Apply for a Grant

Vail Valley Regional Grantmaking

The Women’s Foundation of Colorado Vail Valley regional action committee has discretionary funds to grant within their community, as a direct result of their fundraising efforts. This opportunity is separate from WFCO’s larger statewide grantmaking process, and is controlled locally in Vail. Applicants for these funds should be located in and serve the Vail Valley and align with The Foundation’s mission of catalyzing community to advance and accelerate economic opportunities for Colorado women and their families. Read the grantmaking guidelines for information on how to apply.

We listened. We learned. We focused.

The Women’s Foundation of Colorado and our strategic planning partner, Joining Vision and Action, spent a year developing our 2017-2021 strategic plan and asking our stakeholders and ourselves, "how can we create better economic opportunities for Colorado women to progress toward prosperity?"

Joining Vision and Action surveyed and listened to nearly 1,300 community members from the peaks to the plains, including women who reported they cannot meet their families’ basic needs, who helped us emerge with the clarity of a single vision for our work, a refocused mission, strengthened core values, and the insights needed to recalibrate how we can maximize our impact.

Our five-year strategic plan is grounded in our mission to catalyze community to advance and accelerate economic opportunities for Colorado women and their families. Our approach centers on helping low-income women earn livable wages, the gateway to greater access and opportunity that can break the inter-generational cycle of poverty and put an end to the impossible choices a woman must make, such as buying healthy food for her children or putting gas in the car so she can make it to work, and makes possible her dreams of saving for and investing in her family’s future.

For more information on our updated Strategic Plan, vision, mission, and values please go here.

What does this mean for our grantmaking?

2017 Grantmaking Guidelines for The Women’s Foundation of Colorado

WFCO 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. Selected grantees in both areas will participate in two to three convenings annually, as part of a community that will learn, measure impact, and improve outcomes for Colorado women and families together, and will be invited to re-apply annually for up to three total years of funding as part of this cohort.

  1. Public policy efforts that advance transformative systems-level changes that strengthen economic self-sufficiency for women. This year, WFCO will select five to ten Public Policy grantees. Grant size will range from $15,000 to $35,000.

    Public Policy Application Timeline
    • 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
  2. Direct service organizations that support women’s acceleration along career pathways to livable wage jobs. This year, WFCO will select five to ten Direct Service grantees. These organizations will include large and small organizations across Colorado working to help women achieve livable wages within three to five years. Grant size will range from $15,000 - $35,000.

    Direct Service Application Timeline
    • 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

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.

Guidelines and How to Apply

For our Public Policy and Direct Service Grantmaking Guidelines and instructions for applying, please click here.

Join Us to Learn More

Since June 1,WFCO has participated in eight grantmaking learning opportunities throughout the state including a webinar that can be reviewed here

You can review the slides for our in-person and webinar workshop here.


Q: How is your grantmaking model changing?
A: With the implementation of our more focused strategic plan, we plan to improve opportunities for women in Colorado to achieve a livable wage. WFCO grantmaking to direct service and public policy organizations will focus on helping women access education and job training and placement opportunities with holistic support. Both direct service and public policy grantees will participate in a cohort learning community to deepen the impact of collective and individual efforts.

Q: How does the new strategic plan affect your current grantees?
A: It is likely that some, but not all, current grantees will be a good fit within the updated grantmaking guidelines, which are focused on helping women facing economic barriers achieve livable ages within 3-5 years.

Q: What kind of organization might fit within the livable wage grantmaking cohort?
A: Direct service partners will include those offering job skills training, career-focused skills-training, training and support to secure and sustain employment, as well as assistance addressing barriers to stable employment and to meet their families’ needs, such as financial planning, child care, nutrition, transportation, housing, and behavioral health care. Additionally, our updated grantmaking guidelines include a desire to fund organizations that utilize multi-generation strategies and support in STEM career pathways.

Q: Why is WFCO investing in a cohort model?
A: Our cohort approach to grantmaking is intended to help direct service and public policy partners learn from one another to leverage greater effectiveness in all their work. By sharing knowledge and effective practices, organizations can offer more value to program participants and the constituencies they serve. As we focus our work around livable wages, we will be poised to measure greater impact from these investments. Also, an external evaluation partner will work with each member of the cohort and the group, and we’ll have better opportunities to learn how these efforts change economic outcomes for women and their families statewide.

Q: Why are your requiring a letter of intent (LOI)?
A: Using the most promising practices in philanthropy, WFCO will invite interested applicants to provide an LOI before submitting a full proposal. An LOI requires less staff time to develop than a full proposal and we want applicants to explore a fit with us without having to spend many staff resources. We’ve also streamlined the requirements for applicants who are invited to submit full proposals by aligning with the Colorado Common Grant Application.

Q: Will smaller/rural/emerging organizations be competitive in this process?
A: Absolutely. As a statewide organization with a focus on supporting women of diverse backgrounds and identities, WFCO is committed to establishing a cohort of grantees using innovative strategies to serve women in communities across Colorado. We are eager to learn more about the ways that small and large organizations or emerging partnerships are accelerating women’s progress toward earning livable wages.

Q: How will grantees be selected?
A: Direct Service grantees will be selected by the WFCO Direct Service Grantmaking Committee, a diverse body of Coloradans committed to supporting women and girls across the state. Individuals interested in joining the committee may learn more at Public Policy grantees will be selected by the WFCO Public Policy Committee, which is comprised of Trustees.

Q: Can an organization apply for public policy AND direct service?
A: WFCO recommends that an organization only apply for one of our grantmaking focus areas. 

Q: Can an organization submit more than one LOI to the direct service funding opportunity?
A: WFCO recommends that organizations select their program that fits best within the guidelines that are provided and submit only one LOI. 

Q: Will the direct service grants be made to organizations that serve girls (high school, middle school, or elementary)?
A: WFCO is hoping to fund organizations that can move a women to a livable wage in the next three to five years. This means that participants served by organizations that are a part of the cohort will need to be in a place in their life where they will have the ability to earn a livable wage in the foreseeable future. 

Q: Is there a page limit for the direct service LOI?
A: The page limit for the LOI is two pages. Please carefully review the grantmaking guidelines for more details.

Q: What is the best way to determine the amount of funds to request? Should organizations submit a specific amount?
A: WFCO recommends that organizations make a request that fits within their program and organizational budget. Can an organization run by volunteers apply? Yes, 501c3 nonprofit organizations run by volunteers are eligible for funding. 

Q: Can multiple organizations apply as a partnership or collaboration?
A: WFCO encourages organizations to apply as a partnership or a collaboration especially if it means it will provide all of the aspects of funding that WFCO is looking to support, including education and training programs, support services, and soft skills training. 

If you have questions, please call or email Alison Friedman, manager of programs, at 303-285-2972 or

1901 East Asbury Avenue
Denver, CO 80208
(303) 285-2960


Catalyzing community to advance and accelerate economic opportunities for Colorado women and their families.

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