GFF Capital Grants

Gates Family Foundation

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Grant amount: Up to US $300,000

Next deadline: Mar 15, 2020

Later deadlines: Sep 15, 2020, Oct 1, 2020

Applicant type: Government Entity Nonprofit

Funding uses: Capital Project

Location of project: Colorado

Location of residency: United States

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About this funder:



Capital projects are typically defined as building purchases, new construction, expansion, renovation, and/or land acquisition. The Gates Family Foundation has a rich tradition of providing support for capital projects. Because we believe land and facilities are long-term assets that can help nonprofit and community organizations serve Colorado communities, we will continue to invest in capital projects throughout the state. 

Priority Funding Areas:

Arts & Culture

The Foundation supports cultural organizations that:

  • enhance the quality of community life while also strengthening the economy
  • link a community with its heritage and contribute to usable community infrastructure
  • serve as an educational resource for children, youth, and adults.

Funding examples in this area are:

  • libraries & museums
  • community theaters
  • performing arts organizations
  • historic preservation that contributes to community revitalization


The Foundation supports major capital projects for:

    • charter schools that serve a substantial proportion of low-income students (generally, at least 50% of the student body will qualify for Free and Reduced Lunch), have demonstrated high academic achievement, and are utilizing a sustainable financial model
    • public schools in rural areas that have planned capital improvements which are heavily used by the community, and that reinforce the long-term viability of the area
    • licensed early childhood education centers with particular, but not exclusive, interest in rural areas of the state to assure readiness for elementary school and to strengthen rural economies
    • organizations that provide life-long learning and experiential learning to a broad audience
    • independent school and public and private university capital campaigns on a highly selective basis

    Funding examples in this area:

    • participation in the matching requirement for a charter school receiving a BEST grant
    • rural school improving its auditorium or athletic field for school and community use
    • rural community establishing an early childhood education center to fill an unmet need
    • early childhood education center making significant facility improvements in order to advance the quality of care for the children served
    • facility improvements for an organization that provides adult GED, literacy, or vocational training
    • on a highly selective basis, support for public and private universities with campaigns to improve their science, technology, library, and engineering related facilities

      Well-being of Children, Youth & Families

      The Foundation supports organizations that encourage individuals to:

      • develop greater self-sufficiency, including the well-being and independence of disadvantaged families and the elderly
      • increase leadership and life skills
      • maintain good health and well-being rather than cure disease

      Funding examples in this area:

      • human service organizations promoting self-sufficiency
      • community and senior centers
      • family resource centers
      • youth mentoring organizations
      • nonprofit dental clinics
      • residential treatment centers for youth
      • transitional housing facilities
      • job training
      • rural health centers (non-FQHC)

      Parks & Recreation

      The Foundation supports capital projects that:

        • invest in land and water protection that safeguards important natural resources, habitat, and the health of natural systems
        • help preserve the state’s ranching and agricultural legacy and encourage smart land use patterns
        • construct and improve urban and mountain parks and open space for public recreation and access
        • maintain the state’s urban and mountain trail systems
        • provide recreation, environmental education and leadership opportunities for young people
        • encourage the spirit of scientific inquiry as well as the preservation of natural habitat

        Funding examples in this area:

        • land conservation and easement purchases
        • greenways and trail systems
        • outdoor/indoor recreation facilities
        • urban public spaces and community gardens

        Community Development & Revitalization

        The Foundation invests in projects that:

          • have the potential to reinforce and enhance the economic vitality of a community
          • involve partnerships between public and private sector organizations that seek to improve the economic and cultural health of communities

          Funding examples in this area:

          • restoration of historically significant architecture that contributes to community revitalization
          • development of rural main streets as a means of promoting community revitalization
          • heritage tourism as a means of promoting economic health for rural areas
          • public-private partnerships for economic development

          You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


          • Applicants must be classified by the Internal Revenue Service as tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (the "Code")
            • classified as public charities under section 509(a)(1) or 509(a)(2) of the Code
            • be able to provide tax-exempt documentation issued within the last five years. In limited circumstances.
          • The Foundation also considers grant requests from governmental entities.
          • Capital grant requests are generally not considered until commitments for approximately 30% of the funds needed to complete the project are in place.
          • Grant support is generally confined to organizations that provide services benefiting the state of Colorado and its citizens.
          • Wherever possible, the Foundation seeks to invest its funds in organizations that address root problems with substantive solutions.
          • The Foundation places importance on sound management of an applying organization, including effective leadership of the organization's board that fully supports the project in question.
          • The Foundation expects evidence of strong support for the project from the community.
          • Applicant organizations should incorporate green building and sustainable development practices into their projects whenever possible.


          • Although the Gates Family Foundation reviews each proposal separately, it generally does not:
            • Grant funds for general operating or program expenses unless initiated by the Foundation.
            • Provide loans, grants, scholarships, or camperships to individuals.
            • Grant funds for projects that have been substantially completed prior to the next trustees' meeting.
            • Grant funds for conferences, meetings, or studies that are not initiated by the Foundation.
            • Consider more than one proposal from an organization in a calendar year unless initiated by the Foundation, and does not reconsider previously denied proposals.
            • Grant funds to other private foundations or organizations engaged in grant making.
            • Grant funds to retire operating or construction debt.
            • Grant funds for the purchase of vehicles.
            • Grant funds to purchase office or computer equipment unless they are part of a comprehensive capital campaign.
            • Grant funds directly to individual public schools or public school districts unless initiated by the Foundation.
            • Grant funds for medical research or grant funds for the construction of major medical facilities.
            • Purchase tickets for fundraising dinners, parties, benefits, balls, or other social fundraising events.
            • Support religious organizations or activities.
            • Schedule interviews with the Foundation trustees unless the trustees initiate the meeting.
            • Grant funds for political or lobbying activities.
            • Grant funds to supporting organizations described in section 509(a)(3), other than a Type I, Type II or functionally-integrated Type III supporting organization of which is not (and the supported organization of which is not) directly or indirectly controlled by a disqualified person of either the Foundation or a family fund.
            • Grant funds to foreign organizations.