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Rollie R. Kelley was a successful businessman and entrepreneur who lived a life of charity with a strong sense of duty to the community.

In the early 1990s he had a dream to create an entity that would continue this philosophy long after he was gone. From this dream, the Rollie R. Kelley Family Foundation was born in 1994. In addition to life-long service to the YMCA, Shriners and Civitan International, Mr. Kelley served as a trustee to the Iliff School of Theology and his alma mater, Dakota Wesleyan University. Mr. Kelley passed away in September of 1999.

Administered by his three children, the Foundation seeks to continue Mr. Kelley’s pursuit of enhanced business and cultural education in the Rocky Mountain region. To that end, the Foundation has contributed regularly to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, the Colorado Council on Economic Education, Junior Achievement, the Iliff School of Theology, and Denver Urban Ministries, among others.

As a 33rd degree Mason, Mr. Kelley also worked with the Scottish Rite Foundation and Children’s Hospital to create a program to help children with communicative disorders. After Mr. Kelley’s death, his Foundation joined with the Schlessman Family and Scottish Rite Foundations to establish The Kelley Family/Schlessman Family Scottish Rite Masons Chair in Childhood Language Disorders in the hospital’s Speech and Audiology Department.

The Foundation’s primary source of funding is an annual contribution from Colorado Container Corporation, a corrugated-box manufacturing company founded by Mr. Kelley in 1963. That company, also operated by Mr. Kelley’s children, has contributed a percentage of its annual profits to the Foundation since its inception.

The annual Rollie R. Kelley LOI deadline is on September 1st. 

Applications are open to organizations that meet the following general criteria within the Colorado Front Range:

  • Programs serving inner-city ministries
  • Programs improving the cultural quality of life
  • Programs delivering and improving economic education
  • Programs serving youth and families at risk
  • Programs serving children's health (both mental and physical)

Application Requirements

The LOI deadline is  September 1st. Distributions will be awarded in March. In future applications, all applicants are required to submit a letter at a maximum of one page addressing the following:

  • A brief overview of the organization’s background, mission, and programs
  • A summary of the project to be funded
  • State the amount requested

Attachments are accepted in addition to the one-page letter. Attachments should include the following:

  • Board
  • Key Staff
  • Major Contributors
  • Most recent 501(c)(3) determination letter

The Kelley Family Foundation Board Members will review the letters and select finalists to submit a full proposal. Those who are selected to move forward in the process will be notified to submit a full proposal following the deadline. The proposal must be submitted following the Colorado Common Grant Application format.

Submit letter of inquiry to:

The Rollie R. Kelley Family Foundation Fund
c/o The Denver Foundation
55 Madison St., 8th Floor
Denver, CO 80206

Please email with any questions.