinook Fund
1031 33rd Street Suite 237
Denver, Colorado 80205
Phone: 303-455-6905
Fax: 303-477-1617

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