Grants FAQ

Find support for your grant application.

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General FAQ

Through our Community Grants, The Denver Foundation funds organizations that serve residents of the Metro Denver area — Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas, and Jefferson counties. Field of Interest Funds, Donor-Advised Funds, and other Special funds are not limited to Metro Denver. 

We will consider requests from organizations based outside of Metro Denver as long as the program or project serves residents in one or several of the seven counties listed above.

If your organization provides services statewide or nationally, your proposal must address how the requested funding will be limited to the seven counties listed above.

Applications for the Community Grants Program are due by Monday, August 2, 2021, by 5 p.m. Please note that organizations that received awards in the February 1, 2020, Community Grant cycle are invited to submit applications for the first grant cycle in 2021. 

Yes, The Denver Foundation encourages grant requests for general operating. In some cases, such as a national 501(c)(3) with a program in the Metro Denver area or a nonprofit that has an outreach program that fits our priorities, program requests may make more sense. If you’re not sure what to request, we strongly encourage you to give us a call!

Email our grants team or call us at 303.300.1790.

We have been tracking this for several years, and there is no way to predict the number that will be received, nor is there a “low” or “high” deadline.

We are always happy to respond to your questions. However, be aware that we receive a large volume of calls in the two weeks prior to the grant deadlines, and may take more time to respond to requests at those busy times of the year. Call us at 303.300.1790.

No. We require that applications be complete and submitted to us by 5:00 p.m. of the deadline day. We will consider a proposal that is missing one or more items incomplete, and it will be withdrawn from consideration. If your organization is missing one or more of the required attachments or is unable to provide them by the grant deadline, it would be better to wait until the next deadline and submit a complete proposal.

Here are a few common mistakes that weaken a proposal:

  • Not adequately answering the core values questions, these are a crucial piece of the review process.
  • Not including revenue in agency or program budgets.
  • Not dating financial statements and financial documents.
  • Not completing a final report before applying.
  • Not explaining any “red flags” or unusual situations in the financial statements at the time of submission.
  • Not describing the demographics of the population the organization serves or hopes to serve.

If your organization falls in one of the categories listed below, you must provide information and documentation in addition to, or different from, what is normally required:

  • Local affiliate of a national organization and operates under the 501(c)3 determination of the national organization
  • School district or university/college
  • Program, project, department, or individual school within a school district or university/college
  • Foundation that is a the fundraising arm for another nonprofit organization or is an organization that raises funds for another nonprofit
  • Organization applying on behalf of a collaborative group

In these circumstances, it is very important that you get the special information that you need (from our website or the Associate Grants Manager) before you submit your grant proposal. Failure to do so may result in an incomplete status or declination of your proposal.

Download the Collaboration Guidelines.

We require that proposals include all of the listed information and attachments. The only exception to this is if your organization is less than 12 months old and therefore does not have fiscal year-end financial statements. In this case, please be sure to include a page explaining this situation or the application will be deemed incomplete and automatically withdrawn from consideration.

The Foundation funds many faith-based organizations. However, we do not fund religious activities or programs that require religious activity as a condition of receiving services.

The grant guidelines include separate applications for 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations and residents or constituents who do not have nonprofit status. If your proposal works with both constituencies, such as a collaborative program, please apply using the nonprofit guidelines.

Submitting an Application

Organizations that received a grant from The Denver Foundation are eligible to reapply annually.

Organizations who have been declined may apply again one year later. We strongly encourage all organizations to review our guidelines, and to contact us to talk about potential fit prior to submitting an application.

For more information or to schedule a conversation with a member of The Denver Foundation staff, email our grants team or call 303.300.1790.

Yes. We will need an interim report on your current grant to consider a new application for funding. You can submit this with your application via the “Final Report” upload attachment.

Please use the Colorado Common Grant Report cover page and narrative sections for your interim report, and be sure to address the starred items in your grant rationale. Attachments are not required until the final report due date.

We invite collaboratives of all types to apply, including collaboratives made up of several nonprofit organizations, schools, governmental entities, resident groups and nonprofits, or nonprofit and business partnerships.

By collaboration, we do not mean an organization that contracts with another organization to provide a specific service for a fee. Funded collaborations likely include shared financial investment by partners, shared planning and accountability, and/or shared staffing. The strongest collaborative applications will come from organizations and groups working together to achieve greater impact and do things in the community that they could not do alone.

Funded collaboratives are eligible to apply every 12 months. Nonprofit organizations can request support for their organizations and as a part of a collaborative in the same cycle. Note that collaborative applicants should use the special checklist when applying, as we require collaboratives to submit several additional documents.

Online Application Portal

Visit The Denver Foundation’s Grant Application Portal overview page for instructions on how to create an account.

If your organization is not already in our database, you will need to provide basic contact information and your organization’s Federal Tax ID number.

The Denver Foundation suggests you register as far in advance as possible, but no later than 5 business days before the application deadline.

A committee made up of members of the Advisory Committee for Community Impact and Engaged Philanthropy team members will review your grant application

The Organization Admin can manage all aspects of a nonprofit’s profile, including who is authorized to write grants on behalf of the organization. If you are the Organization Admin for your nonprofit and will also be writing the grant, you should also register as a Grant Writer.

The Grant Writer is the person who applies for grants on behalf of an organization. We encourage consultants working on behalf of an organization to choose this option. After registering, Grant Writers may request authorization to write a grant on behalf of an organization. The Organization Admin will approve or deny this request.

Denver Foundation staff members on the grant processing team have access to your profile. The Organizational Admin will approve or deny your request to associate your profile with their organization but otherwise cannot access your profile.

Yes, saved applications will be available by choosing “My Saved Applications” under “Grant Applicant” in the menu on the right of The Denver Foundation’s Grant Application Portal.

You will be required to upload your current organizational budget and, if applicable, a grant report from your previous grant award.

Attachments are accepted in PDF format only.

Narrative questions are limited to 3,000 characters. There is a character counter showing your progress toward the limit.

You may select one or more priority areas that reflect your programs. 

You should progress through the application page by page from start to finish. Your answers to questions in each section determine the questions you will see in the next section. Avoid skipping around to different sections of the application.

Only basic registration information such as contact information will be stored for future applications.

If you run into a problem, please email our grants team or call 303.300.1790 and ask to speak with a member of the Engaged Philanthropy team.

Once you create a profile you may request to associate your account with multiple organizations by going to “My Profile” in the menu on the right of the portal. Please keep in mind, an Organization Admin must register the nonprofit and then approve your request.

Review Process

A committee made up of members of the Advisory Committee for Community Impact and Engaged Philanthropy team members will review your grant application

The review committee will place emphasis on BIPOC/constituent led organizations, organizations that align with our priority areas, and basic financial health. 

Applicants will be notified by the Foundation by mid-October. 

Don't see your question?

Ask it here. Email our grants team or give us a call at 303.300.1790

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