Community Grant

Grants to Denver Area, Colorado Nonprofits for
Education, Basic Needs, and Racial Equity

GrantWatch ID#: 177948
Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

The Denver Foundation


08/01/17 5:00 PM

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Grants to Denver Area, Colorado nonprofit organizations for programs and projects that focus on improving K-12 education, promoting leadership development, meeting basic human needs, and ensuring equal economic opportunity. The Foundation supports organizations that share their values of racial equity and constituent leadership.

For the purposes of these grants, the Denver metro area includes Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas, and Jefferson Counties. The Foundation will consider requests from organizations based outside of the Denver metro area as long as the program or project serves residents in one or several of the seven Counties listed above.

If your organization provides services statewide or nationally, your proposal must address how the requested funding will be limited to the seven Counties listed above. Note that for the education focus area only, the Foundation has a specific geographic focus, which you will find outlined in the grant guidelines.

Within the above four focus areas, The Foundation:

- Seeks to reduce racial, ethnic, and economic disparities.
- Focuses on people living in poverty, immigrants, refugees, and people of color.
- Supports organizations that share their values of racial equity and constituent leadership.
- Funds groups that share data showing they've made a difference in The Foundation's focus areas.
- Funds organizations using the best practices to deliver impact.
- Also supports new work with strong potential for impact.

Priorities and goals for each of the four focus areas are as follows:

Basic Human Needs:

In 2017, Community Grants in Basic Human Needs will focus on improving the lives of those experiencing hunger, homelessness, domestic violence, and lack of access to basic medical care.

Basic Human Needs Goals:

- Support work that allows people to obtain help in several areas of extreme need through wrap around services, continuum of care, or close collaborations with other providers
- Promote programs that address barriers to access of basic services and benefits for those most in need
- Support new and innovative approaches to meeting basic human needs
- Promote work that demonstrates The Foundation's core values at work in meeting basic human needs
- Support programs that serve otherwise unmet basic needs as the only service provider in the area


In 2017, Community Grants in Education will focus on increasing school readiness for young children and student engagement and academic achievement for K-12 students. Grants in Education prioritize schools or communities with a minimum 50% of students receiving Free or Reduced Lunch or an equivalent measure of financial need.

Education Goals:

- Ensure every child enters school ready to learn by supporting systems-level and direct service efforts aligned with the Early Childhood Colorado Framework
- Increase K-12 academic achievement and engagement through evidence-based programs and practices
- Prevent students from dropping out of school or engage students who have dropped out of school
- Support systems-level work (e.g., whole-school or district-wide) to decrease disproportionate suspension and expulsion of students of color
- Use arts education as a means of increasing school readiness, student engagement or academic success

Economic Opportunity:

In 2017, Community Grants in Economic Opportunity will focus on improving the economic health of people and communities facing the biggest barriers to economic equity.

Economic Opportunity Goals:

- Build community wealth by developing and keeping economic resources, including residents in low-income communities, and by supporting residents of those communities who are working to develop the local economy
- Support comprehensive training for those facing barriers to employment in jobs with family-sustaining wages, including a focus on job placement and post-employment support
- Support efforts by low-wage workers to create a more equitable economy, including through advocacy and policy reform

Leadership and Equity:

In 2017, Community Grants in the objective area of Leadership and Equity will build a diverse pool of leaders to increase racial equity.

Leadership and Equity Goals:

- Support the development of leadership skills among residents, program constituents, people of color, and people in low-income, and refugee and immigrant communities to address community-identified issues
- Support community organizing
- Support and strengthen efforts of organizations/institutions to become more resident-centered and inclusive in their leadership (from the inside out)
- Strengthen efforts to increase racial equity in all sectors, including philanthropy
- Support community leaders’ collaborative efforts to mobilize and act on critical needs and emerging issues, which may include Basic Human Needs, Education, and Economic Opportunity

In the focus area of Leadership and Equity, resident-led initiatives are given priority.

The Foundation does not support multi-year funding requests.

The Foundation supports 501(c)(3) organizations and collaborative efforts among 501(c)(3) organizations and other groups in the seven-county Metro Denver region.

Through the Community Grants, The Denver Foundation funds organizations that serve residents of the Denver metro area, including: Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas, and Jefferson Counties.

The Foundation will consider requests from organizations based outside of the Denver metro area as long as the program or project serves residents in one or several of the seven Counties listed above.

The Foundation will consider requests for both general operating support and program support for nonprofits.

After first considering how strongly a proposal fits The Foundation's strategies and aligns with their core values, The Foundation then evaluate every grant request according to the following criteria:

- Soundness of fiscal, strategic, and governance practices
- Demonstrated impact and/or past success
- Use of relevant evaluation to assess progress toward meeting goals
- Openness to collaboration and being part of a broader approach to improving the lives of residents
- Uniqueness of programs or services

The Foundation does not fund the following:

- Capital campaigns
- Building endowments or reserve funds
- Membership campaigns
- Special events, sponsorships
- Retroactive funding, i.e. activities, projects, or programs that will be completed before funding becomes available
- Debt retirement
- Grants to individuals
- Grants for re-granting purposes
- Multi-year funding requests
- Conferences, symposia, and related travel
- Grants for medical, scientific, or academic research
- Grants that further political doctrine or religious activities
- Scholarships
- Grants to parochial or religious schools
- Requests from individual public schools, departments or programs of universities or colleges; or foundations or organizations that raise money for individual public schools that have not coordinated the request with their central school district, university administration, or fundraising arm

Note: The Foundation cannot fund proposals outside of the four areas of focus.

Special Circumstances:

Some organizations fall into categories that do not fit with the CGA format. In these circumstances, please use the special checklist available on The Foundation's website (link below).

These special circumstances apply if the organization:

- Is a local affiliate operating under the 501(c)(3) of a national organization
- Does not have 501(c)(3) status and is applying with a fiscal sponsor
- Is a foundation that is the fundraising arm for another nonprofit organization
- Is an organization that raises funds for another nonprofit organization
- Is a school district or a university/college
- Is an individual school, department, program, or project within a school district or university/college
- Is applying on behalf of a collaborative

Click here for more information on Special Circumstances:

The Denver Foundation regularly hosts Community Information and Pre-Application Workshops for interested applicants.

The purpose of these workshops is to introduce the Foundation's new guidelines and grantmaking practices to nonprofits and resident groups in Metro Denver.

The next pre-application workshop is scheduled for July 11th, from 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM.

Due to the high volume of RSVPs received for these workshops, the Foundation kindly asks that you limit your reservation to one person per organization.

Email Alma Martinez at the email address listed in the Contact Information section below if you have any questions.

Click here for more information:

Please see the Supporting Documents section below to view the Grant Guidelines PDF, the Revised Colorado Common Grant Application (CGA), and the CGA Users' Guide.

Click here to download a template for the CGA:
Click here to view the online FAQs:

After reviewing the Grant Guidelines and FAQs, you may contact The Denver Foundation to speak with one of their staff members to assess your project's fit with their priorities. To schedule a conversation with a member of the staff, email Alma Martinez (see Contact Information below).

Submitting the Application:

The Denver Foundation accepts hard copies of proposals or emailed proposals, not both. Hard copy proposals must be submitted in a single packet. Digital proposals must be submitted as a single attachment to a single email.

If you do not receive an email confirmation or receipt within 24 hours, please contact the Grants Manager to verify The Foundation has received your proposal. The Foundation recommends submitting email proposals at least 24 hours before the due date to allow time for verification.

Organizations that submit a proposal that is declined may apply again one year after the declined submission. For example, an organization that submitted a proposal on February 1, 2017 and was notified the proposal was declined in June 2017 would be eligible to submit a new proposal on February 1, 2018.

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

Alma Martinez,
303-300-1790 ext. 155

Mail a hard copy of the proposal to:

The Denver Foundation
Bill Inama, Grants Manager
55 Madison Street, 8th Floor
Denver, Colorado 80206

Phone: 720-974-2600

Email a digital copy of the proposal as a single attachment to:

See the full text of this grant

USA: Colorado: Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas, and Jefferson Counties

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