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GOCO Planning Grants

Grants to Colorado Nonprofits and Local
Governments to Develop Outdoor Recreation Plans

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO)

Deadline Date:

11/01/18 5:00 PM


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Grants of up to $75,000 to Colorado nonprofit land conservation organizations and local governments for the planning of outdoor recreation projects. Funding may support a broad range of planning activities, such department master plans, regional trail plans, site-specific master plans, open space master plans, and master plans for river corridors.

GOCO’s Mission is “To help preserve, protect, enhance and manage the state’s wildlife, park, river, trail and open space heritage.” In that light, GOCO Local Government funds are only available to projects that pursue these goals and further the state’s outdoor recreation opportunities.

Planning projects must be strategic and forward thinking in nature. Additionally, planning efforts that focus on protecting Colorado’s land, water and wildlife and increasing access and opportunities to connect people to the outdoors are encouraged.

Eligible Project Costs: Consultant costs, professional services such as legal, facilitation, professional planning, costs that directly relate to the planning activity such as inventories, design, GIS/Mapping, printing, costs for public engagement such as public meetings, focus groups, surveys, and web-based outreach.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 160687

Number of Grants:

Estimated Size of Grant:

Planning grants have a limit of $75,000; there is no maximum for the total project cost.

Term of Contract:

Planning grants are required to be completed within two years of the grant award date.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Entities eligible to receive GOCO grants include:
Title 32 special districts with parks and recreation authority
Non-profit land conservation organizations
Political subdivisions of the state
Colorado Parks and Wildlife

In many cases, eligible entities can sponsor projects on behalf of entities that are ineligible for GOCO funding. For example, a city can apply for a GOCO grant on behalf of a school for the construction of a playground on school property, and a non-profit land conservation organization can partner with a private landowner to conserve their land.

To apply directly to GOCO’s Local Government Program as the applicant, your organization must be an incorporated municipality or Title 32 special district that receives Conservation Trust Funds (CTF) from the Department of Local Affairs. If you do not qualify to apply directly to GOCO, in the case of school districts, non-profit organizations, etc., sponsorship scenarios are possible. In these instances, an eligible local government or special district within your area may partner with your organization to pursue the project. The eligible organization will be responsible for obtaining the necessary approvals via a resolution from their governing body, entering into an intergovernmental agreement (or the like) with the ineligible organization and signing off on all necessary grant materials. At the time of application only a draft IGA or MOU is required.

Common ineligible entities include:
School districts
Community groups and volunteers
Private landowners
Non-profits that are not land conservation organizations

What GOCO Does Not Fund:
Indoor facilities (except environmental facilities and restrooms)
Non-fixed assets (i.e., lawn mowers, shovels, rakes, etc.)
Operations & maintenance costs
Programmatic funding, including environmental education
Outdoor performing art centers/amphitheater
Staff time (city, county or district)
Volunteer time

Pre-Application Information:

When to Apply:
July 7, 2018: Application posted.
October 18, 2018: Draft applications due (optional).
November 1, 2018: Applications due via online portal.
March 2019: Grants awarded.

Match Requirements:
GOCO Local Government grants are matching grants. The project applicant and partners are required to commit financially to the project in order to apply. The Planning program requires a minimum match of 25% of the total project cost, a minimum of 10% of which must be cash. GOCO will not fund more than 75% of the total project cost.

Reimbursement Grants:
Funds are disbursed on a reimbursement basis. This means that your community will be required to expend some funds prior to requesting payment from GOCO, if a grant is awarded. GOCO offers two payment options: 1) an interim or "progress" payment of up to 50% of the grant amount prior to completion with the remaining 50% being paid when the project is complete or one lump sun final payment of the entire grant amount. No funds included in the project can be expended prior to grant awared.

How To Apply:
Before beginning your application, contact program coordinator Madison Brannigan to discuss your project's eligibility.

Download the application instructions and review the entire document before you begin your application, paying particular attention to eligibility criteria so you are sure your project meets all requirements. All applications must be completed and submitted online:

Instructions for the GOCO Grant Writing Webinar may be found here:

The webinar will be recorded and available to share or re-watch by the end of September.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply Online:

Madison Brannigan, Program Coordinator

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Colorado