Today, Governor Jared Polis announced a new, $32.7 million grant opportunity — the Response, Innovation, and Student Equity (RISE) Education Fund — to help Colorado address the myriad learning challenges that students are facing due to the economic, social, and health impacts of COVID-19. School districts, public schools, public institutions of higher education, and other education-related entities can pursue awards between $250,000 and $4 million; complete information on RISE Education Fund and how to apply is here.

To ensure the RISE Education Fund grant opportunity reaches a diversity of geographies across the state, Gates Family Foundation is partnering with the Governor’s Office and Gary Community Investments (GCI) to provide resources and design support to those interested in applying for the second RISE Education Fund deadline of December 19, 2020.

RISE Planning and Design Support is intended to help applicants score high on the RISE Education Fund criteria by giving them more time to develop their initiatives, build capacity through small planning grants, and work with strategic design partners to strengthen their applications.

Please submit completed applications to info@gatesfamilyfoundation.org by September 30, 2020 by 5 p.m. for review. If you are interested in supporting applicants as a Design Partner, please complete this survey. Please email mseawell@gatesfamilyfoundation.org with any questions about this opportunity, or see a list of Frequently Asked Questions here.

Complete Details: Planning and Design Support

Planning and Design Support may include:

  • Vetted Design Support Partners (DSPs) to help interested applicants develop impactful proposals with strong implementation plans which meet the RISE Education Fund scoring criteria
  • Feedback on applications before they are submitted to the RISE Education Fund selection committee
  • Small planning grants to cover staffing costs for applicants, which may include the cost of a grant writer

Planning and Design Support applications

School districts, public schools, public institutions of higher education, and other education-related entities interested in RISE Planning and Design Support should provide a 2-4 page narrative that addresses the questions below. NOTE: Full question prompts and scoring criteria are available here, and an FAQ about this opportunity is here.

  • Describe the project idea the institution (and possible partners) plans to implement, and identify the leaders whose engagement will be critical to move the work forward.
  • Describe how COVID-19 and related disruptions have catalyzed the effort and increased the urgency for the project proposed.
  • Describe the ways the project will support the needs of students whom the existing system has struggled to serve.
  • Describe your planning and design process and how it results in a project that addresses the RISE Education Fund scoring criteria
  • Describe how you will use a Design Support Partner to support your design process and application development.

Process and Timeline

  • Sept. 9: Planning and Design Support opportunity announced, in tandem with Governor’s RISE Education Fund RFP
  • Sept. 30: Planning and Design Support applications due by 5 p.m.
  • Oct. 16: Gates and GCI announce Planning and Design Support awards
    • Selected awardees will be supported through a design process, with expectation to submit a strong application to the RISE Education Fund for the Dec. 19 Round 2 deadline
  • Oct. 17: Round 1 RISE Education Fund applications due by 5 p.m.
  • Nov. 6: RISE Education Fund Selection Committee announces Round 1 grant awards
  • Dec. 19: Round 2 RISE Education Fund applications due by 5 p.m.
    • Round 2 applicants will include all Planning and Design Support participants, as well as others who have independently completed their applications.
  • Jan. 22: RISE Education Fund Selection Committee selects Round 2 projects
    • Promising projects that were not selected for the RISE Education Fund may be eligible for grants from philanthropic partners interested in advancing the work.
    • More information about additional funding opportunities will be provided in the future.

Please submit applications for Planning and Design Support to:
info@gatesfamilyfoundation.org by September 30, 2020 by 5 p.m.

Questions about the Planning and Design Support opportunity?
Email mseawell@gatesfamilyfoundation.org or see this FAQ