Funding Opportunity:
Supporting Coloradans in Recovery Through Non-Clinical Programs

Treatment is not always available or accessible for individuals struggling with behavioral health conditions. Even when treatment is available, it is often not enough for individuals struggling with substance use and/or mental health challenges. Additional services offered outside the traditional four walls of treatment can provide needed support that people simply cannot receive within a clinical setting. These are what is referred to as “non-clinical supports.” Individuals who experience mental health and/or substance use challenges often also experience other hardships in their life like maintaining a job and finding affordable housing. These hardships can make it difficult for an individual to focus on their recovery. Applicants may request a grant of up to $150,000 over two years.

This funding opportunity will support individuals with mental health and/or substance use challenges in accessing culturally responsive non-clinical support services close to home that will make recovery possible. Through this funding opportunity, the Foundation is interested in strengthening non-clinical recovery support programs that focus on the community and purpose dimensions of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA's) model of recovery.

Proposed programs 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. Use this tool to connect with a program officer based on your area of interest or geographic area. Still have questions? Reach out to us by email or by phone at 303-953-3600.

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

Click on the below accordion menu for additional detail on funding criteria to help prepare you for submitting a grant proposal.

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

  • Alignment with the Foundation’s cornerstones to advance efforts to bring health in reach for all Coloradans:
    • Serve Coloradans who have less power, privilege and income, and prioritize Coloradans of color
    • Create health equity
    • Informed by community and those served
  • Are either a 501(c)(3) nonprofit or government organization, or partnering with a nonprofit fiscal sponsor 
  • Serve Coloradans aged 18 and over
  • Provide culturally and linguistically responsive programming (see the Definitions section below)
  • Intentionally recognize and incorporate the perspectives and life experiences of diverse populations served, including people of color
  • Demonstrated need of recovery services and supports for population(s) being served who have mental health and/or substance use challenges
  • Provide non-clinical programs that fall under SAMHSA's purpose and/or community dimensions of recovery:
    • Purpose – Conducting meaningful daily activities such as employment, education, volunteering along with having the independence, income and resources to participate in society.
    • Community – Having relationships and social networks that provide support, friendship, love, and hope.
  • Run by organizations that are peer-led or peer-driven
  • Led by or provided by peers such as a peer support specialist, peer navigator, peer coach or recovery coach
  • Proposed by organizations who already have experience providing recovery services
  • Responsive to the needs of people in recovery and their families through trauma-informed programming
  • Providing support and resources for the mental wellness of peers and staff

Examples of organizations considered for funding:

  • Community-based, grassroots organizations focused on recovery
  • Organizations supporting justice-involved individuals that provide recovery services
  • Recovery advocacy organizations
  • Recovery community organizations (RCOs)
  • Community mental health centers
  • Affordable housing organizations that provide recovery services
  • Mutual-aid groups
  • Nonprofit substance use treatment providers
  • Vocational rehabilitation agencies
  • Independent living centers
  • Post-secondary institutions (colleges and universities)

Examples of programs/projects we’re interested in funding:

  • Supporting Coloradans in recovery to connect with cultural heritage and history through culturally and linguistically responsive approaches to recovery (e.g., Indigenous talking circles or sweat lodges)
  • Helping Coloradans in recovery find and retain meaningful employment
  • Providing or connecting Coloradans in recovery with educational pursuits that will help to improve their employment and income prospects
  • Providing opportunities for those in recovery to engage with community, such as through volunteerism
  • Supporting creative endeavors such as incorporating the arts or wellness into recovery programming
  • Building community through peer social or support networks


Culturally and linguistically responsive: Programming responds to the cultural dynamics and language needs of those in recovery (i.e., programmatic components are designed or adapted to meet the needs of their context, the language spoken and the population served). Peers and staff reflect the cultural backgrounds of participants and bring lived and learned experiences to understand the needs, identities, language and culture of participants. The organization has a history with and is trusted by participants, who are engaged in informing, guiding and/or helping implement the work. Examples include:

  • Services are offered in languages that reflect those of participants
  • Participants of color inform programming and may share in decision-making
  • In addition to language, programming is adapted with cultural nuances and differences in mind
  • Cultural and racial identity, including intersections with other identities (e.g., gender, sexual, etc.), are recognized and viewed as assets

Multi-generational approach: This includes the person in recovery as well as their children, parent(s), grandparent(s) and/or any other caregiver or family members who are part of their recovery journey.

Mutual-aid groups: These organizations provide nonclinical and non-professional help to achieve long-term recovery from substance use challenges. The most well-known is the 12-step group.

Peer support: SAMHSA defines peer support services as those delivered by individuals who have common life experiences with the people they are serving. The peers can be called peer specialist, peer advocate, peer navigator, wellness advocate or recovery specialist.

Recovery: SAMHSA defines recovery as “a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential.” The Foundation is focused on recovery as it relates to mental health and/or substance use challenges.

Recovery Community Organization (RCO): SAMHSA defines RCOs as independent, nonprofit organizations led and governed by representatives of local communities in recovery.

Stigma: SAMHSA defines stigma as a mark of disgrace or infamy, a stain or reproach, as on one's reputation. Substance use challenges carry a high burden of stigma; fear of judgment means that people with substance use challenges are less likely to seek help and more likely to drop out of treatment programs in which they do enroll.

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. Applications submitted in advance of deadlines (Feb. 15, June 15 and Oct. 15) are not reviewed until the deadline has passed.

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