Colorado COVID Relief Fund Application

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Fund Purpose

Coronavirus (COVID-19) has created far-reaching economic and social impacts across Colorado and beyond. Coloradans who live daily without access to critical services and opportunities due to race and socioeconomic status are being especially hit hard and disproportionately affected.

The Colorado COVID Relief Fund’s purpose is to raise and coordinate allocation of funds based on prevention, impact and recovery needs of community-based organizations in Colorado. This Fund is organized to ensure that the most acute community needs across the state are being addressed and that community voice is reflected in all funding decisions made over time.

Through this Fund, eligible community-based organizations across Colorado may receive a general operating grant of up to $25,000. Read below for more information.

Eligibility and Funding Priorities

Community-based organizations that meet the following three criteria areas are eligible to apply: Organization type, populations served, and alignment with one of the Fund’s three funding priority areas of Prevention, Impact and Recovery.

  1. Organization type: Nonprofit organizations, local government, school districts and small businesses who are:
  2. Populations served:
    • Eligible organizations must serve one or more of the following populations in Colorado through programs and services:
      • Children from families living on low income* who are impacted by school or childcare closures
      • Communities of color
      • Healthcare, hospitality, service industry and gig economy workers
      • Immigrant and refugee communities
      • Minimum or low-wage employees displaced by business closures
      • Older adults living on low income* 
      • People who are immunocompromised or medically fragile
      • People with limited English proficiency
      • People with disabilities
      • People without health insurance
      • Victims of domestic violence or child abuse
      • People living on low income* 
      • People experiencing homelessness
      •  Tribal governments
      • Workers without access to paid sick leave
        *For the purpose of this Fund, low income is defined as living at or below the poverty line or qualifying for free and reduced lunch.
  3. Alignment with one of the Fund’s three funding priority areas of Prevention, Impact and Recovery.
    • Eligible organizations must demonstrate that they are meeting a community-driven need through their programs and services within one of the following three funding priority areas of Prevention, Impact and Recovery: Note that for the first funding cycle, eligible organizations may only apply in the Prevention and Impact priority areas.
      • Prevention (examples include: medical supplies, shelter staff coverage, residential facilities staff serving vulnerable populations, nursing home staff coverage for low income households, mobility services serving vulnerable populations, cleaning supplies for shelters or care facilities of all kinds, medical information and support such as messaging campaigns)
      • Impact (examples include: economic impact of reduced and lost work due to the outbreak, early childhood education availability, technology assistance, childcare, education, volunteer services, food access or services, schools)
      • Recovery (examples include: medical supplies, activities to support small business focused on charitable efforts, mental and behavioral health for most vulnerable populations, volunteer services)

How the Fund Works

The Fund is supported by a diverse team of volunteer community leaders from across Colorado. Together, they represent urban and rural sectors of government, philanthropy and business, and are committed to ensuring that funds impact people who are being disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 crisis. 

  • Fund Oversight and Fundraising: Led by an Executive Committee in coordination with the Governor’s Office, this Committee will take actions and make decisions that are informed with important data, including insights from the Office of Emergency Management and various aspects of community voice to ensure that the most pressing needs of Coloradans being disproportionately affected by COVID-19 are met.
  • Grant Decisions: A Decision and Allocation Committee is responsible for reviewing grant recommendations and making final grantmaking decisions. 
  • Grant Reviews: Three grant review committees – one per funding priority – are responsible for reviewing grant requests and making funding recommendations for consideration by the Decision and Allocation Committee. 
  • Community Voice: In addition to diverse review committees, multiple points of community input will inform funding decisions by the Decision and Allocation Committee including:
    • Ongoing input from a group of community voice liaisons who are committed to supporting the Fund. 
    • Gathering input from organizations who have a particular emphasis on equity and inclusion issues, and also serve individuals and communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.
    • Reviewing and synthesizing recent survey data on community needs related to COVID-19 to inform funding decisions.
    • Sharing survey analyses with existing community advisory groups (e.g., local and state offices of emergency management, chambers of commerce) across Colorado for input on missing areas of need or perspectives.

Mile High United Way, in coordination with the Governor’s Office, will disperse all funds. Due to their generous support and underwriting from donors, there are no administrative fees for processing donations. The Colorado Health Foundation is providing technical assistance to help set up the application and review process.

Current Fund Total: As of March 30, the Fund balance is $7.8 million. 

Application and Deadline Information

Eligible organizations may apply for one general operating, unrestricted grant of up to $25,000 per each funding deadline. Each deadline is based on availability of funds. Once funding decisions are made, funds will be dispersed to the grantee by Mile High United Way within three days. 

The current Fund application deadlines are every two weeks:

  • Deadline One: April 4, 7:00pm MT
  • Deadline Two: April 18, 7:00pm MT
  • Deadline Three: May 2, 7:00pm MT
  • Deadline Four: May 16, 7:00pm MT
  • Deadline Five: May 30, 7:00pm MT

If an organization is funded in the first two deadlines and funding is available, they may reapply 30 days after expending the received funds. Note: Any existing grantee who reapplies for a second grant is required to share brief reporting information in the application to understand what the funds were used for and if the intended purpose was met. Additional deadlines and opportunities for secondary applications will be dependent upon funding availability.

Grant Expectations

Distributed funds will be for general operating, unrestricted needs of the grantee.

All grantees must report back by November 30, 2020 on the number of people served and a narrative about how the funds were used to benefit communities.

Step-by-Step Application Guide

Apply for Funding

Click below to apply for funding or download a sample application.
Note: you must submit an application online through the ‘Apply for Funding’ button to be considered for funding.

Get in Touch

  • General questions and inquiries about the Fund can be directed to
  • If you would like to donate, visit the Mile High United Way website.
    • If you prefer to donate by check, mail to Mile High United Way, PO Box 5547, Denver, Colorado 80217-9425.  Please make your check payable to Mile High United Way and write in the memo line: COVID
  • For media inquiries and interview requests, please contact
  • For questions about applications, read the FAQ.
  • To volunteer, donate or learn more about Help Colorado Now and the Fund, visit

Fund Partners

Thank you to the partners who have contributed to the Colorado COVID Relief Fund so far. We are pleased this is a growing list and subject to continuous updates:

Anchor Point Foundation, Anschutz Foundation, Bank of America, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, Caring for Colorado, Chambers Fund, The Colorado Health Foundation, The Colorado Trust, Community First, Comcast, Delta Dental Foundation, Denver Broncos, El Pomar, Elana Amsterdam & Rob Katz, ENT, First Bank, Gill Foundation, Grogan Family Foundation, Liberty Media, MDC/Richmond American Homes Foundation, Morgridge Family Foundation, R. Stanton Dodge, Rose Community Foundation, The Denver Foundation, Thiry-O’Leary Foundation, Twilio, Wells Fargo, Women’s Foundation of Colorado Xcel Energy

We are grateful to the more than 3,500 individual donors from across Colorado who have and continue to give generously.

Thank you to Fluxx, our application developer and provider, for their pro bono services in support of this Fund. 

Through the generous support of corporate businesses and philanthropic organizations, all Fund administrative costs have been underwritten to ensure that 100% of funds are distributed to community-based organizations in need. 

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