Capital Grants - Gates Family Foundation

Capital Grants

Land, facilities, and civic infrastructure are long-term assets that can transform the ability of nonprofit and community organizations to serve Colorado communities. For this reason, the Gates Family Foundation invests in capital projects across the state, in both rural and urban areas. We strive to be responsive to each community’s unique needs and opportunities.

Our capital grants are generally limited to comprehensive capital campaigns, which are typically for building purchases, construction, expansion, renovation, and/or land acquisition. Only nonprofit organizations with capital projects that benefit Colorado and its residents are qualified to apply. When making funding decisions, we prioritize:

  • Projects that address root problems with substantive solutions
  • Projects with strong evidence of support from the community and the organization’s board
  • Projects in rural and low-income areas across Colorado where there are fewer individuals and institutions providing support for capital projects
  • Projects that serve individuals and communities of color who have faced historic inequities and lack of access to funding
  • Projects that reinforce the foundation’s strategic priorities in K-12 public education, natural resources, community development, and informed communities
  • Projects that address climate change, and/or incorporate green building and sustainable development practices

We fund capital projects within five categories that overlap somewhat with the Foundation’s strategic priorities, but are broader in scope in order to be more responsive to community needs:

Arts and Culture

Artistic expression arouses the imagination, stimulates creativity, and prompts self-discovery. Organizations dedicated to art and culture enrich the spirit and enhance economic vitality. We support capital projects that:

  • enhance the cultural quality of community life while also strengthening the economy
  • link a community with its heritage and contribute to usable community infrastructure
  • serve as an educational resource for children, youth, and adults

Funding examples:

  • libraries and museums
  • community theaters
  • performing arts organizations
  • historic preservation that contributes to community revitalization

See our recent capital grants supporting Arts and Culture

Community Development

Colorado’s economic health is dependent on the vitality of all of the state’s communities — large and small, urban and rural. We support capital projects that:

  • create economic opportunity, add to the quality of life, and enhance stability for the residents of a community
  • have the potential to reinforce and enhance the economic vitality of a community
  • involve partnerships between public and private sector organizations that seek to improve the economic and cultural health of communities

Funding examples:

  • restoration of historically significant architecture that contributes to community revitalization
  • heritage tourism or development of rural main streets as a means of promoting economic health for rural areas
  • public-private partnerships for economic development

See our recent capital grants supporting Community Development

Education

Closing the achievement gap for children from low-income families and increasing access to experiential, life-long learning for all Coloradans enhances the economic, social and civic life of our communities. We support capital projects that:

  • serve a majority (at least 50%) of students from low-income families (who qualify for free or reduced-price lunch)
  • build or improve education facilities that will be heavily used by a majority of the community
  • increase access to education in rural areas
  • provide life-long learning to a broad audience

Funding examples:

  • high-performing charter schools seeking matching funds for a BEST grant
  • rural schools improving an auditorium or athletic field for community use
  • licensed early childhood education centers, particularly in underserved rural communities
  • GED, literacy, or vocational training centers
  • independent school and public and private university capital campaigns only on a highly selective basis

See our recent capital grants supporting Education

Parks and Recreation

Appreciation and conservation of Colorado’s natural beauty, resources, and opportunities for outdoor recreation are fundamental to the quality of life and the economy of the state. We support capital projects that:

  • protect and steward land and water resources, habitat, and the health of natural systems
  • preserve the state’s agricultural legacy
  • construct and improve parks, trail systems, and open space for public recreation and access
  • provide environmental education and leadership opportunities for young people

Funding examples:

  • land conservation and easement purchases
  • greenways and trail systems
  • outdoor/indoor recreation facilities
  • urban public spaces and community gardens

See our recent capital grants supporting Parks and Recreation

Well-Being of Children, Youth, and Families

Healthy individuals have greater opportunities to be productive members of society who contribute to the economic, social and cultural life of their communities. We support capital projects that:

  • develop greater self-sufficiency, including the well-being and independence of disadvantaged families and the elderly
  • increase leadership and life skills
  • maintain good health and well-being rather than cure disease

Funding examples:

  • human service organizations promoting self-sufficiency
  • community and senior centers
  • family resource centers
  • youth mentoring organizations
  • transitional housing facilities
  • job training centers

See our recent capital grants supporting the Well-Being of Children, Youth, and Families

Deadlines

Gates reviews capital grant applications TWICE each year. Annual deadlines are:

  • March 15 (for a mid-June decision)
  • September 1 (for a mid-December decision;
    NOTE this is changed from previous deadline of Sept. 15)

Applicants must have at least 30% of their project budget raised prior to being considered.

Inquiries

Prior to submitting a proposal, many applicants find it useful to contact a program officer of the Foundation to review the substance of the proposed project. We also accept inquiries that follow the Narrative Section III of the Colorado Common Application for Capital Grants.

How to Apply

Have questions about requirements, restrictions, and how to submit?

Capital Grants Team

Recent Capital Grants

Year Grantee Amount Type Strategic Priority Area Served
2021 Family Tree, Inc. $15,000

Capital Grant

Community Building

Arapahoe

2021 BuCu West $50,000

Capital Grant

Community Development

Denver

2021 Savio House $20,000

Capital Grant

Community Building

Jefferson

2021 Holyoke Community Childcare Initiative $25,000

Capital Grant

Community Building

Phillips

2021 Community Resource Center $25,000

Capital Grant

Community Development

* Statewide

2021 Kids in Need of Dentistry $15,000

Capital Grant

Community Building

Adams

2021 Colorado Future Farmers of America Foundation $50,000

Capital Grant

Natural Resources

Larimer

2021 History Colorado $20,000

Capital Grant

Community Development

Denver

2021 Aspen Valley Land Trust $25,000

Capital Grant

Natural Resources

Garfield

2021 40 West Arts Inc. $30,000

Capital Grant

Community Building

Jefferson

2021 Bent County Historical Society $20,000

Capital Grant

Community Building

Bent

2021 Avesta Capital LLC $100,000

Capital Grant

Community Development

* Statewide

2021 Focus Points Family Resource Center $20,000

Capital Grant

Community Development

Denver

2021 San Luis Valley Great Outdoors $30,000

Capital Grant

Community Building

Costilla

2021 Full Circle of Lake County $30,000

Capital Grant

Community Building

Lake

2021 Pueblo City-County Library District $20,000

Capital Grant

Community Building

Pueblo

2021 Building a Better Colorado $75,000

Capital Grant

Community Building

* Statewide

2021 Gunnison Arts Center $25,000

Capital Grant

Community Building

Gunnison

2021 Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government $343,500

Capital Grant

Community Building

* Statewide

2021 Posada $30,000

Capital Grant

Community Building

Pueblo