“Our Grantmaking Priorities
The Women’s Foundation of Colorado seeks to dramatically increase the number and percent of women in our state who earn a livable wage. In addition to research and policy efforts focused on livable wage, we also provide a limited number of grants to nonprofit organizations across the state.
We will make grants to support two areas: 1) Public policy efforts that advance transformative systems-level changes that strengthen economic self-sufficiency for women (November 2017)
2) Direct service organizations that support women’s acceleration along career pathways to livable wage jobs (January 2018)
WFCO invests in programs and organizations that apply a gender lens to their work. We hope to support organizations that share our commitment to supporting the most vulnerable women in our state, and that respond to the unique strengths and challenges of diverse women in their communities. Our grantees will demonstrate knowledge of and deep engagement with their own communities, and will work with women, other nonprofit organizations, government entities, and corporations to open opportunities and eliminate disparities so that more women can move from surviving to thriving.
Public Policy Grants
WFCO will provide grants to a cohort of public policy organizations that advance systems-level changes to strengthen the economic self-sufficiency of women in Colorado. The Foundation understands that public policy is complex and leads to long-term impacts beyond a single year, and we are interested in supporting nonprofits that demonstrate the expertise and capacity to advance policies with statewide impact. We are interested in work that achieves short-term, policy-driven outcomes on its way to long-term impacts.
With this in mind, WFCO is interested in funding policy proposals that will use a gender lens to advance the following WFCO public policy priorities:
- Address root causes of poverty and promote economic self-sufficiency
- Advance opportunities to achieve a livable wage and pay equity
- Expand access to work supports, training, and education
- Improve Colorado’s tax and budget policies to allow for sufficient resources to be dedicated to WFCO priorities
- Promote and protect issues and rights aligned with the core values of The Women’s Foundation of Colorado
Public policy grantees will be expected to participate in three convenings with WFCO and fellow public policy and direct service grantees each year, during which participants will learn together and share best practices. Grantees will also be expected to regularly report on progress and to participate in a shared project evaluation with fellow grantees and WFCO that will assess agreed upon indicators of progress and provide feedback on what’s working and what can be improved.
All 2017 applicants will be applying for one year of funding (November 2017 – November 2018). 2018 grantees may be invited to apply for a second year of funding for 2019, and for a third year of funding for 2020. WFCO anticipates opening up the opportunity to apply for grants to the wider community again for 2021 grants, with an application process to take place in 2020. Though WFCO cannot guarantee future funding, applicants for 2018 funding should be prepared to apply for grants in future years and to participate in the full three-year process.
This year, WFCO will select five to ten Public Policy grantees. Grant size will range from $15,000 to $35,000.
We strongly recommend that organizations call WFCO Programs staff before applying, especially organizations that have not received a Public Policy grant from WFCO in recent years.
- June 1, 2017: Grant Guidelines released
- August 3, 2017: Deadline for all Public Policy grant applications
- October 1 – October 15, 2017: WFCO staff and volunteers will conduct site visits or phone calls with select applicants
- Mid November 2017: Grant award notification
- September 2018: Grantee progress report and 2019 funding requests due
Direct Service Grants
WFCO will provide grants to a cohort of nonprofit organizations that provide education or training, engage women in career pathways, and facilitate access to comprehensive supports so that more low-income women of diverse backgrounds and identities have the tools to find and keep livable wage jobs. We prioritize programs that work in underresourced communities in Colorado and those that serve women facing barriers to achieving a livable wage. WFCO is interested in funding proposals that do the following:
- Engage women in career pathways through education and/or training, especially through fostering skills associated with high-demand fields that offer livable wages in their communities. We especially encourage proposals that help connect women’s individual interests and passions with career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields
- Provide (either themselves or through partnership) access to soft skills training and support for women who need it, to ensure job attainment and retention • Connect women with livable wage careers through community partnerships, such as with local employers, educational institutions, or workforce development centers
- Provide (either directly or through partnership) necessary supports, which may include childcare, housing, behavioral health care, transportation, financial literacy training, or address other systemic and historic barriers that make it possible for women to find and keep livable wage jobs by overcoming the barriers standing in their way. We especially encourage proposals that do so as a part of a two-generation strategy
- Demonstrate how their work is likely to move women served to earning a livable wage in three to five years
- Demonstrate how their work builds on the strengths and meets the specific needs of their community, and how they reach, respond to, and work with the diverse women in their community through meaningful resident engagement practices and commitment to equity
Direct service grantees will be expected to participate in two convenings per year with direct service and public policy grantees, during which organizations will learn together, share best practices, and help WFCO understand the unique strengths and challenges in their community. Grantees will also be expected to regularly report on progress and to participate in a shared project evaluation with fellow grantees and WFCO that will assess agreed upon indicators of progress and provide feedback on what’s working and what can be improved.
All applicants will be applying for one year of funding (January 2018 – December 2018). 2018 grantees may be invited to apply for a second year of funding for 2019, and for a third year of funding for 2020. WFCO anticipates opening up the opportunity to apply for grants to the wider community again for 2021 grants, with an application process to take place in 2020. Though WFCO cannot guarantee future funding, applicants for 2018 funding should be prepared to apply for grants in future years and to participate in the full three-year process.
This year, WFCO will select five to ten Direct Service grantees. These organizations will include large and small organizations and nonprofits that work with women in many different communities in our state. Grant size will range from $15,000 – $35,000.
- June 1, 2017: Grant Guidelines released
- August 3, 2017: Deadline for Letters of Interest (LOI) for Livable Wage Direct Service grants
- September 1, 2017: Selected organizations that submitted LOIs will be invited to submit a full proposal
- September 1 – September 15, 2017: WFCO staff will conduct calls with all organizations invited to submit a full application to discuss applications, answer questions, and schedule site visits
- October 16, 2017: Deadline for Livable Wage Direct Service applications
- November 9 – December 6, 2017: Site visits conducted
- Mid-January 2018: Grant award notification
- November 2018: Grant progress report and 2019 funding requests due”
–Excerpted from “The Women’s Foundation of Colorado Grantmaking Guidelines,” 05/31/2017