The Foundation recently awarded a total of 37 organizations through the Special Projects Program to better understand and respond to community health needs across the state. View a list of the first cohort for more information on funded organizations and their project descriptions.

We know that there are diverse needs across Colorado communities that are experienced as health barriers or challenges, and that it is sometimes difficult to access funding for a project or an innovative idea that addresses a demonstrated community need.

The Special Projects Program is designed to help us better understand and respond to community needs. It is also a way for the Foundation to identify new partners and new ways to support solutions over time.

The purpose of the program is to fund time-limited projects that address a pressing community need, propose new work or build on existing work, support a promising innovation or practice, and may set the groundwork for sustainable collaboration and programs. The program will not support projects currently funded by the Foundation and/or projects that align with one of the Foundation’s existing funding opportunities.

Applicants will be asked to describe how the project seeks to address a pressing community need and how this approach builds on existing evidence of what works to improve health in their community. The program funds project support for planning, implementation, evaluation, or capacity building to strengthen an organization’s business capabilities. There are no required funding limits for potential grants or a specifically designated length of time required for a grant, but proposed budgets need to be reasonably aligned with the scope of the project.

Grant Deadlines:

Not accepting applications. This work is in progress.  2017 deadlines to be determined. 

Program Officers: 

Erik Ortiz (303.953.7912), Rose Green (303.953.7910) 

To be considered for funding, proposals must demonstrate that they meet the following criteria:

  • Applicant organization is eligible to receive funding as described on the Foundation’s website.
  • Address a community need that is experienced as a barrier to health (or health challenge).
  • Project support is used for planning, implementation and/or time-limited evaluation activities related to a specific project.
  • Capacity building support is used to strengthen an organization by enhancing operations, financing, governance and other business capabilities.
  • Is for a specific set of activities carried out over a defined period of time (clear start and end date), and not a long-term program that requires ongoing effort, resources or staff past the project period.
  • Proposed work is new or expands existing work that supports an innovation or promising practice and builds on evidence of what works in the target community.
  • Must be aligned with one or more of the following focus areas
    Healthy Schools — Create healthy early childhood settings and schools that provide quality physical education and activity and healthy food and beverages.
    Healthy Communities — Create healthy communities where it is easy to access affordable, healthy food and safe, affordable options for physical activity for kids.
    Health Coverage — Support Coloradans in choosing, using and maintaining adequate health coverage.
    Health Care Costs — Address health care costs and affordability to ensure coverage expansions are sustained over time.
    Population Health — Support communities to prevent disease and improve population health.
    Primary Care — Strengthen the delivery of comprehensive, person-centered primary care.
    Health Empowerment — Empower individuals and families to manage their own health.
    Healthy Beginnings — Improve the experiences and environments of young children from preconception to age eight, with an emphasis on prenatal to age three.

What we will fund:

  • Planning, implementation or evaluation projects that address a pressing community need
  • Capacity building projects that seek to strengthen an organization by enhancing operations, financing, governance and other business capabilities
  • Projects with a defined start and end date

What we will not fund:

  • Work that could be considered under an existing funding opportunity.
  • Ongoing programs that require effort and resources past the project period
  • Pilot projects without a demonstrated plan for sustainability after pilot is complete
  • School-based projects* 
  • General operating support
  • Disease or condition-specific projects
  • Capital projects
  • Research

*Proposals from schools or school districts, or proposals to conduct projects in school-based settings should be submitted through our Creating Healthy Schools funding opportunity. Projects related to school-based health clinics are eligible to apply through the Special Projects Program in alignment with our primary care strategy.


Program Officers: 

Erik Ortiz (303.953.7912), Rose Green (303.953.7910)