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Before You Apply

To save time and effort, we recommend that all applicants become familiar with our three outcome areas and their respective strategies and open funding opportunities.

Review strategies, funding opportunities and grant programs:

Who can apply?
Generally, the Colorado Health Foundation makes grants to the following types of organizations:

  • Colorado organizations classified as tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3)
  • Colorado public agencies, including state and local governments

New or emerging organizations without 501(c)(3) status are permitted to apply through a tax-exempt organization acting as fiscal sponsor. The fiscal sponsor has full discretion and control over any awarded grant funds and should have the organizational capacity to manage and accept the risks involved with fiscal sponsorship. Please PDF Icon Transparent download the Foundation's fiscal sponsor policy and sample memorandum of understanding (MOU). If you have any questions about your organization's eligibility, please do not hesitate to contact us at 303.953.3600 and ask to speak with grants management.

Note: If a public support test requirement to retain public charity status applies to your organization, as a public charity grantee of the Colorado Health Foundation, it is essential that you ensure the grant your organization receives will not cause it to lose its status as a publicly supported charity.

Essential resources
Before applying, we recommend the following:

  • Review grant programs and open funding opportunities for eligibility and deadlines within Healthy Living, Health Care and Health Coverage.
  • Read the FAQ.
  • Contact a program officer if you want to discuss your project before beginning the online application process.
  • Participate in a live webinar (or listen to a recorded one) to learn more about the application process and how to use the Colorado Health Foundation's online grant application.
  • Review our Grantmaking Glossary to become familiar with terminology that appears throughout the application process.
  • Consider the Foundation’s intent is to encourage a diverse funding base in order to strengthen the financial health and sustainability of nonprofit organizations that we fund. In 2015, we set guidelines to ensure that an organization is not excessively dependent on Foundation funding. In general, we work to ensure that the annual grant disbursement from the Foundation does not exceed 25 percent of an organization’s annual expense budget. For those organizations receiving more than one grant from the Foundation, the guideline is 30 percent of the annual expense budget. These thresholds are considered when grant proposals are reviewed, understanding that at times the Foundation may decide to go above these guidelines. In these instances, Foundation staff will work with the organization to ensure that future diversified funding sources are being considered and planned for by the organization. For fiscal partnerships, this guideline does not apply to fiscal sponsors, but to the sponsored organizations.  

The Foundation offers three annual deadlines to apply for grant funding: Feb. 15, June 15 and Oct. 15, but not all funding opportunities or grant programs will be open each cycle. Funding opportunities and grant programs vary in accordance with the funding strategy needs. Read more about the funding strategies.

After your application has been submitted, the Colorado Health Foundation will screen it for completeness and eligibility. Your application will be assigned to the appropriate team for review, and a Foundation staff person may contact you to discuss your proposal and follow-up with any additional questions. Staff may occasionally schedule a site visit to meet you in person and further discuss proposed activities.

While we strive to be as responsive as possible, please note that review of your proposal may take up to four months. You will be notified as soon as we reach a decision. At any point during the process, please do not hesitate to contact your assigned staff person with questions or concerns.