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We’ve compiled a list of answers to commonly asked questions to help equip and prepare you to more confidently apply.

General Questions and Eligibility

May I discuss my idea with a Caring for Denver Foundation staff before I submit an application?

We are happy to discuss ideas before submission, but once a call for proposals is has been released we cannot discuss the work of the potential applicant. We can review the current funding priority and answer any questions related to funding priority. We encourage grant seekers to reach out to Director of Grants Leah Spielberg at leah@caring4denver.org to discuss questions about our currently open call for proposals, found on our website at caring4denver.org.

Is my organization eligible to receive funding from Caring for Denver?

Organizations that are eligible include:

  • Charitable organizations designated by the IRS as tax-exempt under IRC Section 501(c)(3) or under other sections of the U.S. tax code (or fiscally sponsored by a 501(c)(3) entity)
  • Faith-based organizations if they are designated by the IRS as a tax-exempt nonprofit organization and all Foundation grant funds are used for non-religious purposes
  • Indian or Native American entities
  • Government-supported entities, including schools, museums, or libraries
  • City and County of Denver or State of Colorado agencies

My organization is not a 501(c)(3), government-supported entity, city or state agency, faith-based organization, or an Indian or Native American entity. Can we still apply?

Non-profit organizations which have no or a pending 501(c)(3) status (or fewer than one year of tax returns) are required to work with a fiscal sponsor. If you have not secured a fiscal sponsor at the time you submit an application, you may still submit an application, but you will need to have a formal agreement in place with a fiscal sponsor before any grant award is final. 

A fiscal sponsor is an organization that shares a similar mission as yours and is a 501(c)(3). The fiscal sponsor can accept tax-deductible donations on your behalf and is responsible for financial oversight of your project.

My organization is a 501(c)3) but is newly formed with fewer than one year of tax returns. Can we still apply?

Non-profit organizations with fewer than one year of tax returns (or which have no or a pending 501(c)(3) status) are required to work with a fiscal sponsor. If you have not secured a fiscal sponsor at the time you submit an application, you may still submit an application, but you will need to have a formal agreement in place with a fiscal sponsor before any grant award is final.

A fiscal sponsor is an organization that shares a similar mission to yours and is a 501(c)(3). The fiscal sponsor can accept tax-deductible donations and grants on your behalf and is responsible for financial oversight of your project.

My organization has a fiscal sponsor. Are there any special guidelines I should know about?

Yes, there are a few:

  • A written agreement between the applicant organization and its fiscal sponsor must be submitted before any grant award is final. The fiscal sponsor’s financial documents must also be submitted (as described in the grant application).
  • An applicant organization utilizing a fiscal sponsor must have its own board of directors representing its community interests and may not use the fiscal sponsor’s board as its own board.
  • Fiscal sponsors may work with more than one applicant to the Foundation simultaneously.
  • Fiscal sponsor fees may be included in the requested budget. These fees plus any other indirect cost may not exceed 10% of the total requested budget.

Does my organization or project have to be in the City and County of Denver?

Your organization does not have to be located in Denver. However, based on the founding ordinance, we accept applications for programs or projects that serve the residents of the city and county of Denver. Programs or projects with a broader geographic focus may apply; however, the proposal must address its relevance to and the impact on people living within the City and County of Denver. We can only consider grant funding for the portion of your program or project that serves Denver residents.

Who is considered a resident of the City and County of Denver?

We consider the following individuals to be City residents:

  • An individual physically residing full time in the City
  • An individual experiencing homelessness presenting in the City and intending to stay in the City
  • An individual, under 21 years of age and in the custody of Denver Human Services (“DHS”)
  • An individual, under 18 years of age and in primary legal and residency custody of a City resident
  • A non-City resident who is placed in a mental health or substance misuse program while in a City Jail

Grantees will be required to sign a document of affirmation that funds will be used to support residents of the City as part of the grant agreement for funded proposals.

What will Caring for Denver not fund?

Grant requests for the following will not be supported:

  • Grants to individuals, for-profit organizations or private foundations
  • Annual appeals, membership drives, underwriting or fundraising events
  • Endowments
  • Loans
  • Fellowships or scholarships
  • Debt reduction
  • Partisan causes
  • Programs that require membership in a certain religion or seek to advance a particular religious faith or belief

Grant requests for the following are generally not supported at this time:

  • General operating costs
  • Facilities projects
  • Program-related investments.

We will not make grants to organizations that practice discrimination of any kind.

We will not make grants to, participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of, in support of or in opposition to any candidate for public office.

​Our founding ordinance prohibits us from using our grant dollars to supplant existing funds. Grant recipients may not replace existing federal, state, city or other local agency funds with funds from Caring for Denver. However, our funds may be used to supplement existing funds to replicate or expand the scope of an existing program or project.

If you are interested in what other areas we will be funding, view our strategic funding areas.

Does Caring for Denver Foundation provide general operating support?

We are only accepting requests for program/project support (not general operating support) at this time. 

Does Caring for Denver fund facilities projects?

We are only accepting requests for program/project support (not support for facilities) at this time.

What about equipment? Can I include equipment purchases in my grant request?

Requests for equipment will generally not be considered. The Foundation uses the federal definition of equipment (as stated in 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92) that equipment is an article of “tangible nonexpendable personal property…having a useful life of more than one year and an acquisition cost of $5,000 or more per unit.” However, supplies necessary for a proposed project (e.g., computers or tablets for applicant staff) may be considered, so long as the acquisition cost per unit is less than $5,000.

Can I apply for a program-related investment?

Currently we do not typically fund program-related investments.

I see that Caring for Denver cannot supplant existing funds. What does that mean?

Our founding ordinance prohibits us from using our grant dollars to supplant existing funds. Grant recipients may not replace existing federal, state, city or other local agency funds with funds from Caring for Denver. However, our funds may be used to supplement existing funds to replicate or expand the scope of an existing program or project.

Can I submit more than one grant request in response to the same Call for Proposals?

No. We will accept one application per organization in an open Call for Proposals. However, your organization may be listed as a partner organization on more than one request.

 City and County of Denver departments/agencies, your application must be approved by the CFD Review Committee.

Can I apply for matching funds or a local portion of funds to support another grant application?

Yes. Any such application will be subject to the same review process as any other grant application. The award of such grant will be contingent upon the applicant receiving the primary grant for which a match or local portion is being sought. On the grant application, the applicant should select the “Matching Grant” option when prompted to select the “Funding Request Type.”

Does Caring for Denver have a minimum or maximum amount that can be requested?

We do not have a minimum or maximum amount that can be requested. Organization should request a reasonable amount of financial support to implement your project or program. We rarely prefer to be the sole funder of a project and encourage applicants to develop diversified funding streams comprised of individual, government and private funding sources for projects and programs.

May I submit a proposal for a multiyear grant?

Yes. We are open to receiving both single and multiyear proposals for up to three years. We recognize that some types of programs and projects may be more successful when the grant is awarded for a period longer than one year. 

We are limited in the amount of funding we have to award in any one funding area, which will be a factor in determining whether single or multiyear grants are offered in response to proposals. First, we look for fit related to impact on mental health and/or substance misuse and how well the proposal responds to the call for proposals. Then, we factor in the funding amounts to make a final decision.

When submitting a multiyear request, the budget and budget narrative must include the costs for each year.

If I know a member of the Caring for Denver Board of Directors, does it increase the likelihood that my application will be approved if I contact them?

No. In fact, we encourage all board members to refer all calls regarding requests to staff. View our Conflict of Interest Policy for more information about how we handle potential conflicts.

How to Apply?

How do I find out about funding opportunities available through the Caring for Denver?

Periodically, we will issue a call for proposals to alert organizations that we are accepting applications for a new funding area. We will have one funding area open at a time. We will notify our mailing list which includes individuals registered through our Grants Portal. If you are not registered for our Grants Portal but wish to be added to our mailing list, submit a contact form.

To find out which funding area is open for applications now, visit our website.

If you are interested in what other areas we will be funding, view our strategic funding priorities report available at caring4denver.org/about/reports.

Can an eligible organization apply and be funded in more than one priority areas?

Yes.

How do I apply?

All applications must be submitted online through the Grants Portal on caring4denver.org. Prior to submitting an application, your organization must complete the eligibility screening and register in our grants portal. More detailed instructions can be found at caring4denver.org/grants.

Is there a standard format for applications?

Yes. Our application is online in our Grants Portal. Potential applicants should create an account and log in to their account to review the application questions and required uploads. You can also view the application questions by finding and downloading our Word version of the application.

Does Caring for Denver accept the Colorado Common Grant Application?

No. Our online application is available on our online Grants Portal.

Does Caring for Denver have deadlines for applications?

Each Call for Proposals will include a specific deadline. Refer to the timeline information at caring4denver.org/grants when applications are due.

What is a budget narrative?

Briefly, a budget narrative is an explanation of any significant budget item. This narrative helps our staff understand why the applicant needs the funds requested and how the funds will be used. Budget narrative instructions are included on the grant application. To see an example of what we are looking for, find and download our sample budget narrative.

I’ve submitted my application but have changed my mind. How do I withdraw a grant request?

To withdraw your grant request at any time, contact your assigned program officer or our Director of Grants Leah Spielberg at leah@caring4denver.org or 720.647.6375.

Grants Portal

Where can I find help with creating an account and using the online grant application system?

You can find training resources and videos on our Resources page. If you still have questions or need assistance, contact Director of Grants, Leah Spielberg. If you have trouble after hours, save your application and leave a message. Your call or email will be returned during business hours.

How do I get an account for the grants portal?

To register, go to caring4denver.org and click on the Grants Portal button near the top of the page. Then, click the “Create an account now” button. Complete the Eligibility Quiz and submit your information. You will receive your username and password within 48 business hours.

Where can I access the grants portal?

You can access the grants portal by going to caring4denver.org and clicking on the Grants Portal button near the top of the page.

What is my username and password?

After you submit your registration, we will process your request within 48 hours. You will receive an email with your username and password. If you do not receive this email, please contact us at 720.647.6380 or info@caring4denver.org.

If you have already signed in to the portal and have forgotten your username and/or password, request to reset your password by going to caring4denver.org and clicking on the Grants Portal button, then click the “Reset or create password” link.

NOTE: Your username is not your email address. You received a username specific to your account when your registration was confirmed after you signed up.

I submitted a registration and it’s been 48 hours and I don’t have my username and password. Now what?

If you do not receive this email, please contact us at 720.647.6380 or info@caring4denver.org

How do I update my organization's information in the Grants Portal?

  1. Log in to the Grants Portal.
  2. Click on the Organizations link on the left side of the screen.
  3. Select the organization from the list.
  4. Click the Edit button on the top right side of the screen.
  5. Change the information you need to change, then click the Save and Close button.

If you need assistance, contact Director of Grants Leah Spielberg at leah@caring4denver.org.

The person who submitted our grant documents is no longer with our organization. How can I gain access to his/her online account?

To gain access to past grant applications and other documents in your grants portal, please contact leah@caring4denver.org who can manage your organization’s account and delegate access.

I represent a fiscal sponsor. How can I access my projects' applications or grants in the Grants Portal?

A representative of a fiscal sponsor organization only needs one account in our Grants Portal but may be connected with multiple projects/organizations.

First, create an account in our Grants Portal. When completing the registration information, use the information for your fiscal sponsor’s organization rather than your project’s information.

If you already have a Grants Portal username and password but do not see your fiscal sponsor organization’s project(s) in the Portal, contact Leah Spielberg. She can connect your account to the projects.

I am a grant writer with multiple clients. How can I access my clients' applications or grants in the Grants Portal?

A grant writer only needs one account in our Grants Portal but may be connected with multiple projects/organizations.

First, create an account in our Grants Portal. When completing the registration information, use the information for one of your client organizations.

If you already have a Grants Portal username and password but need to be connected with more than one of your client organizations in the Portal, contact Leah Spielberg. She can connect your account to those organizations.

Decision-Making Process

What happens after I submit a grant application?

Once your application is complete, it will be assigned to program staff for review. Your program officer may need to speak with you further and may request additional information and documents and/or request a site visit. The program officer may work with you on defining, refining or creating specific metrics for your project or program. These metrics will be used as indicators to assess impact and determine if programmatic modifications are needed.

During the course of the application review, applicants are also asked to share with the program officer any new information that may significantly affect the proposed project.

How long does the review process take?

We will process applications as quickly as possible. The timeframe for completing our review of grants varies based on a number of factors, including the volume of applications received in response to a Call for Proposals. See the Call for Proposals document for the deadlines and timeline for that grant cycle.

How will my organization know if our application has been approved?

The program officer will contact you after a decision is made.

What can I expect after my organization’s application has been approved?

We will email you an award letter, informing you that your request has been approved for funding (in some cases, the amount may be different than your original request). This letter will also provide guidelines for communicating about your grant.

Your program officer will then reach out to review and refine objectives, and next steps.

You will then receive an email with the grant agreement outlining the terms and conditions of accepting the grant. We will schedule a time to discuss the terms of the agreement to ensure that any special terms and conditions are acceptable.

Once we have received your signed grant agreement, your first payment will be released. We process payments twice each month.

To read more about what to expect as a grantee, see the Current Grantees section below.

Current Grantees

What can I expect from my program officer when I am a grantee?

Your program officer is your main contact at Caring for Denver during your grant period. Here is an overview of what to expect over the life of your grant:

  • First month – You will review and refine objectives with your program officer. This will include discussing how you plan to evaluate your program and what information you intend to collect. This will be captured in an evaluation framework document.
  • As needed – Fulfill or address contingencies or special provisions outlined in your grant agreement document (not all grants have these).
  • Mid-year discussion/check-in – You will meet with your program officers after the first six months of your grant period. This will be an opportunity to engage in reflection regarding how the project is going. We will discuss successes, challenges, and insights. We will utilize the evaluation framework document to help guide the discussion. Grantees are also encouraged to discuss any grant modifications (amendments) you may need at this time.
  • End of year and/or final reporting – This will include both a discussion and a written submission. The discussion will be similar to the mid-year check-in. the written submission will include the completion of a form provided in the Grants Portal and a report on the use or expenditure of grant funds. Grantees are also encouraged to discuss any grant modifications (amendments) you may need at this time.
  • As needed – Check-ins or discussions with your program officers can happen as you want or need them. Program officers are available to address challenges, answer questions, celebrate successes, or to receive ongoing updates. They can also discuss grant modifications (amendments) you need at any time.

How do I access the application I submitted for my current grant?

Your current and previous grant requests are available in the grants portal. You can access the grants portal by going to caring4denver.org and clicking on the Grants Portal button near the top of the page.

Once you are logged in, find the Grants section and view your active or closed grants by clicking on one of those headings.

Do I need to turn in reports?

If you are awarded a grant, we require a final status report at the end of the grant period. If the grant is a multi-year grant, interim reports are required annually. In some cases, we may require more frequent reports, which will be specified in the grant agreement.

How can I access and submit my report?

Your grant reports need to be submitted in the grants portal.

You can access the grants portal by going to caring4denver.org and clicking on the Grants Portal button near the top of the page.

Once you are logged in, find the Reports section and view your reports due by clicking on that heading.

What will you be looking for in the report?

We are a learning organization and want to partner with our grantees in learning what works and does not work so that we can extrapolate the learning across organizations, projects and the community. Because we are focused on learning with our grantees, our report is structured to capture your results and what changes you may want to test to improve or sustain program activities to increase the likelihood of accomplishing your project milestones and improving any metrics or measures you have identified with your Program Officer. Approved grantees will be able to view the grant report in our Grants Portal prior to signing their grant agreement.

How do I submit documentation of matching funds or fulfillment of a grant contingency?

All contingency fulfillment documentation must be submitted online through our grants portal available at caring4denver.org by submitting a Contingencies and Special Provisions Report in the Reports section. We will not accept this documentation via email, US mail or in person unless you have received prior approval.

How do I request a modification to my current grant?

To request a modification to your current grant including a change in scope, budget revisions (greater than 10% or that seek to move funds between budget categories) or grant term extension, please notify your assigned program officer.

New Youth funding opportunity! Applications are due December 17. Click here to view the Call for Proposals.

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