Funding Opportunity:
Building and Bridging Connections Funding

Funding Overview

Relationships and connections are critical components to an organization and/or community’s ability to work together in service of addressing shared goals. Our Building and Bridging Connections funding aims to strengthen social capital and community-building efforts aimed at addressing health challenges and advancing health equity.

This funding will support:

  • Creating connections, building trust and reciprocity, and expanding dialogue on a community’s view of itself that positions them for future collective action
  • Building community between people of color and/or groups working together within a community (e.g. connecting Indigenous women, Black people living with disabilities, Asian American and Pacific Islanders who identify as LGBTQ, etc.) who may not have historically worked together
  • Amplifying voices who have historically had less power and/or privilege within community through prioritization and inclusion of cultural practices that represent and honor cultural heritage, history, stories and traditions about lived experience
  • Connecting different parts of community to one another that traditionally have not interacted

Programs or projects must focus on a specific, defined community that aligns with the Foundation’s cornerstones and prioritizes groups that have historically been left out of community-building efforts, such as communities of color, immigrant and refugee communities, people living with disabilities, LGBTQ communities and others dependent on context.

There is no application deadline for our Building and Bridging Connections funding. Applications are accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis. Funding decisions will generally be made within 45 days of a proposal being submitted. Grants typically range from $25,000 to $90,000, and will support programs or projects 12 to 24 months in length.

Proposed program and/or 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’re not already connected with a program officer, please reach out to Tomas Gallegos, program officer, by email or phone at 303-953-3637.

Si necesita acceder la solicitud de fondos en español, por favor contáctenos a [email protected]

To be considered for funding, proposals must meet the following criteria

All proposals must reflect the Foundation’s cornerstones and demonstrate how the proposed work will address health equity and center on racial justice. Applicants must also:

  1. Focus on a specific, defined community.
    • Proposed programs or projects must describe a specific geo-located community (geographic region such local community, neighborhood, township, municipality).
    • The identified community must be inclusive of those who have historically had less power, privilege and/or income, and who have experienced barriers to participating in, or being a part of, community-related problem-solving. Priority populations include communities of color, immigrant and refugee communities, people living with disabilities, LGBTQ communities and others dependent on context.
  2. Ensure the program or project is shaped and supported by the identified community.
    • There must be evidence that there is an existing relationship between the applicant organization and identified community members, an understanding of the needs and priorities of the identified community in the request, and that there is a thoughtful and deliberate plan for intentional engagement with the identified community.
    • The proposed program or project should be informed and shaped by the identified community, and include buy-in and support from others beyond the applicant organization, including support from the people most impacted by the work as well as potential partners.
    • The identified community, those most impacted and potential partners should be engaged in the work in an ongoing way that supports modifications to the program or project based on feedback.
  3. Reflect shared roles and responsibilities between the applicant organization and identified community for engagement and implementation of the program or project.
    • These efforts should support positive, genuine, caring and mutually trusting connections with community members in order to better leverage connections, networks and resources to help address challenges.
  • Bringing different types of people from a particular community together to talk, learn from each other and strengthen bonds. This could happen within and/or across groups.
  • Bringing community members and leaders together recognizing linguistic or language differences with the purpose of listening and learning from each other about how community issues impact them. Discussions should be focused on bringing community members together to foster better connections and identify solutions to health challenges.
  • Supporting efforts for community members to work together around a shared activity, sharing their stories and culture, and emphasizing voices not typically included. This could include efforts in the arts, hobbies, outdoor/sporting activities or non-verbal sharing opportunities.
  • Bringing people together to start or restart a conversation. These gatherings should be inclusive and address community-led opportunities, challenges and/or needs.
  • Creating opportunities that help people break down historical barriers between individuals, groups and organizations with a focus on working together better.
  • Create shared goals and take coordinated actions to ensure all voices are engaged to work on community priorities.
  • Support community members in developing skills related to working together, connecting with leaders and decision-makers, and/or taking collective action.
  • Intentional inclusion of cultural practices and traditions to foster healing and belonging within the community.
  • Organizations considered for funding may include community-based organizations (inclusive of informal groups with a fiscal sponsor) and local public agencies working with community members who are living on low income and have historically had less power and/or privilege.
  • Priority will be given to proposals that are strongly aligned with the Foundation’s cornerstones and are inclusive of the contributions of individuals from diverse backgrounds and perspectives.

Funding will not be provided in situations where an organization or group is seeking to enter a community (e.g., planning, pre-assessment, surveys, education) for the first time or has not demonstrated active and intentional connection to parts of the community.

Awarded groups will agree to participate in learning and evaluation activities.

  • Social capital: The networks, norms and trust that enable participants to act together more effectively to pursue shared objectives.
  • Community building: Nurturing and utilizing community talent, knowledge and resources to shape the community’s future. Activities, resources and support that strengthen the skills, abilities and confidence of people and community groups to take effective action and leading roles in advancing health equity.
  • Asset-based approach: Involves facilitating people, neighborhoods and communities to come together to achieve positive change, which uses and builds upon their existing knowledge, skills and lived experience regarding the issues impacting their community.
  • 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.

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 [email protected] or call our senior director of Grantmaking Operations at 303-953-3600.

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.

Si necesita acceder la solicitud de fondos en español, por favor contáctenos a [email protected]

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