Rapid Response Funding: Advocacy

Funding Overview

We understand many of our grantees, partners and other organizations across the state are impacted by and responding to the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, and rapidly evolving circumstances are leading to questions about funding from the Foundation. Please take a look at our FAQs for grantees and view other resources to learn more and find emergency funding.

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.

Applications are currently being accepted on a rolling basis. Grants typically range from $15,000 to $75,000. All applications will undergo due diligence with a program officer assigned to the application. Rapid Response funding decisions will generally be made within 30 days of a proposal being submitted.

Proposed advocacy 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 live in and area of interest.

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Have questions? Contact your Program Officer for more information.


Advocacy Rapid Response grant applications should seek support for projects that meet the following criteria:

1. Focus on time-sensitive opportunities for public policy advocacy:

Proposed projects for rapid response funding may seek to:

  • Promote a public policy change at the local, state and/or federal level related to one or more of the priorities listed below or;
  • Protect or improve implementation of an existing local, state or federal policy related to one or more of the priorities listed below.

2. Reflect one or more of the following priorities that aim to advance health equity in Colorado by:

  • Creating equity in access to and use of high-quality, comprehensive primary care
  • Supporting children to move their bodies safely and conveniently on a daily basis
  • Enhancing services and supports that foster social-emotional development and resiliency of young children
  • Ensuring teens and young adults have access to the resources they need to support healthy minds
  • Ensuring adults have access to local recovery resources that promote healthy minds and productive lives
  • Ensuring Coloradans have enough affordable, nutritious food
  • Supporting access to affordable, safe and high-quality housing options

Contact Chris Smith to consider other inquiries related to local, state or federal advocacy opportunities outside of the above that create health equity and reflect Coloradans' priorities for improving health.

3. Include each of the following features:

  • Foundation Alignment: Aligns with and advances the Foundation’s cornerstones that are necessary to serve our mission.
  • Priority Alignment: Clearly articulates how activities undertaken at this time contribute to and advance one or more of the Foundation’s seven issue-focused priorities above that aim to advance health equity in Colorado.
  • Advocacy Focus: Focuses on advocacy related to public policy at the local, state and/or federal level. Activities that address individual behaviors or provide direct services will not receive consideration.
  • Urgency: Describe the intended impact on public policy at the local, state and/or federal level and the critical importance of timeliness within the current policy environment.
  • Community Support: Reflects the interests of community members most impacted by the current policy environment; this should go beyond demonstrating support of the sponsoring organization or group and instead show authentic engagement of and /or with community members.
  • Impact: Describe the intended impact on public policy at the local, state and/or federal level related to the above priorities, as well as how activities undertaken will contribute to bringing health in reach for communities experiencing health inequities.
  • Right Group: Reflect why this is an appropriate group to conduct this work, including expertise in the proposed approach, understanding of the issue, appropriateness for representing the community you are seeking to serve, and trust gained from the community, other advocates and policymakers. 


The Foundation may provide Advocacy Rapid Response Funding to eligible organizations who are conducting time-sensitive advocacy projects, such as:

  • Coalition building, management and facilitation
  • Grassroots organizing
  • Litigation and legal advocacy
  • Media relations and media advocacy
  • Policy and legal analysis
  • Policymaker education
  • Public education
  • Influencer education
  • Public opinion research
  • Messaging development and testing
  • Regulatory advocacy

Advocacy Rapid Response Funding may not be used for the following:

  • Bridge funding (to fill a funding gap)
  • Long-term projects
  • Previously planned initiatives
  • Partisan political activities

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.


There is no application deadline or formal grant cycle for Advocacy Rapid Response Funding. Applications are accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis.

All applications will undergo due diligence with a program officer assigned to the application. Rapid Response funding decisions will generally be made within 30 days of a proposal being submitted.

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.

Other Advocacy Funding Available

Different from our Rapid Response Funding: Advocacy which is open for applications on a rolling basis, our Amplifying Health Advocacy funding opportunity has specific grant deadlines and may not be open for applications all the time. Through this funding opportunity, applicants are required to address detailed criteria specific to that funding opportunity. Learn more about the Amplifying Health Advocacy funding opportunity.

We encourage all applicants to sign up in our grants management system approximately a week in advance of submitting a grant application for Rapid Response Funding: Advocacy.