Funding Opportunity: Activating Places and Spaces Together

Funding Overview

This funding opportunity supports locally-defined, place-specific efforts to get people outdoors and actively engaged in their neighborhoods – together. The goal of the funding opportunity is to help activate existing infrastructure in public places that contributes to a community’s overall health through residential usage and positive experiences. Foundation grant funds will support costs associated with project/program planning and/or implementation for up to one year. In addition, funding for technical assistance for community engagement, communications and marketing is available. Typically, grants range from $5,000 to $100,000.

Proposed projects must reflect the Foundation’s cornerstones. These outline who we serve, how our work is informed and our intent to create health equity.

Have questions? We’re here to talk through your ideas and encourage you to connect with us before applying for funding. If you don’t already work with a program officer, please reach out to us by email or by phone at 303-953-3600, and be sure to note the county you work in and area of interest.

Focus Area
Strengthen Community Health

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Have questions? Contact your Program Officer for more information.


To be considered for funding, applicants must demonstrate within the online grant application that they meet the following criteria:

  • Must be an organization eligible to receive funding as described on the Foundation’s website
  • Must be a group or organization with experience working within the community or communities served
  • Must serve a high proportion of youth from high-need/low-income communities; the percentage of children eligible for free and reduced school meals, average family income or other indicators of need will be considered
  • Infrastructure proposed for activation must currently exist
  • Infrastructure proposed for activation must be public or fully accessible to the public through a binding use agreement
  • Infrastructure proposed for activation must be walkable/bikeable and contiguous or linked by public, walkable/bikeable accessways
  • Proposed activation effort(s) must have demonstrated support of the surrounding community
  • Proposed activation effort(s) must target youth in the Pre-K through 12th grade age group and their families
  • Proposed activation effort(s) must be relevant and appropriate to the needs and interests of the youth served; applicants must demonstrate (through program satisfaction and/or survey results, youth/family engagement process, existing participation data or similar methods) that demand exists for proposed activities
  • Must demonstrate sufficient capacity and utilization of available technical support to effectively implement the proposed activities
  • Proposals should include support and/or commitments from local government whenever possible
  • Applicants must consider implementation and long-term sustainability of proposed activities 

The following are examples of actions that a community would take as part of a comprehensive approach to community health. The Foundation encourages innovative approaches that are relevant to the particular needs of the community being served:

  • Projects and/or programming that engages residents in communal, sustained, active use of existing public infrastructure including but not limited to:
    • Movies or concerts in the park series
    • Walking or running clubs
    • Community beautification and stewardship efforts, e.g. “friends of…” or similar
  • Enhancements to existing infrastructure intended to achieve the goal of this funding opportunity
  • Community outreach and participation in planning, design and implementation of projects and programming
  • Communications, local promotion and public awareness activities

We often partner with third-party evaluators, contractors and other organizations over the course of our work with applicants and grantees. Your application and its attachments may be shared with these individuals or entities during the review process and grant cycle. All third-party organizations partnering with the Foundation have signed a confidentiality agreement and will not use or share the information for purposes outside of the scope of work specific to the grant application or grant award. If you have any concerns or would like additional information, please email or call our senior director of Grantmaking Operations at 303-953-3600.

Examples of programs and/or projects we’re interested in funding

  • Planning and/or implementation for projects and programs
  • Infrastructure enhancements, e.g. beautification, information/wayfinding, etc.
  • Project/program-related administrative costs
  • Community outreach and coordination
  • Technical assistance for community engagement, communications, etc.

Examples of programs and/or projects that are not eligible for funding at this time

  • Purchase and installation of new infrastructure
  • Rehabilitation or replacement of existing infrastructure, i.e. capital projects
  • General operating support
  • One-time activities or events

Funding Opportunity

Our funding opportunities focus on specific needs aligned with a particular priority within our focus areas. These vary for each funding deadline (Feb. 15, June 15 and Oct. 15). Applicants will be required to address detailed criteria specific to that funding opportunity. Grant funding is highly competitive within the pool of applicants for each individual funding opportunity.

We encourage all applicants to sign up in our grants management system by Oct. 8 to confirm registration is complete in advance of submitting a grant application. Apply for funding by 5 p.m. MDT on Oct. 15, 2018.