Denver Foundation Community Grants

The Denver Foundation

Grant amount: US $1,000 - US $50,000

Next anticipated deadline: Feb 1, 2019 4:00pm PST

Later anticipated deadlines: Aug 1, 2019 4:00pm PDT

Applicant type: Nonprofit Government Entity

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, Applied Project / Program, General Operating Expense

Location of project: Counties in Colorado: Adams County, Arapahoe County, Boulder County, Broomfield County, Denver County Expand all

Location of residency: United States

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About the Denver Foundation

The Denver Foundation is a community foundation dedicated to improving life for residents of the seven-county Metro Denver region, specifically Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas, and Jefferson counties. As a community foundation, The Denver Foundation stewards hundreds of charitable funds for individuals, families, and businesses. We also maintain The Fund for Denver, our permanent endowment made possible by the contributions of thousands of generous donors since our founding in 1925. The Fund for Denver supports The Denver Foundation’s  multiple investments in the community, including leadership activities, initiatives, and the Community Grants Program.

The Denver Foundation works with community partners to improve the lives of the most vulnerable people in Metro Denver. We are committed to advancing racial equity and engaging those most directly affected in the process of finding solutions. We see our neighborhoods and communities as places of opportunity rich with assets, and their residents as whole people with both needs and skills to contribute.

Core Values: Community Engagement and Racial Equity

The Denver Foundation supports organizations that will help implement our strategic objectives in a manner that advances our Core Values of community member and constituent engagement and racial equity. We strongly believe organizations working to make community member and constituent engagement and racial equity a core part of their programs, policies, and overall approach will have greater impact in the community.

Community Member and Constitutent Engagement

Community member engagement is the intentional inclusion of people of color and those who live in low-income communities. Constituent engagement is the intentional inclusion of recipients of services. We believe that by engaging community members and constituents in organizational leadership, program development, and learning and evaluation, organizations will be more effective. We support organizations that solicit the input of community members and constituents, understand the assets they bring to the organization, respond directly to their selfdescribed needs, and include them as board members, staff, volunteers, and donors.

 Racial Equity Definitions

For clarity, we share the following definitions of terms frequently used within The Denver Foundation’s values framework. The Denver Foundation continues to integrate these values into our own work and organizational practices, and we know this is an area where we all have strengths, challenges, and learning opportunities. 

Diversity describes the extent to which an organization has people from diverse backgrounds or communities involved as board members, staff, volunteers, and donors. Diversity generally refers to who is in an organization. 

Inclusion refers to whether people of color are able to participate fully in the decisions made within an organization or group. Inclusive organizations not only have people of color involved, but are also learning-centered and intentionally incorporate the needs, assets, and perspectives of everyone into everything they do.

Inclusiveness generally refers to how the organization mobilizes its diverse human assets.

Racial Equity occurs when advantage or disadvantage can no longer be predicted by race. We believe that when diverse organizations work in an inclusive way, equitable outcomes are achieved. Equity generally refers to the results of inclusionary practices.

Community Grantmaking Objective Areas

Basic Human Needs

In 2018, 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.


  • 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.
  • Support programs that serve otherwise unmet basic needs as the only service provider in the area.
  • Support organizing, advocacy, and policy reform work relating to these goals.

Economic Opportunity

In 2018, Community Grants in Economic Opportunity will focus on improving the economic health of people and communities facing the biggest barriers to economic equity.


  • Build community wealth by developing and keeping economic resources, including people, in communities with below average income.
  • Support the most vulnerable residents of communities who are working to develop the local economy.
  • Support comprehensive job training for those facing barriers to employment such as history of incarceration, undocumented status, experience of homelessness, and living with a disability (examples only). Training should focus on career pathways and attainment of a livable wage, and should include job placement, post-employment support, and the ability to track program participant outcomes over time.
  • Increase access to capital for entrepreneurs and business owners who are unable to access traditional capital markets.
  • Support organizing, advocacy, and policy reform work relating to these goals.


In 2018, Community Grants in Education will focus on Culturally Responsive Education and Leadership* as a strategy for increasing engagement and academic achievement for P-12 students.


  • Promote programs and systems that ensure every child enters school ready to learn, with a focus on early childhood education and the transitions between grades 5/6 and 8/9.
  • Support research-based practices that impact school culture including diversity and equity, teaching practices, and the relationships among administrators, teachers, parents, and students.
  • Support research-based practices that impact school climate including social, emotional learning, discipline, dropout prevention, and wraparound supports.
  • Support programs that prioritize arts education as a means of increasing school readiness, student engagement, or academic success.
  • Support organizing, advocacy, and policy reform work relating to these goals.

*Please visit our website to learn more about concepts such as Culturally Responsive Education and Leadership and school culture and climate

Leadership & Equity

In 2018, Community Grants in the objective area of Leadership & Equity will build a diverse pool of leaders to increase racial equity.


  • Support the development of leadership skills among community members and constituents to address community-identified issues.
  • Support and strengthen efforts of organizations/institutions to become more community-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.
  • Support organizing, advocacy, and policy reform work relating to these goals.

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

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


  • We fund 501(c)(3) organizations and collaborative efforts among 501(c)(3) organizations and other groups in the seven-county Metro Denver region that address one or more of the goals described.
  • As in the past, we will continue to consider both general operating support and program support for nonprofits that advance our priorities.


  • We prioritize improving the lives of the most vulnerable people living in Metro Denver, defined as people who live in low-income communities, with a focus on people of color. 


  • We cannot fund proposals outside of our four areas of focus: Basic Human Needs, Economic Opportunity, Education, and Leadership & Equity.
  • Community Grants do not fund organizations or programs that discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, except to serve a historically disadvantaged group.
  • We also do 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 (please visit for more information on scholarships administered by the Foundation)
    • Grants to parochial or religious schools
    • Requests from schools (e.g., individual public schools, departments or programs of universities or colleges, 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

About this funder:

View past grantees & full 990 summary