How We're Working to Improve Our Grantmaking Communications

How We’re Working to Improve Our Grantmaking Communications


A few weeks ago, I was on the phone with a grant applicant who shared thoughts about her recent application experience. She told me what was easy about our grants process and what was confusing or complicated. That conversation, along with the responses to a survey and a series of phone interviews, provided lots of great insights into how we can better communicate about our grantmaking.

Here are some key takeaways from what we heard:

  • Conversations with Foundation staff are helpful, but some work on better streamlining the appropriate connections is needed.
  • Ease-of-use in the grant application process was reported by some, but others experienced some challenges.
  • Applicants found the website difficult to navigate and not particularly intuitive.
  • The responsive grants program has been challenging to understand, as we’ve provided limited detail on what specifically we are looking for.
  • Soliciting feedback to improve how applicants experience us during the grant application process was acknowledged and appreciated by several applicants.

So, here are some things we are doing to make it easier to understand opportunities for funding from the Foundation:

  • We are improving our processes to more quickly and accurately connect organizations to the right program officer.
  • We refined how we display information and communicate about it on our website. We hope this makes our process more transparent.
  • We have added new resources on our website to help you with submitting an application, including guidance on navigating our grants management system.
  • And, last but not least, we have mapped funding areas for the next two cycles in our newly revamped open funding calendar. Beginning in 2019, we will expand this to feature a three-cycle view of upcoming funding. From my previous experience working at a nonprofit, I understand the value of having visibility into a year-long view of upcoming funding for organizational planning and programmatic purposes.

For greater detail about the Oct. 15 deadline, please check out the recently announced lineup of open funding. Here are some ways to learn more and steps to take if you are interested in applying:

  • Review our open funding and identify what you’re interested in applying for.
  • Talk to us. We’re here to discuss your ideas and urge 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 mention the county you work in and your area of interest.
  • View our open funding and applicant info webinarsThese webinars provide information regarding available funding for the Oct. 15 grant deadline, as well as the online application process.
  • Check out our funding calendar for a look at what funding will be available for our Feb. 15 grant deadline.
  • Sign up for our grants management system. We recommend registering a week in advance of submitting your application to streamline the process.
  • Read our grant application resource to learn how to navigate the online system.  
  • Still have questions? Connect with us again and offer feedback on your experience with us. Your feedback makes us better, and we hope you continue to provide it as candidly as possible.

Thank you for your diligence and dedication to create lasting change in your community. We look forward to working alongside you in our shared efforts to bring health in reach for all Coloradans.


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