Frequently Asked Questions
We have provided answers to frequently asked questions, arranged by topic.
About Our Grants Program
1. What does the Colorado Health Foundation fund?
Review focus areas, cross-cutting efforts and open funding:
2. How does the Foundation evaluate grantee work?
All grantees participate in our evaluation model, though engagement for a particular grantee may vary depending on the specific projects, funding or focus areas. We aspire to be clear with grantees about expectations around evaluation at the beginning of their funding and throughout the life of their project. Some ways that grantees may be engaged in evaluation are:
- All grantees are expected to report monitoring data on our Measurable Results and/or through regular reporting processes.
- Grantees may be asked to provide some additional data as part of their normal reporting process.
- Grantees may be asked to engage in an evaluation study across a body of work we are funding (cluster evaluation).
- Grantees may be asked to engage in an evaluation study specific to their grant (generally using a third party evaluator).
- Grantees may be asked to participate in other informal learning activities.
Grantees may be asked to participate in any combination of these activities. The Foundation’s evaluation team will then work with grantees to help them understand expectations, answer any questions and provide support throughout the evaluation process. We focus on ensuring that our evaluation practices do not create an undue burden on grantees.
We welcome your questions or feedback about the evaluation process. If you have specific questions about the evaluation model or the evaluation expectations, contact Kelci Price, director of Learning and Evaluation at 303-953-7920.
3. What type of grant support does the Foundation provide?
Typically, we consider grants for project, general operating support and capacity building, but funding criteria will detail this type of information on the specific funding page. On occasion, we also consider requests for capital funding if the proposed efforts have a demonstrable link to our community outcomes. In each case, funding criteria guide specifically what will be funded and in general we define these areas as follows:
- Project: specific sets of activities carried out over a defined period of time.
- General operating support: support for an organization's day-to-day expenses to enable it to carry out its mission.
- Capacity building: strengthening an organization by enhancing financing, governance, planning and other business capabilities.
- Capital: improving an organization's facilities or infrastructure.
4. What is the difference between a general operating grant and a project grant?
Project grants are for specific activities carried out over a defined time period; for example, a one-year project to enroll eligible children in CHP+.
General operating grants support an organization's day-to-day expenses to enable it to carry out its mission. We will make general operating grants only to organizations whose mission aligns with our mission and help us achieve one or more of our goals.
5. What is the difference between the three different funding types?
- 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.
- Our responsive grants program is for your best ideas that could help us achieve impact within our focus areas, but don't fit with one of our funding opportunities. The program is intended to respond to an urgent community need; address emerging opportunities; test innovative approaches; or implement proven programs. Grant funding is highly competitive within the pool of applicants who apply for responsive grants in a funding cycle. At each funding deadline (Feb. 15, June 15, Oct. 15), we will identify specific objectives for our responsive grants program. These may change from deadline to deadline.
- Our rapid response funding supports short-term advocacy initiatives. There is no deadline for rapid response grants. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis.
6. How much funding will the Foundation provide for my proposal?
The amount granted to an organization varies depending on many factors, such as a project's total budget and an organization's budget. We favor proposals that include other funders and that show how proposed activities will be continued after the grant term is completed.
7. Does the Foundation make multiyear grants?
We welcome proposals for multiyear funding and encourage applicants to delineate clearly the need for additional years of funding.
8. How long does it take to receive grant funding?
Depending on the complexity of the request, the review process takes approximately four months.
9. How does the Foundation decide who receives a grant?
When we receive a proposal, we assign it to one of our program officers. The designated program officer will work with their team as appropriate to review the proposal thoroughly.
Many factors enter into a final grant recommendation, the most significant of which is the demonstrated capacity of the applicant to impact the goals of the funding type. In making that assessment, the program officers consider, among other things, the applicant's proposed strategy, organizational capacity to achieve the results and coordination with complementary efforts of other organizations. Program officers will speak with the applicants as needed and occasionally conduct a site visit.
10. Does the Foundation have a threshold on funding?
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. As a result, 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 us does not exceed 25 percent of an organization’s annual expense budget. For organizations receiving more than one grant from us, 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, our staff will work with the organization to ensure that future diversified funding sources are being considered and planned for by the organization. This guideline does not apply to fiscal sponsors, but to the sponsored organizations.
1. Who is eligible for a Colorado Health Foundation grant?
We generally make grants to two 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 must maintain 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. Additionally, the project must be aligned with the fiscal sponsor’s charitable mission, and the fiscal sponsor’s Board must approve of the project as furthering the sponsor’s charitable mission prior to applying for a grant to the Colorado Health Foundation. Please 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 our grantmaking department.
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.
2. Who is not eligible for a grant?
The Foundation does not award grants to organizations that willfully discriminate against a particular class of individuals. To be eligible for funding organizations must abide by all applicable local, state, and federal anti-discrimination laws in hiring, employment practices and when providing services.
Generally, the Foundation does not make grants to or for the following:
- Programs that require membership in a certain religion or advance a particular religious faith (faith-based organizations may be eligible for funding if they welcome and serve all members of the community regardless of religious faith, and provided that they do not require participation in activities that are specifically religious)
- For-profit organizations or programs operated by, or for the benefit of, for-profit organizations
- Debt retirement
- Fundraising events
Please contact the senior director of Grantmaking Operations at 303-953-3672 or email if you have any questions regarding your organization's eligibility for funding.
3. Does the Foundation provide grants to agencies outside metro Denver?
Yes. We make grants for the benefit of Coloradans in all parts of the state.
4. Does the Foundation provide grants to agencies outside Colorado?
Generally, we do not fund organizations outside Colorado. When we do, it is because the project will provide a significant benefit to Coloradans.
How to Apply
1. How can my organization apply for a grant from the Colorado Health Foundation?
First, review our focus areas, cross-cutting efforts and open funding:
Read more about what to do before you apply.
All grant applications are submitted electronically through the specific funding page on our website. Complete instructions for online submissions can be found here.
2. How do I apply online?
To apply online, read about the process for applying first and follow the instructions. Tip: We recommend that applicants type answers to the proposal questions into a word processing document, then copy and paste the entries into the appropriate section of the online application. This helps speed the process.
3. What should I do if I cannot submit an online application?
If you are unable to complete an online application, please contact our senior director of Grantmaking Operations for instructions about an alternative submission.
Senior Director of Grantmaking Operations
4. Does the Foundation have any required application forms?
*To download these documents, right-click (PC) or control-click (MAC) and choose "Save Target As" to save the file to your computer.
5. Are there deadlines for grant applications?
Yes. We have three annual deadlines: Feb. 15, June 15 and Oct. 15. When these dates fall on a holiday or weekend, the deadline will be the next business day. Proposals must be submitted online and received in our offices by 5 p.m. MST on the deadline date.
6. How should I write my proposal if I am applying for a general operating grant?
Organizations applying for a general operating grant should write a proposal about their organization as a whole, rather than about a specific project. Include information about your organization's projects, programs and services collectively so that we can learn about how your organization carries out its work to achieve its mission.
7. What is meant by "intermediate milestones"?
In the proposal narrative, you are asked to describe the final results that you hope to achieve through your work. For multiyear grants, we realize that results may not be achieved immediately. Therefore, we ask you to describe the milestones that you plan to achieve throughout the course of your grant. Milestones might include "products" or "deliverables" that will help you achieve your final results. For example, during the course of a three-year project grant, you may plan to increase the number of parents educated on child development and nutrition. Your milestones might include the following:
- Develop and finalize an evidence-based curriculum for the program
- Develop a survey instrument to assess parent comprehension levels before and after the course
- Implement the course and summarize participant feedback
- Refine curriculum and survey instrument to reflect lessons learned from the first year
Year 3 (end of the grant)
- The number of individuals reached by the effort
- The total number of parents sufficiently educated on child development and nutrition
- If there are plans to continue the program, you can report on the predicted results of sustained efforts and the potential scope of dissemination
Setting up a project plan with intermediate milestones and expected results will help ensure the grant activities are on track and identify when mid-course corrections are needed.
8. What is meant by "method for tracking and calculating your Measurable Result(s)"?
In the proposal narrative, you are asked to explain how you will track your data and calculate the final results of the grant activities. In other words, what do you expect the ultimate result(s) of your grant activities will be (in terms of a numerical increase in Coloradans receiving health coverage, health care or practicing healthy living)? On an annual basis, you will be asked to report on progress towards achieving these results. The description of the funding opportunity under which you are applying includes information on the specific Measurable Result(s) you will be asked to report on and will include information on any additional expectations around evaluation. In your proposal, you would therefore discuss how you will track and calculate these particular Measurable Result(s). If you are submitting a renewal, you will likely report on the same Measurable Result(s) you have in the past.
This section of the proposal should clearly explain the methodology for tracking and reporting your final results. The methodology may be relatively simple (e.g., maintain a database to keep track of new patients receiving integrated care as a result of your grant activities) or more complex (e.g., hire an evaluation expert to survey individuals on their behavioral changes as a result of your grant activities).
If you have any questions regarding the method of calculating Measurable Result(s), contact your assigned program officer.
9. Should I show in-kind contributions on the line-item budget?
You may list in-kind contributions on the line-item budget form and provide additional detail on these contributions in your budget narrative as needed.
10. What should I do if my organization does not have audited financial statements?
Provide your most recent fiscal year's unaudited statements, including the profit and loss statement and balance sheet.
11. If I am using a fiscal sponsor, what additional materials do I need to provide?
- Fiscal sponsor's IRS determination letter of 501(c)(3) status
- Fiscal sponsor's audited financial statements for the most recent fiscal year
- Memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the grantee and the fiscal sponsor. An MOU is an agreement between two or more collaborating organizations that states the roles and responsibilities of each agency for the duration of the project (over a specified length of time) and the fees of the fiscal sponsor, if applicable. Please refer to the Foundation's fiscal sponsor policy and sample MOU.
1. How do I begin the online application process?
You will begin your online application on a specific funding page on the website. Funding opportunities provide specific eligibility criteria and deadlines for applicants to review. The responsive grants program is intended to respond to an urgent community need; address emerging opportunities; test innovative approaches; or implement proven programs. Grant funding is highly competitive within the pool of applicants who apply for responsive grants in a funding cycle. At each funding deadline we will identify specific objectives for our responsive grants program. These may change from deadline to deadline. Our rapid response funding supports short-term advocacy initiatives. There is no deadline for rapid response grants. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.
It is important that you fit the criteria as an applicant before applying.
2. If I am in the middle of writing my application, can I save it and continue working on it later?
Yes. Click on the “Save” button found in the lower right hand corner of the application. Once you’ve clicked on “Save,” you will see your application under the “In Progress” section in the toolbar found on the left hand side of the application portal. You can continue to work on the application by accessing it through the toolbar under “In Progress” or by clicking on the “Edit” button found in the upper right hand corner of the application.
Note that the grant portal does not auto save. We encourage you to frequently click on "Save" when drafting your application so as not to lose any work. You must save the application prior to submitting your application.
3. I saved my application in a previous session. How do I get back to it?
Go to the “Login” page here.
4. I clicked on "Save" and now I can't get back to my application. What should I do?
To get back to the “Login” page, click here. If you have problems, please call Sara Guillaume, senior director of Grantmaking Operations at 303-953-3672.
5. How do I submit attachments if I'm using the online system?
Applicants should upload required documents to the online application system. To upload attachments, you select the blue (+) button to the right of the specific document you’re wanting to upload, add the file, and click “Upload.” Repeat this step for each required document. If you would like to add an additional, optional document, please locate and select the (+) button on the “Application Documents” section to add.
6. How can I tell if my application has gone through?
When you click “Submit,” you will receive an email confirmation that we received your application. This is why it is very important to enter your email address accurately on your application. If you do not receive an email confirmation, please call Sara Guillaume, senior director of grantmaking operations at 303-953-3672.
You will also find the application under “Submitted” within your grantee portal.
7. What happens if my system crashes while I'm submitting my application online?
Although the online grant application system has been designed to minimize loss of information, we recommend saving frequently. You can easily resume your application by going to the “Login” page or by clicking on your application under “In Progress” if signed into the application portal.
As an additional way to avoid loss of your data, we recommend typing your answers to the proposal questions into a word-processing document first. You can then copy and paste your answers into the appropriate sections of the online application form.
At any time during the online application process, you can use the "Printer Friendly Version" button to print out your proposal.
8. I submitted my application, but there's a mistake in it. Can I submit another one?
If you discover a mistake in your application or have any technical difficulties, please call our senior director of grantmaking operations at 303-953-3672.
9. I've submitted my application. What should I expect now?
Once your application has been submitted, you will receive an email confirming receipt. As needed, a Foundation staff member may be in touch with you to discuss your proposal and to followup with any additional questions. Sometimes, our program staff will schedule a site visit so they can meet you in person and further discuss proposed activities. Please note that the decision-making process may take up to four months. Once a decision has been made, you will be notified promptly.
At any point during the process, please do not hesitate to contact our grantmaking staff with questions or concerns.
10. What are the system requirements for the online grant application process?
There are no special system requirements for completing an online grant application. Although high-speed Internet access will make the process much faster, it is not required. Google Chrome is the preferred browser.
11. Is my organization's information kept private when I apply online?
The Foundation takes your privacy seriously. We do not rent, sell or share personal information about you or your grant application with other people or with nonaffiliated companies or organizations.
Application Review Process
1. May I apply for more than one grant at the same time, either in the same focus area or addressing different health issues?
It depends. Each application is reviewed on its own merits. If you are submitting a new proposal, you are welcome to submit an application within an aligned, open funding. For renewals of a current grant, we ask that you wait until four months before the grant period ends before submitting an application for renewal. When you apply for a new grant, or reapply, we encourage you to submit an interim report for the current grant along with your proposal. Please use the appropriate grant report form to complete your interim report. This will assist the program officer in the review process. You must also submit a final report for the original grant according to the time line agreed upon in the grant agreement. We strongly encourage you to contact one of our program officers to discuss any questions you might have.
2. What are the reasons a proposal might not be reviewed?
A proposal will not be reviewed if:
- It is received after 5 p.m. on the deadline date
- It is incomplete
- It falls into any of the categories described in the section titled, " Who is not eligible for a grant?".
3. I recently applied for a grant and was turned down. How can I find out why my request was declined so I can be more successful the next time?
Unfortunately, we must decline many more proposals than we are able to fund. If you have questions about the reasons for declination, please call our main number, 303-953-3600, and you will be put in touch with the appropriate program officer who can address your questions.
1. What are my grant reporting requirements, and how do I submit my reports?
Grant reporting requirements are outlined in all grant agreements. Please refer to your grant agreement for details. Approximately 35 days prior to your report being due, an email reminder will be sent from the Foundation providing a link to the grantee portal and instructions. The portal requires you to log in with your user name and password prior to completing the report or uploading the grant deliverable. Once in the portal, your will find your report located in the “Upcoming Reports” section. You can learn more about reporting requirements here.
For questions please contact:
Senior Director of Grantmaking Operations
About the Colorado Health Foundation
1. What is the history of the Colorado Health Foundation?
We began in 1995 as HealthONE Alliance, a nonprofit established when the HealthONE hospital system entered into a joint venture with HCA-HealthONE. Over the years, our structure, mission and name has changed to best serve Colorado’s health needs. Though our initial emphasis was in medical research and acute care, our vision is that across Colorado, each of us can say: "We have all we need to live healthy lives." Learn more about our history.
2. How can I contact a program officer?
At any time in the process of thinking about, developing or submitting a grant application, we encourage you to contact us with any question, big or small. Please call our main number, 303-953-3600 or 877-225-0839 (toll free), and you will be directed to the most appropriate program officer.
Our mailing address is:
The Colorado Health Foundation
1780 Pennsylvania St
Denver, CO 80203