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Colorado Grantmaking

The Boettcher Foundation believes in the promise of Colorado and the potential of Coloradans because courageous leadership benefits every community in our state. By investing in people, programs, and organizations, we provide a foundation for transformational impact and community building.
This idea guides our responsive grantmaking opportunities – Community Connections and Rural Catalyst Grants – which are detailed below.

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Community Connections Grants

Community Connections: Supporting connections that create a sum greater than their parts is vital to the health of communities in our state. As such, we invest in initiatives or infrastructure projects that are bringing people together or deepening the connections between individuals and/or organizations.

We have three annual funding cycles in which we accept Community Connections inquiries through a Grant Inquiry Form. Colorado-based nonprofit organizations are eligible to apply. After a competitive review, inquiries that most align with the Community Connections focus area may be invited to submit a full proposal. Grants awarded in this category are typically in the range of $20,000 – $75,000.

In practice, our Community Connections grants often support the construction of buildings with multi-use community space, the co-location of numerous nonprofit or multisector partners, or one-time strategic investments that help take a proven initiative or program to the next level.

Examples of Recent Community Connections Projects Funded

  • Mesa County Public Health and Public Libraries (Clifton): Mesa County Public Health and Mesa County Libraries are constructing a community campus which will house a library, early childhood education training center, community center, and childcare facility.
  • Community of Caring Foundation (Cripple Creek): Community of Caring has repurposed an historic casino into one-stop social services hub with space for 28 partner organizations and a telehealth center.
  • Latino Leadership Institute (Statewide): The Latino Leadership Institute (LLI) helps identify, prepare, and elevate Latino and other diverse leaders across Colorado and the country. Grant support to expand LLI’s Ignite Program – an accessible, online leadership development curriculum for young professionals – will help the organization scale to sustainability and reach thousands of Coloradans.

Rural Catalyst Grants

There are two funding cycles to apply for Rural Catalyst Grants. The intent of the Rural Catalyst Grant Program is to strengthen the internal capacity of organizations to achieve their goals related to the topics covered in the Foundation’s Rural Leadership Collaborative meetings. This is done through the distribution of capacity-building grants, which will range from $1,000-$10,000, to support the following types of projects:

  • Strategic planning – Identifying elements of a blueprint that helps your organization accomplish its goals.
  • Convening – Bringing together people, ideas, and resources to move forward an issue, topic, or opportunity.
  • Short-term staffing or contractors – Employees or expertise recruited for short-term employment contracts to meet limited, one-time support needs.
  • One-time operating costs – Expenses related to the operation of the organization or program that are not recurring, such as tap fees, application fees, public outreach, or education material expenses.

Eligible Issue Areas

Issue areas will be announced in the spring of 2023. In 2022, these areas included affordable rural housing, childcare, hiring and retaining a rural workforce, and leadership pipeline and diversification.

Eligibility and Criteria

Organizations that are based in rural Colorado or primarily serve rural Colorado will be prioritized.

Key criteria to consider when applying include:

  • is this a strategic opportunity for the organization rather than just general support
  • is the potential for this activity to tangibly impact one of the eligible issue areas clearly explained

Grants will be awarded after a competitive review. To learn more about the leadership collaboratives, contact Curtis Esquibel, curtis@boettcherfoundation.org.

2023 Grant Cycles

Note: We prefer that organizations only submit one application of either grant opportunity per cycle

Cycle 1 – Community Connections Grants Only

  • Grant Inquiry Form Submission: January 16 – February 16
  • Invitation for Proposal or Declination: March 10
  • Notification of Funding: May 1

Cycle 2 – Community Connections Grants and Rural Catalyst Grants

  • Grant Inquiry Form Submission: May 15 – June 15
    • Community Connections Inquiry Form
    • Rural Catalyst Grant Inquiry Form
  • Invitation for Proposal or Declination: July 13
  • Notification of Funding: September 25

Cycle 3 – Community Connections Grants and Rural Catalyst Grants

  • Grant Inquiry Form Submission: August 1 – September 1
    • Community Connections Inquiry Form
    • Rural Catalyst Grant Inquiry Form
  • Invitation for Proposal or Declination: September 29
  • Notification of Funding: November 17

* The Grant Inquiry Form link will become ‘live’ during the cycle dates outlined above. Please apply only during the noted submission windows. We prefer that organizations only submit one application of either grant opportunity per cycle.

Grantmaking Process

Staff will review inquiries during the acceptance windows, typically responding within six weeks of receipt, to inform organizations if they will be invited to submit a full application. Questions about the grants process for Community Connections or Rural Catalyst Grants can be emailed to Garrett Mayberry, program manager, at garrett@boettcherfoundation.org.

Please note that the Boettcher Foundation does not fund, or prioritize funding, for the following:

  • General operating support
  • Ongoing cultural, social, and human service programming
  • Fundraising events
  • Foundations or funds that provide financial assistance to individuals
  • Capital projects and programs for religious purposes
  • Organizations primarily serving animals
  • Capital projects at K-12 charter, public, or private schools
  • Hospital facilities
  • Affordable housing (standalone)
  • Emergency service equipment or vehicles

For more information, please visit our frequently asked questions page.

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See where our Colorado capital nonprofit grants go.