Funding Opportunity: Advancing Advocacy and Justice with Communities of Color

Funding Overview

The Advancing Advocacy and Justice with Communities of Color funding opportunity aims to build power in the advocacy ecosystem with organizations that are most critical and closest to the communities for whom health is furthest from reach. It will support both long-term movement-building and the ability of advocacy groups to act when high-leverage opportunities to bring about change arise. The Foundation hopes to shift and elevate power and further strengthen a nimble, adaptive, diverse and durable advocacy ecosystem.

This funding opportunity will support:

  • A continuum of advocacy efforts focusing on health equity for Arab/Middle Eastern, Asian/Pacific Islander, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latinx, Indigenous/Native American, Multiracial communities and groups that engage in intersectional work with communities of color (e.g. focusing on Indigenous women, Black LGBTQ+, immigrants and refugees);
  • Long-term movement-building strategies that make decision-makers account to communities and strengthen their power to influence policy;
  • Efforts for racial and economic justice, which will ultimately support health equity for people of color across the state.

Grants will typically range from $50,000 to $200,000 annually per organization. Grant duration will range from two to five years.

Proposed advocacy efforts 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 us by email or phone at 303-953-3600.

Focus Area
Champion Health Equity
Grant Deadlines

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Have questions? Contact your Program Officer for more information.

Funding Criteria:

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

1. Organizations should be led by and/or centered on Arab/Middle Eastern, Asian/Pacific Islander, Black/African American, Indigenous/ Native American, Hispanic/Latinx and Multiracial communities and work to build the power of Coloradans of color to shape public policy decisions that impact health.

2. Proposed work should include each of the following features:

  • Foundation Alignment: Proposed advocacy aligns with and advances the Foundation’s cornerstones in service to our mission. While this funding opportunity is not constrained to specific issue areas, alignment for this funding is deeply tied to the Foundation’s commitment to health equity. We recognize that when communities who have historically had less power and privilege are using the tactics outlined below to expand their power, use their voice and make change – they are fighting against the root causes of health inequities as they themselves define them.
  • Advocacy Focus: Proposed activities should focus on advocacy related to:
    • Public policy at the local, state and/or federal level, including advocating for policy changes, protecting existing policies, improving or supporting equitable implementation of existing policies, and/or building political will
    • Activities focused on engaging, organizing and/or mobilizing specific constituencies or communities around a particular policy issue, set of issues aimed at advancing health equity, and/or civic or structural reforms that will advance health equity
    • Building support for longer-term racial justice actions. Activities that address individual behaviors, provide individual-level advocacy or provide direct services will not receive consideration.
  • Community Informed: Proposed advocacy reflects the health priorities of community members and shows authentic and deep engagement with the community. Aligned organizations are working with the community, not just for the community.
  • Impact: Proposed advocacy efforts should describe how the work will bring health in reach for communities of color who live on low income.
  • Approach: Proposed advocacy should focus on building towards long-term movement(s) that advance health equity and racial justice, not simply securing single policy victories.

Applicants proposed advocacy work must have a clear tie to health equity and strong connection with the Foundation's cornerstones.

Priority:

  1. Priority will be given to organizations that:
  • Are focused on movement building and strengthening the power of Arab/Middle Eastern, Asian/Pacific Islander, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latinx, Indigenous/Native American and Multiracial communities.

  • Support people living on low incomes who have unequal opportunities for civic participation 

  • Are constituent-led and are typically in their capacity to engage in advocacy

2. Priority will be given to those using tactics that are central to these goals, including, but not limited to:
  • Community organizing, base-building and mobilization
  • Direct action/protests
  • Grassroots calls to action
  • Advocacy leadership and training with community members 
  • Voter engagement and mobilization
  • Legal advocacy and impact litigation
  • Administrative and regulatory advocacy
  • Advocacy and accountability efforts for policymakers
  • Neighborhood canvassing and base building
  • Advocacy efforts aimed at civic and political reform
  • Organizing and mobilization efforts advancing social, racial and economic justice related to health equity

Organizations that are eligible for funding:

Organizations eligible to apply include 501(c)(3) organizations, government entities and community-based groups that use a fiscal sponsor for project support.

Examples of programs/projects that are not eligible for funding at this time:

The Foundation will not fund advocacy tactics that involve partisan political activities or any activities that are prohibited for 501(c)(3) organizations. Information about advocacy activities that are permissible for 501(c)(3) organizations is available here.

Evaluation Activities

As part of this funding opportunity, the Foundation will partner with an external evaluator, and grantees will need to participate in activities related to this evaluation. The specific approach to the evaluation is still being developed, but we anticipate that each year we will ask for a few hours of grantees’ time to participate in evaluation activities such as evaluation design, interviews, surveys, etc.

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 grants@coloradohealth.org or call our senior director of Grantmaking Operations at 303-953-3600.

Definitions:

  • Advocacy: The act of promoting a cause, idea or policy to influence people's opinions or actions on matters of public policy or concern. Advocacy tactics can be useful to advance or protect public policies at each level (local, state and federal) and branch (legislative, executive and judicial) of government. Many types of activities fall under the category of "advocacy" and are legally permissible for 501(c)(3) public charities to engage in, such as issue identification; research and analysis; public issue education; lobbying efforts for or against legislation; civic engagement; nonpartisan voter education and mobilization; community organizing; litigation/legal advocacy; education of government agencies at all levels).
  • Health equity: Exists when there are no unnecessary, avoidable, unfair, unjust or systemically-caused differences in health status.
  • POC centered on: These organizations are focused on and deeply informed by People of Color—Arab/Middle Eastern, Asian/Pacific Islander, Black/African American, Indigenous/ Native American, Hispanic/Latinx, Native American and Multiracial communities. These organizations not only support these communities but they do so in direct partnership with them and as a result, they have developed a deep understanding of them and are trusted partners regardless of whether or not the organization's governing and implementation body are predominantly people of color. These organizations may represent any intersectionality of the communities above and work across a variety of issues.
  • POC led by: These organizations have a governing and implementation body (board, executive leadership, staff, etc.) who are predominantly people of color—Arab/Middle Eastern, Asian/Pacific Islander, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latinx, and Indigenous/Native American and Multiracial communities—AND their purpose is to center, improve the lives of and uplift that specific population. These organizations may work across a variety of issues.
  • Power: At its core, power is defined the ability 1) to do something or act in a particular way and 2) to direct or influence the behavior of others or the course of events.

Other Funding Available for Advocacy Efforts:

Our Advocacy Rapid Response Funding aims to fund short-term advocacy initiatives (three-to-nine months in length) that ensure Coloradans’ interests and priorities are front and center in shaping policy decisions that will have long-term impacts on creating health equity in Colorado. We accept applications for our Advocacy Rapid Response funding on a rolling basis. Applications are accepted for time-sensitive advocacy projects at any time. Learn more about the Advocacy Rapid Response funding.

We encourage all applicants to sign up in our grants management system a week before the grant deadline to confirm registration is complete in advance of submitting a grant application. Apply for funding by 5 p.m. MDT on Oct. 15, 2021.