Rose Community Foundation Invests $1.825 Million in Local Policy and Advocacy Ecosystem

Denver, CO – Rose Community Foundation recently awarded $1,825,000 in support of 48 nonprofits that leverage policy and advocacy efforts to help communities furthest from opportunity create conditions for equity, justice, inclusion and engagement. Funding was directed to a diverse slate of organizations working to close gaps in access, power and opportunity by cultivating systems change, growing resources for community needs or influencing the levers of policy.

“Local nonprofits are often the first to identify the systems that are failing our communities and are best equipped to cultivate meaningful policy solutions that improve outcomes for the people they serve,” said Rose Community Foundation Vice President of Public Affairs Sarah Kurz. “We value Greater Denver’s robust and growing ecosystem of equity-focused nonprofits that are strengthening their policy muscles, and we are proud to support them.”

The grant slate encapsulates the variety of approaches that advocacy-focused nonprofits are undertaking. Some grant recipients are grassroots organizations that work to activate community members to engage around specific local policies that impact their neighborhoods; others conduct nonpartisan research that equips policymakers and advocates with timely and relevant data needed to tackle systemic challenges. Many organizations develop the policy proposals and build the advocacy coalitions that lead to important bills at the state legislature or initiatives on Coloradans’ ballots.

The nonprofits’ focuses also vary. They engage across a wide range of issues to advance a more equitable and just Colorado – from affordable housing, K-20 education, and reproductive rights to criminal justice and fiscal reform – often advancing priorities that crosscut several issues. Nearly all grant recipients aim to improve outcomes for communities of color and low-income individuals, and many also target specific policy solutions that remove barriers for historically disenfranchised or systemically excluded populations such as immigrants and refugees, LGBTQ+ individuals, and people with disabilities.

“Our organization strives to make homeownership possible for low- and middle-income households,” says Charles Allison-Godfrey, staff attorney and policy associate at Elevation Community Land Trust. “This funding allows the Colorado Affordable Homeownership Alliance to meaningfully advocate at the state level so that homeownership is accessible to all.”

Adds Lauren Smith, Director of Policy and Advocacy at Soul2Soul Sisters, “Our political program, Let My People Vote, has been able to reach more people than ever, from supporting Black people in accessing voting and ballot resources, to supporting political healing and centering rest, to helping Black people tap into their collective power throughout the entire political process.”

The grantee list also reflects the Foundation’s goal of identifying new organizations and emerging community needs, with 17 percent of grantees receiving funding from the Foundation for the first time. Additionally, 46 percent of grant recipients are led by people of color, and each organization receiving funding incorporates the voice and perspective of the communities they serve into its policy development and advocacy efforts.

Details about the grant recipients and their work is outlined below, organized by thematic groupings.

Top photo courtesy of Elevation Community Land Trust

Advancing Local Policy Change

Denver Streets Partnership
Advocacy to transform Denver’s transportation system by increasing funding allocations for walking, biking and transit; expanding the coalition of local transit equity advocates; and elevating multi-modal transportation as a top local policy topic.

East County Housing Opportunity Coalition
Community organizing and public policy advocacy for diverse and inclusive affordable housing creation in Erie, Lafayette, Longmont, Louisville and Superior.

Advocating for Critical Issues

Center for Health Progress
Implementation of state legislation that expands access to health insurance to undocumented immigrants.

Cobalt Foundation
Advocacy, education and outreach to advance reproductive rights and address the need for public funding of abortion care.

Coloradans Don’t Accept Daily Shootings
Advancing research, community engagement and advocacy efforts to make it easier to get help than it is to get a gun.

Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights
Advocacy for policies that advance reproductive justice and enable Latinx individuals and their families to lead safe, healthy and self-determined lives.

Colorado Perinatal Care Quality Collaborative
Efforts to address health care inequities through policy interventions that link and improve maternal and infant health care, engage patients and families, and connect health care facilities to communities.

Colorado Trustee Network via The Colorado Education Initiative
Coordination of trustees from Colorado higher education institutions to develop shared goals around closing equity gaps, aligning postsecondary education to workforce needs, and increasing postsecondary funding and resources.

COVID-19 Eviction Defense Project via The Community Firm
Mobilization of clients facing eviction to tell their stories and create public policy that improves renter rights and advances broader economic justice efforts that lead to housing stability.

Promotion and protection of policy solutions that empower students, families and educators to innovate and advance better outcomes for children furthest from opportunity.

Family Voices Colorado
Legislative campaign to fund a permanent state-run program that provides services outside of school for children with deaf-blindness.

Great Education Colorado
Advocacy for school finance and fiscal policies that ensure equitable educational opportunities and social-emotional supports for every Colorado student, especially those furthest from opportunity.

Healthy Air and Water Colorado Action
Legislative advocacy to mitigate the health impacts of the climate crisis and promote land use policies that increase access to safe and affordable housing.

Hunger Free Colorado
Promotion of food justice through community-led advocacy and policy change and related efforts to improve food security.

Jewish Women International
Advocacy to create state legislation that will promote long-term economic security for survivors of domestic violence by reducing barriers to obtaining bank loans.

Mental Health Colorado
Policy efforts to improve Coloradans’ access to vital mental health care services and meet their mental health needs.

Nourish Colorado
Elevation of voices most affected by nutrition insecurity and inequitable agricultural and food policies to rebalance the food system and create healthier food environments.

The Task Force to Reimagine Policing and Public Safety via Seasoned with Grace UnBoxed
Grassroots efforts to improve policies for policing and public safety with strong accountability measures.

Building Impactful Advocacy Coalitions

Colorado Affordable Homeownership Alliance via Elevation Community Land Trust
Improving affordable homeownership opportunities for low-income Coloradans and creating a permanent, statewide funding source for homeownership.

Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition
Community organizing for policy, advocacy and implementation among Colorado’s immigrant communities to improve access to health care and address other issues affecting immigrants.

Conducting Research to Inform Policy

Building a Better Colorado
Coordination of thought leaders across Colorado to assess interest in supporting the implementation of various policies to achieve systemic change in K-12 education.

Colorado Fiscal Institute
Policy and research efforts around a range of fiscal and economic issues to improve the health and well-being of Coloradans furthest from opportunity.

Colorado Health Institute
Research and community outreach to create and advance a comprehensive policy agenda for climate change and health adaptation.

Early Milestones Colorado
Research, analysis and stakeholder engagement to accelerate and advance whole-child, equity-driven leadership in the new Colorado Department of Early Childhood.

Laboratory to Combat Human Trafficking
Community-based participatory research that identifies strengths and gaps in combating human trafficking; empowers communities with data; and informs policy to create collective approaches to human trafficking response.

Leading Cross-Cutting Policy & Advocacy Efforts

9to5 Colorado
Organizing, policy and advocacy efforts to advance economic security and build power for women of color and their families.

Bell Policy Center
Research, education and advocacy to advance an inclusive economic narrative; build support for a fair, sustainable tax system and equity-focused public investments; and advocate for policy changes in key systems driving economic mobility.

Clayton Early Learning
Advocacy efforts that ensure the voices of those impacted by early childhood, public assistance, and related systems are heard and centered within the development of new policies.

Colorado Center on Law and Policy
Policy development, legal advocacy and research to advance a robust and community-informed anti-poverty policy agenda.

Colorado Children’s Campaign
Advancing equitable youth behavioral support, education funding, health care coverage, implementation of the Department of Early Childhood, and public investments in housing and basic needs.

Colorado Consumer Health Initiative
Implementation of new policies that improve health equity, access, and affordability through strengthened community and consumer engagement.

Enterprise Community Partners
Efforts to advance affordable housing and related economic mobility policies that improve equitable access to affordable and stable housing.

One Colorado
Advancing LGBTQ+ equality by protecting marriage rights; furthering health equity through food security and gender-affirming health care coverage for state employees; and advocating for inclusive education for Colorado students.

Together Colorado
Multi-racial, multi-faith community-led organizing efforts to advance structural change at municipal and state levels around affordable housing, criminal justice reform, equitable taxation and economic justice.

United for a New Economy
Policy development, organizing and civic engagement to increase renter rights and build a more build a more equitable and racially-just tax code in Colorado.

The Women’s Foundation of Colorado
Advancement of gender, racial and economic equity in Colorado through legislative advocacy, coalition convenings and communities of practice, policy and advocacy trainings, and ballot measure guides.

Lifting Important Community Voices at Policy Tables

Colorado Circles for Change
Leadership development program for justice-involved youth, which provides impacted young people with training to build reform campaigns that advance policies and investments in youth impacted by the school-to-prison pipeline.

Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition
Advocacy for social justice and equitable policies for people with all types of disabilities.

Colorado Statewide Parent Coalition
Legislative advocacy and community outreach focused on achieving equity in education for immigrants and communities of color.

Ednium: The Alumni Collective
Activation of Denver Public Schools alumni to advocate for effective implementation of recent district policy changes to include cultural and ethnic studies and financial literacy as graduation requirements.

Interfaith Alliance of Colorado
Engagement of diverse faith communities to advocate for a wide variety of equity-related policy issues including anti-hate and discrimination, criminal justice reform, reproductive rights, environmental justice, civic engagement, and affordable housing.

New Era Colorado Foundation
Mobilization of young people through organizing and policy advocacy to advance policies around economic justice, reproductive justice and climate justice.

Out Boulder County
Community organizing, policy development and lobbying to promote the health, well-being and fundamental rights of Colorado’s LGBTQ+ population.

Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network
Community-informed advocacy that lifts the voices, experiences and leadership of impacted individuals to advance policies that protect and expand immigrant rights.

Soul 2 Soul Sisters
Relational organizing efforts to build Black electoral power, affect change, and cultivate relationships, trust and community among Black Women.

Spring Institute for Intercultural Learning
Policy development and advocacy for immigrants and refugees including expanding high school credentialing opportunities for adult learners; promoting workforce integration of internationally trained physicians; and improving language access pertinent to civic engagement.

Teach Plus
Policy fellowship that recruits and trains a diverse collection of classroom teachers from across Colorado to engage in K-12 and ECE policy and advocacy efforts and provide a sustained pipeline of informed teachers to advise policymakers on teacher perspectives.

Young Invincibles
Youth leadership fellowship that empowers young adults furthest from power, privilege and economic security with the tools to craft a policy agenda and advocate for systems change.

About Rose Community Foundation 

Rose Community Foundation strives to advance inclusive, engaged and equitable Greater Denver communities through values-driven philanthropy. The Foundation envisions a thriving region strengthened by its diversity and generosity, and it utilizes the varied tools at its disposal – grantmaking, advocacy and philanthropic services – to advance this aspiration. Since its founding in 1995, the Foundation has granted more than $$362 million to over 2,000 organizations and initiatives, including $60 million in facilitated grantmaking from donor-advised funds. The Foundation also supports 75 nonprofit organizations in creating and growing endowments to sustain their vital work into the future, currently stewarding $59 million in endowed assets. The Foundation has $345 million in total assets under management, with annual grantmaking of over $20 million.






















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