Funding Opportunity: Community-initiated Solutions
At The Colorado Health Foundation, we believe that keeping equity at the heart of our work will lead us to better health. We know that all communities have their own unique assets and often have the best ideas for solving their own health-related challenges. When community members themselves identify the issue and then work to generate and implement the solutions, they are able to raise their collective voice and strengthen their own power. The resulting community-initiated solutions are more likely to serve the needs of the specific community and demonstrate more long-term impact.
However, community change efforts are too often carried out by organizations whose work is done “to” or “for” community members, rather than in partnership “with” them or “by” the community members themselves.
With this funding opportunity, the Foundation is reaching out to community members directly and the organizations that support their actions through partnerships. Given the Foundation’s intent to advance health equity, proposals that center on communities of color shall receive priority consideration. We want to fund ideas that increase health equity and lead to healthier communities by implementing solutions where community members drive the decision-making. We want to provide an opportunity for the people themselves to address the health challenges that directly affect their lives. The Foundation is not determining which health focus/challenge will be chosen, or suggesting the approach to solving it. We want community members themselves to identify the health issue they want to tackle and take the lead in implementing solutions.
Thus, applications may request funding to support a range of programs and/or projects identified by community members as necessary to address their own health challenges. As part of these proposed programs and/or projects identified, we require that organizations collaboratively work with community members to:
- Address a health challenge
- Develop and implement a solution
- Leverage existing strengths and resources
- Improve health equity
Proposed programs and/or projects must reflect the Foundation’s cornerstones, as our work is grounded in serving Coloradan’s who are 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.
Have questions? We’re here to talk through your ideas and encourage you to connect with us before applying for funding. If you don’t already work with a program officer, please reach out to us by email or by phone at 303-953-3600, and be sure to note the county you work in and area of interest.
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Have questions? Contact your Program Officer for more information.
To be considered for funding, organizations must meet the following criteria:
- Aligns with our cornerstones; priority given to proposals demonstrating partnership “with” or “by” people of color.
- Clarify the specific issue/challenge and how it impacts health.
- Illustrate that the health challenge was identified and the proposed solution were developed by community members.
- Articulate how the implementation of the program/project and who is leading the effort are community members.
- Explain how the proposed solution is not only actionable but within the existing capacity of the community. (Preference will be given to proposals that build upon and leverage existing community capacity to successfully implement the solution.)
- Demonstrate how the solution will improve health equity
Examples of organizations considered for funding:
- Community-based groups or nonprofit organizations (at this time, community groups or community-based organizations without 501(c)(3) nonprofit status will need to partner with a fiscal sponsor).
- Other applicants that can demonstrate a substantial commitment to community-identified and community-led efforts to address complex health-related issues and/or challenges.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call our senior director of Grantmaking Operations at 303-953-3600.
Community: 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.
Health equity: Health equity exists when there are no unnecessary, avoidable, unfair, unjust or systemically-caused differences in health status.
Local/locality: A community belonging or relating to a particular geographic area, specifically at the sub-regional level, and commonly described as neighborhood, sub-area, district, town, city, municipality or county; or a distinct population found at the sub-regional level.
People of Color (POC): Refers to Arab/Middle Eastern, Asian/Pacific Islander, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latinx, Indigenous/Native American and multiracial communities.
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.
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 management system 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 June 15, 2021.