Through our Community Grants, The Denver Foundation funds organizations that serve residents of the Denver metro area – Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas, and Jefferson Counties. We 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 area only, we have a specific geographic focus, which you will find outlined in our grant guidelines.
There are two deadline dates annually for grant proposals: the first business day of February and of August. Proposals must be received in our office by 5:00 p.m. on the deadline date. In order to be fair to all applicants, the deadline dates and times are firm and non-negotiable. Late proposals will not be accepted, regardless of the reason for the delay.
In the past, about 80% of our grants were for general operating support. We anticipate that we will continue to fund general operating support for organizations whose work is a strong fit with our strategies. In some cases, such as a national 501(c)(3) with a program in the Metro Denver area, or a nonprofit that has an outreach program that fits our priorities, program requests make more sense. If you’re not sure what to request, we strongly encourage you to give us a call!
Contact Alma Martinez, firstname.lastname@example.org or 303.300.1790, ext. 155, to connect with a member of our staff.
We would love to know the answer to this question! We have been tracking this for several years, and there is no way to predict the number that will be received, nor is there a “low” or “high” deadline.
We are always happy to respond to your questions. However, be aware that we receive a large volume of calls in the two weeks prior to the grant deadlines, and may take more time to respond to requests at those busy times of the year.
No. We require that applications be complete and submitted to us by 5:00 pm of the deadline day. We will consider a proposal that is missing one or more items incomplete and it will be withdrawn from consideration. If your organization is missing one or more of the required attachments or is unable to provide them by the grant deadline, then it would be better for you to wait until the next deadline and submit a complete proposal.
Here are a few common mistakes that weaken a proposal:
- Not including revenue in agency or program budgets
- Not dating financial statements and financial documents
- Not completing a final report before applying
- Not including an audit if agency revenue is over $500,000
- Not explaining any "red flags" or unusual situations in the financial statements at the time of submission. The Colorado Common Grant Application allows for unlimited space to explain financial discrepancies, challenges, and plans to address deficits, shifting budgets, and fund diversity.
- Not including evaluation results. The Colorado Common Grant Application has an optional evaluation attachment, and we strongly encourage organizations to use this space to provide information about past impact and their approach to learning and assessment.
- Not describing the demographics of the population the organization serves or hopes to serve
- Not including the additional Resident Engagement and Inclusiveness attachment requested by The Denver Foundation
The Colorado Common Grant Application User’s Guide is a valuable companion piece in crafting a proposal, and helps to demystify components of the grant review process.
The Denver Foundation is strongly committed to funding organizations that are inclusive. The Foundation requires every applicant to Community Grants to submit its board-approved anti-discrimination statement/policy. If these policies do not include every category identified in The Denver Foundation’s anti-discrimination policy, we will discuss this with the organization at the site visit. In addition, when one or more categories are not included, the Foundation will recommend the agency review its anti-discrimination policy to make it more inclusive.
If your organization falls in one of the categories bulleted below, you must provide information and documentation in addition to, or different from, what is normally required:
- Local affiliate of a national organization and operates under the 501(c)3 determination of the national organization
- School district or university/college
- Program, project, department, or individual school within a school district or university/college, or
- Foundation that is a the fundraising arm for another nonprofit organization or is an organization that raises funds for another nonprofit
- Organization applying on behalf of a collaborative group
In these circumstances, it is very important that you get the special information that you need (from our website or the Associate Grants Manager) before you submit your grant proposal. Failure to do so may result in an incomplete status or declination of your proposal.
Download the Collaboration Guidelines
We require that all proposals include all of the listed information and attachments. The only exception to this is if your organization is less than 12 months old and therefore does not have fiscal year-end financial statements. In this case, please be sure to include a page explaining this situation or the application will be deemed incomplete and automatically withdrawn from consideration.
The Foundation funds many faith-based organizations. However, we do not fund religious activities or programs that require religious activity as a condition of receiving services.
We have two key differences from the CGA.
- All applications must include a one-page attachment to the CGA narrative with responses to the four additional questions about resident engagement, inclusiveness, and equity. You can find these questions in our guidelines.
- Like the CGA, we require financials from your most recently completed fiscal year. However, please note the following difference, which is based on your total revenues for the most recently completed fiscal year:
- Revenues greater than $500,000 — you must provide a complete audit (with notes, management letter, etc.) performed by a Certified Public Accountant who is independent of your organization. If an audit is unavailable for the most recently completed fiscal year, you must turn in two things:
- internal year-end financial statements (balance sheet and income statement) for the most recently completed fiscal year, and
- an audit from the previous fiscal year.
- Revenues less than $500,000 — when an audit is not available, you must provide your Statement of Financial Position (Balance Sheet) and Statement of Activities (Income and Expense Statement).
In either case you may NOT substitute the IRS Form 990 for the required materials.
If you work with fellow residents on a specific project, and you also are part of a nonprofit organization doing work that fits our nonprofit guidelines, you may submit separate applications requesting a resident and a nonprofit grant.
We support projects that have a beneficial impact on school readiness, academic success, student engagement, and graduation rates by addressing cognitive areas as well as incorporating other critical factors in a child’s development including:
Relationships with, and support from caring adults
Traits such as , self-awareness, self-regulation, empathy and emotional understanding as well as resilience and tenacity
In-depth arts education
School culture and discipline must support practices across an entire school, so that children are welcome and supported in every classroom and hallway. For The Denver Foundation’s work in Education, this includes culturally responsive and trauma-informed practices, restorative justice and socio-emotional learning, as well as equity work. They also include the schools’ engagement of parents and students as equitable partners and leaders. They exist within a framework and practice of ongoing evaluation and use of key data to ensure that the work is meeting the needs of the students and to adjust the work appropriately to best meet those goals. School culture and discipline are in service to high quality learning and equitable educational outcomes.