Funding Opportunity: Supporting Coloradans in Recovery Through Nonclinical Programs

Funding Overview

Treatment alone is often not enough for individuals struggling with substance use and/or mental health challenges. Additional services offered outside the traditional four walls of the clinic can provide needed support that people simply cannot receive within the treatment setting. This is what we refer to as “nonclinical supports.” Individuals who experience mental health and/or substance use challenges often also experience other hardships in their life like maintaining a job and finding affordable housing. These hardships can make it difficult for an individual to focus on their recovery.

This funding opportunity will support individuals with mental health and/or substance use challenges in accessing non-clinical peer support services close to home that will make recovery possible. Through this funding opportunity, the Foundation is interested in strengthening peer-led or peer-driven programs that focus on the community and purpose pillars of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA's) model of recovery.

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

We recognize these are unprecedented times and that your organization may have needed to modify programs and services in ways outside of your normal operations. Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) and what this new reality entails for organizations, we are flexible in the types of programs and services we’re interested in funding for this work. We welcome proposals that take a creative approach in meeting the goals of this funding opportunity while also following the State’s directives, such as social distancing and wearing masks, to keep Coloradans safe and healthy during this public health crisis.

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Have questions? Contact your Program Officer for more information.

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Focus Area
Nurture Healthy Minds
Grant Deadlines

We're here to help

Have questions? Contact your Program Officer for more information.


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

  • Alignment with the Foundation’s cornerstones that advance our efforts to bring health in reach for all Coloradans
  • Serve Coloradans age 18 and over
  • Demonstrated need of recovery services and supports for population(s) being served who have mental health and/or substance use challenges
  • Provide non-clinical programs that fall under SAMHSA's purpose and/or community pillars:
    • Purpose – Meaningful employment, education, engagement with community and creative endeavors
    • Community – Relationships and social networks that provide support friendship, love and hope

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

  • Run by organizations that are peer-led or peer-driven
  • Proposed services are led by or provided by peers such as a peer support specialist, peer navigator, peer coach or recovery coach
  • Are proposed by organizations who already have experience providing recovery services
  • Responsive to the needs of people in recovery and their families through trauma-informed and culturally and linguistically appropriate programming


Examples of organizations considered for funding:

  • Recovery advocacy organizations
  • Recovery community organizations (RCOs)
  • Community mental health centers
  • Affordable housing organizations that provide recovery services
  • Mutual-aid groups
  • Substance use disorder treatment providers
  • Vocational rehabilitation agencies
  • Independent living centers
  • Post-secondary educational organizations (community colleges, universities)

Examples of programs/projects we’re interested in funding:

  • Helping Coloradans in recovery find and retain meaningful employment
  • Providing or connecting Coloradans in recovery with educational pursuits that will help to improve their employment and income prospects
  • Providing opportunities for those in recovery to engage with community, such as through volunteerism
  • Supporting creative endeavors such as incorporating the arts or wellness into recovery programming
  • Building community through peer social or support networks


Multi-generational approach: This includes the person in recovery as well as their children, parent(s), grandparent(s) and/or any other caregiver or family members who are part of their recovery journey.

Mutual-aid groups: These organizations provide nonclinical and non-professional help to achieve long-term recovery from addiction. The most well-known is the 12-step group.

Peer support: SAMHSA defines peer support services as those delivered by individuals who have common life experiences with the people they are serving. The peers can be called peer specialist, peer advocate, peer navigator, wellness advocate or recovery specialist.

Recovery: SAMHSA defines recovery as “a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential.” The Foundation is focused on recovery as it relates to mental health and/or substance use challenges.

Recovery Community Organization (RCO): SAMHSA defines RCOs as independent, nonprofit organizations led and governed by representatives of local communities of addiction recovery.

Stigma: SAMHSA defines stigma as a mark of disgrace or infamy, a stain or reproach, as on one's reputation. Substance use disorders carry a high burden of stigma; fear of judgment means that people with substance use disorders are less likely to seek help and more likely to drop out of treatment programs in which they do enroll.

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.

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 portal to confirm registration is complete at least a week in advance of submitting a grant application. Apply for funding by 5 p.m. MDT on Feb. 15, 2021.