Funding Opportunity: Community-initiated Solutions

Funding Overview

Communities often have the best ideas for solving their own challenges, and when solutions are generated at a local level, they are more likely to demonstrate long-term impact. They are also more likely to be embraced by the community and reflective of their particular needs.

This funding opportunity supports partnerships with communities on locally-specific solutions that lead to healthier communities. Proposed local solutions must address clear community health challenges, and demonstrate evidence of community will in support of them. The defining characteristics of Community Solutions proposals is that the effort derives from demonstrated community commitment toward solving a specific, local, health-related issue or a challenge that impacts the health of the community overall.

Applicants may request funding to support a range of programs and/or projects determined by the individual community as necessary to addressing their health challenges. Programs and/or projects shall at minimum credibly advance health within a specific community.

Funding amounts will vary according to the expected needs of each community-initiated solution, with funding available for one to two years.

Proposed programs and/or projects must reflect the Foundation’s cornerstones, as our work is grounded in serving Coloradan’s who are low-income and historically have had less power or privilege, putting the creation of health equity at the center of everything we do, and being informed by the community and those we exist to serve. 

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
Grant Deadlines

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Have questions? Contact your Program Officer for more information.


To be considered for funding, organizations must meet the following criteria:

  • Clarify the specific issue/challenge and how it impacts the health of a particular community.
  • Describe the evolution of the issue/challenge and what actions the impacted community has taken in response.
  • Explain how the community developed the proposed solution and why the related activities are not only actionable, but within the existing capacity of the community.
  • Demonstrate how community members will participate in implementing the proposed solution.
  • Define who will lead the effort and how that leader was identified.

Preference will be given to organizations with programs/projects that:

  • Show clear evidence that the proposed solution is in fact community-initiated.
  • Build upon and leverage existing community capacity to successfully implement the solution.
  • Reflect and respond to needs specific to the proposing community.

Examples of organizations considered for funding:

  • Community-based groups or nonprofit organizations (at this time, those without nonprofit status will need to partner with a fiscal sponsor).
  • Other applicants that can demonstrate a substantial commitment to community-identified and community-led efforts to address complex health-related issues and/or challenges.

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.


  • Community: Broadly, the Foundation defines community as a social group of any size whose members reside in a specific and shared locality, and often have common characteristics, interests and/or cultural and historical heritage. Specifically, the Foundation considers the following entities within the definition: individuals, organizations, networks, coalitions, sub-populations, neighborhoods, regions and systems that underlie shared characteristics and interests or locality.
  • Community Action: Action undertaken (and usually also initiated and organized) by members of a community for that community's own improvement.
  • Community-initiated: There is clear evidence that the proposed action or solution directly evolved from discussions sparked by impacted community members.
  • Health Equity: Health equity exists when there are no unnecessary, avoidable, unfair, unjust or systemically-caused differences in health status.
  • Local/Locality: A community belonging or relating to a particular geographic area, specifically at the sub-regional level, and commonly described as neighborhood, sub-area, district, town, city, municipality or county; or a distinct population found at the sub-regional level.

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 in advance of submitting a grant application. Apply for funding by 5 p.m. MDT on Feb. 15, 2019.