Community Grants Program

Communities are safer when we are connected to one another and can respond to community needs through effective services and programs. In early 2018 Local Planning Teams met to determine grant priorities for their communities and to set the geographic boundaries within which grantees must provide services. You can read more about the Local Planning Team selection and decision-making process, see a roster of Planning Team members, and read minutes from the Teams’ decision-making process here.

The Colorado Department of Local Affairs selected The Denver Foundation, a community foundation, to facilitate the local planning process and manage the grant program created by HB17-1326 in both North Aurora and Southeast Colorado Springs. The Denver Foundation is working closely with the Pikes Peak Community Foundation to implement Transforming Safety in Southeast Colorado Springs.

Meet the Grant Program Partners

The Denver Foundation logo

The Denver Foundation has been inspiring people and mobilizing resources to strengthen communities across Colorado since 1925 by distributing grants, powering the generosity of local donors, and addressing key issues in partnership with community leaders.

For more information about the Transforming Safety Grant Program, contact Julie Voyles,  jvoyles@denverfoundation.org or 303-996-6488.

The Latino Coalition for Community Leadership (LCCL) has been chosen to coordinate the project’s evaluation, build the data systems and provide technical assistance to grantees.

The Pikes Peak Community Foundation was formed in 1928 and continues to inspire generosity and mobilize resources to effectively address issues facing the Pikes Peak Region.

The Pikes Peak Community Foundation will work as a formal partner with The Denver Foundation to manage the grant review process and make recommendations for grant funding in Southeast Colorado Springs to be approved by the State Department of Local Affairs.

Grant Program Updates

The Transforming Safety grant program made its initial grants to community partners in both North Aurora and Southeast Colorado Springs in May and October 2018. In order to give these grantees the opportunity to develop and document their outcomes, most of these grantees then received a second round of funding in May and October 2019. This second round of funding completed the expenditure of the grant funds allocated in the original 2017 legislation. The legislature extended the pilot program for an additional three years in the 2019 legislative session, with the new funding to become available at the start of the new State fiscal year in July 2020.

Unfortunately, as part of the more than $3 billion in COVID-19 related cuts that the legislature made to the State budget during the 2020 session, the Transforming Safety grant fund was slashed by $1 million. The grant team decided to consolidate the two annual rounds of funding into one round, which would be released as soon as possible after the start of the State fiscal year on July 1st. The community grant review teams in both communities met in late July 2020 to make some very difficult decisions about how to allocate the reduced funds. Ultimately the teams recommended to the State that the number of grantees be reduced from 44 to 21. The number of grantees in North Aurora went from 23 to 13, and in Southeast Colorado Springs the number went from 21 to 7. Initial indications are that the State budget will be cut again in 2021-22, but the Transforming Safety team will be working closely with the legislature and the Department of Local Affairs to limit further cuts to Transforming safety, and to advocate for restoration of the funds that were cut.

To receive the most up to date information about next steps, please SIGN UP FOR NEWSFor more information, please contact Julie Voyles at The Denver Foundation, jvoyles@denverfoundation.org or 303-996-6488.

Transforming Safety Grantees:

Background on the Community Grants Program

The Local Planning Teams in both North Aurora and Southeast Colorado Springs have worked diligently to determine grant priorities for their communities, and to set the geographic boundaries within which eligible grant applicants must provide services. They concluded their work in late February, 2018. The foundations have turned these priorities into grant guidelines and developed an application process. A grant selection committee comprised of people from the foundation and the local community will review and make recommendations regarding which grants should be approved. The final decisions on grant awards will be made by the Department of Local Affairs and the Governor’s Office of State Planning and Budgeting. Successful applicants can only receive one grant in a 12-month period.

Eligible Applicants:

  • 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations (must be registered and in good standing with the IRS and the Colorado Secretary of State or have a fiscal sponsor that is registered and in good standing with the IRS and the Colorado Secretary of State)
  • Local government
  • Schools (public, private, charter)
  • Applicants must serve the North Aurora or Southeast Colorado Springs areas

Geographical Boundaries:

Grant funds can be used for:

North Aurora
  • Support adults and youth who are or have been involved in the criminal justice system in order to reduce recidivism or incidence of reoffending.
  • Help youth (up to age 25) develop the skills and resilience to avoid, reduce, or stop high risk behaviors that can lead to involvement with the criminal justice system.

  • Reduce/prevent crime affecting the most vulnerable people in the North Aurora community, with a particular focus on people experiencing homelessness, immigrants, victims of sexual assault, and victims of sex trafficking.
  • Increase academic achievement by reducing rates of school suspension, expulsion, and referrals to law enforcement, with a particular emphasis on students of color.
Southeast Colorado Springs
  • Support adults and youth who are or have been involved in the criminal justice system in order to reduce recidivism or incidence of reoffending.
  • Help youth (up to age 25) develop the skills and resilience to avoid, reduce, or stop high risk behaviors that can lead to involvement with the criminal justice system.
  • Address systemic causes of economic, racial, and academic disparities.
  • Improve community-based supports to reduce violence and neglect in families.

Have more questions about the Transforming Safety Community Grants program?

Download the Grants FAQs [PDF]

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