Denver Reparations Fund

Rebuilding and sustaining African institutions and traditions

The Denver Foundation is pleased to invite qualified organizations to apply for funding from the Denver Reparations Fund. 

Denver Black Reparations Council (DBRC) and Reparations Circle Denver (RCD) are working together to effect reparative change. RCD is a giving circle in Denver that accepts new members and funds the Denver Reparations Fund; DBRC grants funds from the Denver Reparations Fund to the Black communities of Colorado. Our reparative grants are focused on rebuilding and sustaining institutions and traditions that were affected, destroyed, damaged, or prevented from thriving as the result of the enslavement of African and African descendant people, and the oppressive aftermath of slavery.

Applicants must be Black-led and Black-serving 501(c)(3) non-profits in Colorado. Certain projects, led by non-Black-led non-profits, but related to preserving Black history or culture, etc., may also qualify.

Funds are awarded by DBRC in one cycle each year. Grants from the fund range from $2,500 – $7,500 and are awarded annually. There is a total of $50,000 available for each cycle.


  • Your organization must be a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization or have a 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor.
  • Your organization must be located in and do work in the state of Colorado.
  • Your organization must be Black-led and Black-serving. For these grants, “Black” is defined as people of African descent. Organizations that fall outside of this definition but have a specific program that fits the fund’s priorities may apply for a program-specific grant.
  • Your work must fit one or more of the priorities identified below:
    • Build economic strength, generational wealth acquisition, and financial literacy.
    • Preserve, provide access to, and expand Black history, culture, knowledge, and awareness.
    • Enhance mental and physical health access and increase public health education.
    • Provide quality education from early childhood through adulthood, including reimagination of career options and pathways.
    • Enhance community building and advocacy that responds to the needs of Black residents.
    • Provide access, including transportation, to critical life-sustaining services.
    • Create openings for transformative change that are both systematic and relational.

Grant awards given in previous years are no guarantee of future grant awards.

Not eligible for funding:

  • Organizational membership campaigns, drives, or events
  • Debt retirement
  • Endowments or other reserve funds
  • Grants that further political activities or candidates
  • Grants that further religious doctrine (community benefit programs qualify)
  • Capital campaigns
  • Grants to individuals
  • Grants for re-granting purpose

Additional information

This funding opportunity has one grant cycle each fall. Applications are open from Aug. 1- Sept. 15. 

Blair Caldwell Library
“Blair-Caldwell Library” – Courtesy of Denver Public Library

Why reparations? Slavery was, and continues to be, fundamental to the foundation of the U.S. economy and wealth. “By 1860, there were more millionaires (slaveholders all) living in the lower Mississippi Valley than anywhere else in the United States. In the same year, the nearly 4 million American slaves were worth some $3.5 billion, making them the largest single financial asset in the entire U.S. economy, worth more than all manufacturing and railroads combined.

So, of course, the war was rooted in these two expanding and competing economies—but competing over what? What eventually tore asunder America’s political culture was slavery’s expansion into the Western territories.” – David Blight, author of Beyond Freedom: Disrupting the History of Emancipation.

The U.S. government has never fully accounted for the human rights violations of enslavement, thousands of lynchings, Black Code laws, Jim Crow segregation, the predatory practices of redlining, contract buying, blockbusting, or mass incarceration. Black Americans have experienced 246 years of slavery compared to 156 years of “freedom.” It is time for the U.S. – specifically European-Americans – to take action to repair the harms of slavery and its aftermath.

Not a 501(c)(3) but might otherwise qualify for a grant? Denver Black Reparations Council issues grants directly to individuals, businesses, and other Black-led and Black-serving groups. Please check DBRC’s website regularly for more information about our alternative funding opportunities

Reparations Fund Organization Missions
Missions for The Denver Black Reparations Council (DBRC) and Reparations Circle Denver