Before You Apply

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To save time and effort, we recommend that all applicants follow these steps before submitting an application: 

  1. Read about How We Work
  2. Learn more about open funding
  3. Connect with a program officer to discuss ideas for your program or project
  4. Register in our grants management system before submitting an application
  5. Join our mailing list to receive future email alerts about open funding

Review focus areas and cross-cutting efforts:

Who can apply?

Generally, we make grants to the following types of organizations:

  • Colorado organizations classified as tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3)
  • Colorado public agencies, including state and local governments

New or emerging organizations without 501(c)(3) status are permitted to apply through a tax-exempt organization acting as fiscal sponsor. The fiscal sponsor must maintain full discretion and control over any awarded grant funds and should have the organizational capacity to manage and accept the risks involved with fiscal sponsorship. Additionally, the project must be aligned with the fiscal sponsor’s charitable mission, and the fiscal sponsor’s Board must approve of the project as furthering the sponsor’s charitable mission prior to applying for a grant to the Colorado Health Foundation. Please download the Foundation's fiscal sponsor policy and sample memorandum of understanding (MOU). If you have any questions about your organization's eligibility, please do not hesitate to contact us at and ask to speak with our grantmaking department.

Note: If a public support test requirement to retain public charity status applies to your organization, as a public charity grantee of the Colorado Health Foundation, it is essential that you ensure the grant your organization receives will not cause it to lose its status as a publicly supported charity.

Essential resources

Before applying, we also suggest the following:

  • Read the FAQs.
  • Review our Grantmaking Glossary in English and/or Spanish to become familiar with terminology that appears throughout the application process.
  • Consult our Grantee Resources for information you may find helpful when preparing your application.
  • Consider the Foundation’s intent is to encourage a diverse funding base in order to strengthen the financial health and sustainability of nonprofit organizations that we fund. In 2015, we set guidelines to ensure that an organization is not excessively dependent on Foundation funding. In general, we work to ensure that the annual grant disbursement from us does not exceed 25 percent of an organization’s annual expense budget. For those organizations receiving more than one grant from us, the guideline is 30 percent of the annual expense budget. These thresholds are considered when grant proposals are reviewed, understanding that at times the Foundation may decide to go above these guidelines. In these instances, our staff will work with the organization to ensure that future diversified funding sources are being considered and planned for by the organization. This guideline does not apply to fiscal sponsors but to the sponsored organizations.  

Learn about our different funding types:

  • 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.
  • Our advocacy rapid response funding supports short-term advocacy initiatives. There is no deadline for rapid response grants. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis.


The Foundation offers three annual deadlines to apply for grant funding: Feb. 15, June 15 and Oct. 15, but not all open funding will be open each cycle. Open funding variers in accordance with the focus area and cross-cutting needs. Read more about the focus areas and cross-cutting efforts.


After your application has been submitted, we will screen it for completeness and eligibility. Your application will be assigned to the appropriate team for review, and a Foundation staff person may contact you to discuss your proposal and follow-up with any additional questions. Staff may occasionally schedule a site visit to meet you in person and further discuss proposed activities.

While we strive to be as responsive as possible, please note that review of your proposal may take up to four months. You will be notified as soon as we reach a decision. At any point during the process, please do not hesitate to contact your assigned staff person with questions or concerns.