Funding Opportunity: Supporting Healthy Minds and Youth Resiliency

Funding Overview

Anxiety, depression, suicide and substance use are widely understood to be the most pressing behavioral health issues facing Colorado youth and young adults. Challenges young people experience can lead to substance use, the onset of mental health concerns and an increased need for support.

While behavioral health (inclusive of mental health and substance use) needs are felt statewide, and by people of all socio-economic standing, inequities exist across groups and geographies. Such inequities result from a variety of underlying issues including discrimination, harassment, various forms of violence, stressors related to poverty or immigration status, cultural stigma and access to culturally responsive resources. Behavioral health inequities in Colorado call for prevention and early intervention with young people facing the greatest risks, as well as changes within their environment to support resiliency. 

The Supporting Healthy Minds and Youth Resiliency funding opportunity aims to build social-emotional skills and create supportive environments to improve resiliency for young people facing barriers to mental well-being. Through this funding opportunity, the Foundation seeks to enhance young people’s social-emotional skills and positive relationships, so they have greater ability to cope and thrive despite adversity.

Proposed programs and/or projects must reflect the Foundation’s cornerstones, as our work is grounded in serving Coloradans who have low income and historically have had less power or privilege, putting the creation of 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.

Focus Area
Nurture Healthy Minds
Grant Deadlines

We're here to help

Have questions? Contact your Program Officer for more information.


Eligible applicants include community-based organizations (501(c)(3) or public agencies) that engage youth in safe, supportive and culturally responsive environments that intentionally work to enhance social-emotional skills. Eligible organizations work with:

  1. Youth in rural and frontier communities;
  2. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) youth; and/or
  3. Youth of color

The Foundation also encourages applicants that include participants from the following populations:

  • Youth in or aging out of foster care
  • Youth from immigrant, refugee or mixed-status families
  • Youth involved in the juvenile justice system

Organizations may seek up to two years of funding for maintenance, enhancement or expansion of current social-emotional skill development work, to add social-emotional learning components to an existing program or to start a new program to advance social-emotional skill-building. Organizations from urban, suburban, rural and frontier communities are eligible to apply. Funding is not available for school-based programming at this time.

Programs considered for funding should demonstrate the following:

  • Include the same group of youth meeting over multiple sessions for a planned learning purpose to foster strong relationships and sustained learning
  • Promote the ability to cope by addressing one or more category of social-emotional practice and skill:
    • Emotion management
    • Empathy
    • Teamwork
    • Responsibility
    • Initiative
    • Problem solving
  • Explain how programmatic components are adapted to meet the needs of their unique context and population served when using an evidence-based or promising program

Preference will be given to organizations with programs that:

  • Adopt positive youth development practices, where work is strengths-based, inclusive and engage youth in a meaningful way
  • Include multiple categories of social-emotional practice and skill (listed above) and/or be working to incorporate more
  • Involve family members, caregivers and supportive peer networks in a culturally responsive way

Examples of programs we're interested in funding:

Programs supporting youth in developing social-emotional skills vary in their overall structure and content. For example, programs successful at promoting social-emotional skill-building and resiliency could include:

  • Group self-improvement
  • Community service
  • Poetry and the arts
  • Outdoor adventure or athletics
  • Life-skill development and service learning
  • Apprenticeship and job skill training
  • Youth organizing
  • Programs serving youth experiencing homelessness

Evaluation Activities

Grantees will be asked to report the number of unique individuals served by their program each year. This funding opportunity also includes additional evaluation activities conducted by an external evaluator. We anticipate this will require a small amount of time from grantees, who may be asked to participate in activities like 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 or call our senior director of Grantmaking Operations at 303-953-3600.

Funding Opportunity

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 by October 8 to confirm registration is complete in advance of submitting a grant application. Apply for funding by 5 p.m. MDT on Oct. 15, 2019.