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COMMUNITY GRANTS Guidelines & Application

Through Community Grants, The Denver Foundation supports resident groups and nonprofit organizations in the seven-county Metro Denver area. All of our work reflects the Foundation’s ongoing commitment to reducing disparities and promoting equity for the most vulnerable members of our community, including people living in poverty, immigrants and refugees, and people of color.

Community Grants are made possible by The Fund for Denver, the result of contributions over 90 years from thousands of Metro Denver residents. As we have many times since our founding in 1925, The Denver Foundation recently adjusted the focus of grantmaking from our Community Endowment to meet our changing community’s needs.

In 2011, we conducted a Listening Campaign, asking nearly 800 community residents about their issues of deepest concern. The results of this study, combined with our own research and our values of inclusiveness, equity, leadership, and accountability, led to the development of a new 10-year Strategic Plan, which we completed in 2012.

Our plan, which we began to implement for the first time in 2013, calls for us to sharpen our focus and deepen our impact in the areas of basic human needs, economic opportunity, and education. We also partner with leaders from all sectors and stations in life to support their communities through connections with The Denver Foundation.

As of 2014, we have modified our strategies based on continued community feedback, and what we learned implementing our new direction last year.

The Denver Foundation has published new guidelines for 2017.

The Denver Foundation regularly hosts Community Information and Pre-Application Workshops for interested applicants. Check out upcoming workshops for dates/times and to RSVP. 


You must review the Grant Guidelines [PDF] in order to apply. Applications are due by the following deadlines, and decisions take approximately four to five months from the deadline date. Nonprofits are requested to use the Foundation's online grant application portal.

Upcoming Deadline Date Approximate Decision Dates
February 3, 2020 Late June
August 3, 2020 Late December

Read our guidelines thoroughly and review our Frequently Asked Questions. Then, we invite you to contact The Denver Foundation to speak with one of our staff to assess fit with our priorities. To schedule a conversation with a member of the staff, email Ashley Clevenger at, or call 303.300.1790 ext. 202.

In addition to Community Grants, we will also work with community partners identified through Requests for Proposals and other outreach efforts focused on specific strategic objectives. To sign up for our email list to receive information about future funding opportunities in these areas, click here.

Revised Colorado Common Grant Application (CGA)

Download a template for the Common Grant Application
Download the CGA Users Guide [PDF]

Community Grants Guidelines

Because so many nonprofit organizations in Metro Denver work in the areas of Basic Human Needs, Education, Economic Opportunity, and Leadership & Equity, our application process is highly competitive. This will be increasingly true as we sharpen our focus to deepen our impact. It is therefore essential that applicants read and follow our Grant Guidelines carefully.

The Foundation has issued new Grant Guidelines for 2020. We require the revised Colorado Common Grant Application (CGA), with important differences: we require an attachment with a response to additional questions about the Foundation's Core Values including resident engagement and Racial Equity and inclusiveness. Read more about these differences in our grant guidelines. Please click on the link below for the Foundation's 2020 Grant Guidelines, the Revised Colorado Common Grant Application (CGA), and the CGA Users' Guide.

If your organization has special circumstances as described in the Grant Guidelines (such as fiscal sponsorship, public schools, national organization oversight, applying on behalf of a collaboration, etc.) there is additional essential information.

Helpful Resources

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