Strategic Priorities

The Gates Family Foundation is committed to Colorado, as both a resource and an agent for progress in core areas that will impact the quality of life in our state for the long-term. Our strategy for grantmaking, impact investments, and engagement in the community — as partners, conveners, and innovators — is driven by a number of inter-related challenges facing our state.

Traffic in DenverColorado’s population is expected to double within the next 40 years. While the urban Front Range and some rural communities are struggling to cope with rapid population and economic growth, other areas are facing dramatic population loss and economic decline. As the state’s demographics continue to diversify, it’s all the more vital to create smart, inclusive communities that offer equitable access to opportunity for all. The state’s financial and governance structures often impede progress in addressing such critical, long-term challenges.

We are committed to playing a strategic role in finding creative solutions that create opportunities for youth, support stewardship of the state’s extraordinary natural inheritance, and improve the lives of all Coloradans.

Educational Equity

All of Colorado’s children, regardless of race or socioeconomic status, should have access to a public education that supports their long-term success and participation in economic, social, and civic life. Yet staggering opportunity gaps persist for children in our poorest urban and rural communities. Strengthening quality and equity in Colorado’s public education system is a core priority for the Foundation.

Natural Resources

Colorado’s landscapes and waterways face challenges due to development, climate change, declining forest health, catastrophic wildfires, and the growing recreational economy. We support a balanced approach to finding smart, innovative solutions that address the needs of farmers and ranchers, city dwellers and outdoor enthusiasts, and precious wildlife and ecosystems.

Vibrant Communities

As Colorado’s population continues to grow, urban and rural areas throughout the state are experiencing profound impacts. Some communities and cultures are struggling to survive, while others are experiencing unprecedented pressures from development. The Foundation supports partners and projects that build civic infrastructure, advance economic opportunity, and foster livable communities.