McGowan Charitable Fund Grants

William G. McGowan Charitable Fund

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Next deadline: Jul 15, 2020 3:00pm PDT (Letter of inquiry)

Later deadlines: Sep 1, 2020 3:00pm PDT (Full proposal), Nov 15, 2020 3:00pm PST (Letter of inquiry), Jan 2, 2021 3:00pm PST (Full proposal), Mar 15, 2021 3:00pm PDT (Letter of inquiry), May 1, 2021 3:00pm PDT (Full proposal)

Grant amount: US $5,000 - US $250,000

Fields of work: Healthy Habits & Behaviors Art Education STEM Education Primary Health Care Health Facilities & Clinics Physical Fitness Nutrition & Healthy Eating Obesity Heart Disease Affordable Housing Homelessness Services Employment Services Food Access & Hunger Teacher Development & Training Education - K through 12 After School /Summer Educational Programs Early Childhood Development Education - Preschool / Early Learning Show all

Applicant type: Nonprofit

Funding uses: Behavioral, General Operating Expense, Education / Outreach, Project / Program, Training / Capacity Building

Location of project: Counties in Colorado: Adams County, Arapahoe County, Broomfield County, Clear Creek County, Denver County Show all

Location of residency: Counties in Colorado: Adams County, Arapahoe County, Broomfield County, Clear Creek County, Denver County Show all

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About this funder:



NOTE: No Letter of Inquiry (LOI) is required if you have received funding within the past three years and still meet our general rules of eligibility. (If funding from the McGowan Fund was received more than three years ago, you must go through the LOI process.)

What We Do

The McGowan Fund is the living legacy of William G. McGowan, an entrepreneur and change-maker. We give priority to programs that have demonstrated success, have measurable outcomes and plans for sustainability, and aim to end cycles of poverty and suffering. 

Our active, strategic grant-making focuses on three areas: Education, with an emphasis on improving academic achievement, high school graduation rates, and college success; Human Services, with an emphasis on homelessness; and Healthcare & Medical Research, with an eye to prevention of cardiac disease and reversal of metabolic syndrome through intensive lifestyle management. We also support access to healthcare.


Education makes all the difference. It is the most powerful point of departure for children struggling with poverty, community disruption, family stress, or failure. It’s the prerequisite for most long-lived careers that provide sustainable wages.

Through our grant-making in five geographic regions, the McGowan Fund focuses on innovative programs that show measurable improvement in addressing achievement gaps, improving teaching and learning, and reducing disparities among students.

We do this with a focus on:  

  • Early childhood education programs that provide education, academic enrichment, healthy nutrition, and physical fitness for children 0–5. All programs must have an evaluation component.
  •  Programs offering out-of-school academic support, particularly STEM or STEAM—evidence-based programs leading to improvements in literacy, math, and science.
  • Charter, faith-based, and alternative schools with demonstrated academic achievement and graduation outcomes.
  • Teacher and leadership training and development programs that directly improve the academic achievement of students. We do not fund leadership programs in public schools.

Human Services

The cycles of poverty and homelessness can seem intractable. Homelessness attenuates access to food, health, and work; this limited availability in turn hinders access to long-term housing. Recognizing the complexity and dependencies of the problem, the Fund focuses on projects that promise sustainable self-sufficiency—stabilized lives anchored by living-wage jobs.

Areas of support in this initiative include:  

  • Stabilized housing;
  • Food security;
  • Education and/or job training and placement toward a living wage;
  • Mental health (specific to homeless individuals).

Healthcare & Medical Research 

Whole communities struggle with the effects of smoking, obesity, poor diet, and sedentary habits. That’s the heartbreaking reality in a nation where even very young children are incurring significant risk factors for heart disease. The McGowan Fund recognizes this trend as one of the nation’s great health crises, and our inspiration comes directly from the experience and concerns of our founder, William G. McGowan.

Among our goals in the five regions where we make grants:

  • Reduced obesity rates and heart disease and improved health markers;  
  • A reduction in heart disease;
  • A reduction in lost work days and lower function due to poor physical health;
  • Access to healthcare for low-income individuals and families.

Accordingly, we support organizations that:

  • Help people prevent heart disease or metabolic syndrome through healthy living
  • Focus on reversing heart disease or metabolic syndrome through intensive, research-based behavioral health/lifestyle-management strategies
  • Provide primary healthcare services for those who cannot otherwise obtain medical care

We fund programs that empower families to choose healthy produce and protein and provide these healthy options; programs that engage families in nutrition education, meal preparation, and/or physical activity; clinical research or programs that provide intensive lifestyle management and behavioral health strategies; and free clinics providing primary care, education, and specialty care resources.

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


  • To be considered for a grant from the McGowan Fund, an applicants must:
    • Fall within our program-area and geographic guidelines
      • Colorado:  Denver Metropolitan and Eagle County; funding targets only initiatives addressing single-parent homelessness
      • Illinois: Chicago neighborhoods of Austin and North Lawndale; grant proposals by invitation only
      • Kansas/Missouri: Kansas City Metropolitan
      • New York: Rochester Metropolitan and Yates County
      • Pennsylvania: Lackawanna County, Luzerne County
    • Be a 501(c)(3) organization
    • Serve without discrimination on the basis of ethnicity, gender, or religion
  • We look to partner with organizations that are rooted in evidence-based methodology and focused on long-term sustainable change for program participants.


  • We do not fund leadership programs in public schools. 
  • It generally does not entertain requests for funding of advocacy, building funds, capital campaigns, endowments, sponsorships, grants to individuals, or the arts. 
  • The Fund does not make multi-year awards, but welcomes renewal grant requests. 
  • The McGowan Fund does not make grants for programs in any foreign country, regardless of where the sponsoring organization is headquartered. 
  • *In 2018, we discontinued grant-making in Reno, Nevada. We’re grateful for the opportunity we’ve had to work with the extraordinary organizations and citizens there.