Strategic Grants

The Gates Family Foundation uses a portfolio approach to grant making in three priority areas: K‐12 Education, Natural Resources, and Community Development. Overall, strategic grants constitute about 60% of the Foundation’s annual grant making budget (with the remaining 40% dedicated to capital grants). This approach allows the Foundation to pursue ambitious, large-scale outcomes with a set of key partners while also remaining responsive to the broader community’s needs.

While the Foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals for funding in these areas, we encourage you to browse our grants and investments database and strategic priorities to determine our scope of interest — and if you believe you might be a fit, reach out to one of our program officers.

Please note that this type of funding is not an opportunity for ongoing operating or program support, though it does allow us to work over multiple years with grantees focused on a specific set of goals and outcomes. While we continually work with grantees to adjust strategies and approaches, we expect to maintain a commitment to these broad priority areas over time.

Education

Approximately 25% of the Foundation’s annual grant making is devoted to strategic efforts to increase the quality and equity of Colorado’s public K-12 education system. Our K-12 education team uses this portfolio to support five key strategies: autonomous public schools, innovation and incubation, advocacy, human capital, and systems reform.

Natural Resources

Approximately 25% of the Foundation’s annual grant making is devoted to strategic efforts to protect and steward our state’s precious land and water resources. Our natural resources team uses this portfolio to support five key strategies: landscape conservation, land trust capacity building, balanced water management, stewardship at scale, and payment for ecosystem services.

Community Development

Approximately 10% of the Foundation’s annual grant making is devoted to strategic efforts to increase the vitality and resilience of Colorado’s urban and rural communities. Our community development team uses this portfolio to support five key strategies: multi-modal mobility, food systems and agriculture, access to economic opportunity, placemaking, and community planning.

Recent Grants

Year Grantee Amount Type Strategic Priority Area Served
2018 Colorado Industrial Areas Foundation $30,250

Strategic Grant

Education

Adams

2018 Young Aspiring Americans for Social and Political Activism $25,000

Strategic Grant

Education

Arapahoe

2018 New Legacy Charter High School $250,000

Capital Grant

Education

Arapahoe

2018 Rocky Mountain Preparatory School $5,000

Strategic Grant

Education

Denver

2018 RootED $4,000

Strategic Grant

Education

Denver

2018 Edgewater Collective $27,500

Strategic Grant

Education

Jefferson

2018 Jefferson County School District $40,000

Strategic Grant

Education

Jefferson

2018 Empower Schools, Inc. $21,519

Strategic Grant

Education

* Statewide

2018 America Succeeds $252,000

Strategic Grant

Education

Denver

2018 Colorado Succeeds $30,000

Strategic Grant

Education

Chaffee County

2018 Grassroots Foundation, Inc. $40,000

Strategic Grant

Education

Yuma

2018 Colorado League of Charter Schools $80,000

Strategic Grant

Education

* Statewide

2018 Colorado Education Organizing Funder Collaborative (CEO) $60,000

Strategic Grant

Education

Denver

2018 Colorado Youth Congress $60,000

Strategic Grant

Education

* Statewide

2018 Academy of Advanced Learning $50,000

Capital Grant

Education

Arapahoe

2018 RootED $300,000

Strategic Grant

Education

Denver

2018 Charter Board Partners $20,000

Strategic Grant

Education

Denver

2018 A+ Colorado $120,000

Strategic Grant

Education

* Statewide

2018 Education Reform Now $150,000

Strategic Grant

Education

* Statewide

2017 Ricardo Flores Magon Academy $200,000

Capital Grant

Education

Denver

2017 Colorado Charter Facility Solutions $80,000

Strategic Grant

Education

* Statewide

2017 A+ Colorado $5,000

Strategic Grant

Education

Denver

2017 Valley Settlement Project $80,000

Strategic Grant

Education

Garfield

2017 Lake County School District R-1 $150,000

Strategic Grant

Education

Lake

2017 Bellwether Education Partners Inc. $105,000

Strategic Grant

Education

Denver

2017 Colorado Children’s Campaign $100,000

Strategic Grant

Education

* Statewide

2017 Chalkbeat $150,000

Strategic Grant

Education

* Statewide

2016 Colorado Public Radio/KCFR $50,000

Strategic Grant

Education

* Statewide

2015 Rocky Mountain Preparatory School $850,000

Strategic Grant

Education

Denver

2016 Roots Elementary School $160,000

Strategic Grant

Education

Denver

2014 Teach For America $1,050,000

Strategic Grant

Education

* Statewide

2016 Mesa County Valley School District #51 $298,299

Strategic Grant

Education

Mesa

2018 Keystone Center $100,000

Strategic Grant

Education

Montezuma

2018 Roaring Fork School District $10,000

Strategic Grant

Education

Garfield

2018 Colorado Future Farmers of America Foundation $30,000

Strategic Grant

Education

* Statewide

2018 Civic Canopy $40,000

Strategic Grant

Education

* Statewide

2018 Climb Higher Colorado $40,000

Strategic Grant

Education

* Statewide

2018 Atlas Preparatory School $35,000

Capital Grant

Education

El Paso

2018 National Black Child Development Institute $25,000

Strategic Grant

Education

Denver

2018 Rural Education Community Planning Initiative $75,000

Strategic Grant

Education

* Statewide

2015 Colorado Charter Facility Solutions $5,000,000

Program-Related Investment

Education

* Statewide

2014 AXL Academy $250,000

Program-Related Investment

Education

Arapahoe