Top Things to Know About the Community Foundation Boulder County

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Best known for its easy access to outdoor activities, award-winning breweries and as a health food mecca, Boulder, Colorado also plays host to a community foundation that has been on the local scene since 1991, granting over $100 million to local nonprofits since that time.

For grantseekers in the area, here are some top things to know about the Community Foundation Boulder County (CFBC). Note: there’s no “of” in the name.

Follows local trends

Since 1996, CFBC has created a trend report that covers key indicators, informing residents and civic leaders about the most pressing needs in the community. The funder offers a report, fact sheets, a webinar and even a podcast to address these topics on its website.

Recent insights from the trend report include the observation that high school graduation rates are improving and that the uninsured rate for healthcare is low. This area’s median income is among the highest in Colorado, with low unemployment rates, greater attention being paid to mental health among prisoners, and recent environmental improvements like bike paths and mass transit initiatives.

Yet local challenges persist, including dealing with the effects of climate change, being open to minorities and immigrants, and accommodating the needs of senior citizens. According to the report, there are also opportunities for the area to be more inclusive with its arts and cultural offerings and to increase philanthropic giving among wealthy residents who don’t see the needs around them.

Eight broad funding areas

CFBC gives throughout the county and considers nearly any type of nonprofit need in the region. Grantmaking for animals and the environment focuses on water use and air quality, while recent arts and culture funding has supported voices of color and LGBTQ arts. Basic needs grants address housing and hunger, and children and youth grants address poverty and bullying. CFBC makes civic engagement grants to increase inclusivity and diversity, education grants to prevent kids from falling behind in school, and health grants to promote inclusive health and safety. There are also hyper-local geographic funds that fund in specific parts of the county.

Numerous funding opportunities, unique cycles

CFBC has multiple funding cycles and only accepts requests during the appropriate window for each cycle. For example, there are opportunities with the Community Trust, Millennium Trust, Open Door Fund, 15 Forever Fund, Bravo Fund, Veterans Fund, COVID-19 Response Fund and Crisis Fund. The foundation lists due dates for each grant cycle on its website and uses an online portal to accept grant requests. Some donor-advised funds at CFBC also accept unsolicited grant requests and have their own grantmaking processes.

Since 1991, approximately 51% of CFBC grants have stayed in Boulder County. However, a nearly even split of the remaining grants have gone to groups in other parts of Colorado, organizations in other states, national organizations and international charities. More information about this funder can be found in IP’s full profile of the Community Foundation Boulder County, which is part of our Mountain States funding guide.