While Colorado as a whole has experienced a period of rapid population growth in recent years, the benefits — and the challenges — are not spread evenly. The Front Range and some mountain towns are growing in size and prosperity, while many rural communities are in decline as mining, oil, and gas industries exit and family farms and ranches struggle. Meanwhile, the COVID-19 pandemic and the racial justice movement have exposed and exacerbated systemic inequities that must be addressed in order to ensure a prosperous state and quality of life for all.
In response to these realities, Gates Family Foundation’s Community Development program prioritizes communities that have historically been excluded from decision-making power or faced barriers to accessing opportunity, such as low-income residents and Black, Indigenous, Latino/a, and other communities of color. We support solutions that build a just and inclusive economy in Colorado, and advance economic mobility for all. We seek out and support resident-led efforts that create and preserve affordable housing, address growth and change, build community assets, and promote a more climate-sustainable future for Colorado communities.
OUR PRIORITIES FOR COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
Economic Mobility for
Families and Individuals
Address systemic economic inequities and build a more just, inclusive economy that creates living-wage jobs, develops small businesses, and builds wealth for low-income residents and communities of color in urban and rural Colorado.
We support projects that target the root causes of economic inequality and inequitable community development.
Invest in community assets that strengthen neighborhoods and communities, create and preserve affordable housing, address displacement pressures, build community- serving infrastructure like parks and multi-modal transportation, and envision a more equitable and climate-sustainable future.
We invest in projects and organizations that strengthen neighborhoods and communities, and create on-the-ground improvements for residents.
HOW WE SUPPORT COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
Foundation staff work closely with a diverse group of community development partners to initiate and support projects that advance the strategic priorities and goals listed above. See our strategic partners in community development here. If you think your project or organization might be a fit for our Community Development program, we encourage you to contact a team member below. READ MORE
Two times a year, we accept applications for projects that support communities and fit the criteria of our capital grants program. We support a wide range of rural and urban acquisition, construction, expansion, and renovation projects that are responsive to community needs, benefit Colorado and its residents, and fall into at least one of the following categories: arts and culture, community development, education, parks and recreation, or well-being of children, youth and families. READ MORE
We put the Foundation’s endowment dollars to work through mission-aligned investments in community development. Examples include acquisition of sites for affordable housing, below-market-rate loans to small businesses in low-income communities, and growth capital for Colorado companies that generate strong market returns alongside social and/or environmental benefits. READ MORE