Denver Foundation Awards $1.7M in Community Grants

October 14, 2021

The first round of grants under new Strategic Framework support economic opportunity, education, climate and environment, housing, and transportation in Metro Denver.

The Denver Foundation is pleased to announce nearly $1.7 million in grants awarded to 50 nonprofit organizations across Metro Denver. The grants reflect the priorities of The Denver Foundation’s new Strategic Framework, including racial equity and constituent-led solutions to advancing economic opportunity, education, climate and environment, housing, and transportation.

A complete list of grant recipients is below.

The five focus areas of the Community Grants Program were identified in The Denver Foundation’s new Strategic Framework, launched in February 2021. They were strongly influenced by community input and include two areas that are new to the Foundation’s grantmaking: climate and environment and transportation.

“The Community Grants Program is the heart and soul of The Denver Foundation’s work, and we are honored to support the innovation, authenticity, leadership, and hard work of these organizations,” says Javier Alberto Soto, President and CEO of The Denver Foundation. “This group of grantees is especially meaningful, as they are all engaged with the issues hundreds of community members told us were most important to their lives and their futures.”

Grants were awarded following a thorough review of more than 200 proposals led by Denver Foundation staff and members of the Advisory Committee for Community Impact, a newly formed volunteer body composed of over 50 local leaders. In keeping with the Foundation’s commitment to racial equity, the committee prioritized organizations with Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) leadership, which represent 50% of the final award recipients.

“Many kudos to grant applicants for submitting mission-centered applications reflective of the broad landscape of services and resources essential for thriving, productive communities,” says Anita Royal, a member of the Advisory Committee for Community Impact. “Many applicants proudly highlighted their meaningful committed and programmatic incorporation of the core priorities of diversity, equity, inclusion, and constituency engagement. Others delineated their improvement plans and/ or made genuine requests for assistance in these areas. As an African American community activist, advocate, and committee member, I was jubilant that all applications were filtered and evaluated through a diversity, equity and inclusion lens.”

Also in response to community feedback, the average amount of grants is higher than in previous years, averaging between $20,000 and $50,000.

Through the Community Grants Program, The Denver Foundation aims to improve the lives of historically oppressed people living in Metro Denver, with a focus on people who live in low-income communities and Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities.

The program is funded by The Fund for Denver, The Denver Foundation’s permanent endowment, built over generations to provide for community needs. Grants made through the program represent approximately 5% of The Denver Foundation’s annual grantmaking.

Grants are made through the program in two cycles per year. Applications for the Spring 2022 cycle will open on March 1, 2022.

2021 Community Grants Program Recipients, Fall Cycle

Aurora Economic Opportunity Coalition

Bayaud Enterprises

Birdseed Collective

Camber Outdoors

Center for Community Wealth Building

Center for Employment Opportunities

Mile High Connects

Colorado Center on Law & Policy

Colorado Education Initiative

Colorado People’s Alliance

Colorado Safe Parking Initiative

Center for Work Education and Employment 

Denver Homeless Out Loud

Dress for Success Denver

East Colfax Community Collective

El Alba Cooperative

Energy Resource Center

Enterprise Community Partners

Family Promise of Greater Denver

Girls Inc. of Metro Denver

Homies Unidos Denver

Junior Achievement Rocky Mountain

Kaizen Food Rescue

Metro Denver Homeless Initiative

Mi Casa Resource Center

Mi Familia Vota Education Fund

Mile High Ministries

Mirror Image

Montessori del Mundo

Movement 5280

Open Up

Padres & Jóvenes Unidos

Playworks Education Energized

Rocky Mountain MicroFinance

Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence

Second Chance Center


Sims-Fayola Foundation

Soul 2 Soul Sisters

Spring Institute for Intercultural Learning

Stand for Children Colorado

Sun Valley Community Center

The Delores Project

The Family Tree

The Reciprocity Collective

Tribe Recovery Homes

United for a New Economy

Urban Peak

Via Mobility Services

West Community Economic Development Corporation

Youth Celebrate Diversity

About The Denver Foundation

The Denver Foundation is a community foundation that inspires people and mobilizes resources to improve life in Metro Denver. In 2020, the Foundation and its donors awarded $111 million in grants. The Denver Foundation has three roles: stewarding an endowment to meet current and future needs for Metro Denver, working with community leaders to address the core challenges that face the community and managing more than 1,000 charitable funds on behalf of individuals, families and businesses. To learn more about The Denver Foundation, visit