Strengthening Neighborhoods

Supporting resident-led efforts

The Denver Foundation is pleased to invite qualified community groups to apply for funding from the Strengthening Neighborhoods program. The Strengthening Neighborhoods program provides small grants to support grassroots community development and organizing. Projects must make use of the strengths and assets that already exist in the community, such as residents’ skills or neighborhood institutions (like businesses, schools, churches, or parks). 

Strengthening Neighborhoods awards grants are usually a maximum of $5,000. The average grant size is $2,500. Grants are made directly to residents for use in resident-led projects.

All proposed projects must be planned and led by three or more unrelated residents of the neighborhood. We prioritize projects and campaigns in communities where people earn less than the area median income and in communities of color.

We consider requests for Strengthening Neighborhoods on an ongoing basis, with decisions made monthly. The Strengthening Neighborhoods Fund at The Denver Foundation is closed in December each year.


  • Your work must connect with the mission of The Denver Foundation.
  • A community group does NOT need to be a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization to apply.
  • Your community group must be led by at least three (3) unrelated people
  • Your organizations must be located in and do work in Metro Denver.
  • A final report from your last Strengthening Neighborhoods grant is due at the time you wish to re-apply for a new Strengthening Neighborhoods grant, or at the one-year anniversary of your grant approval – whichever comes first.

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

Additional information

The concept behind Strengthening Neighborhoods is a simple yet powerful one: communities have many strengths and assets, including their people, institutions, and public resources. This means that residents often have the best insights into how to improve their neighborhoods, and with financial support, they can reach the best outcomes with and for their communities.

“People have always had ideas about how to improve their communities. But before Strengthening Neighborhoods, there was really no way for foundations to support those ideas,” said David Portillo, Strengthening Neighborhoods officer. “Communities were looked at as ‘glasses half empty.’ When we began looking at communities as glasses half full—and the residents as the ones with the answers—incredible things started to happen.”