Rose Community Foundation created the Community Action Fund in 2017. Hate crimes in our community were increasing at an alarming rate, immigrant and refugee families were experiencing heightened fears and concerns, and nonprofit organizations serving affected populations were feeling beleaguered.
The Foundation undertook several community action efforts in 2017, including:
- Small, unsolicited, one-time, rapid response grants to support 75 organizations being called upon to do more.
- Funding for two new coalitions: Mountain States Against Hate Coalition, and Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition Initiative: Colorado Rises.
- Two nonpartisan educational forums and trainings to help community members and organizations come together to learn: The Facts on Immigrants and Refugees in May 2017 and Working with Organizations and Institutions to Keep Students and Families Safe in September 2017. Access the resources
2018 grants from Rose Community Foundation’s Community Action Fund, ranging from $1,000 to nearly $100,000, were distributed to more than 45 nonprofits in the following areas:
- BUILDING CAPACITY & LEADERSHIP: Grants to organizations that are creating opportunities for immigrant and refugee families and communities vulnerable to discrimination to empower themselves and their communities.
- DIRECT SERVICE PROVISION: Grants to organizations providing necessary, niche services to immigrants and refugees as well as others vulnerable to hate and discrimination.
- HEALING DIVIDES: Grants to organizations working against hate, encouraging community healing and inclusion, and educating around the power of compassion.
- HELP THE HELPERS: In order to address the capacity constraints of organizations serving the Community Action Fund target populations, grants were distributed to 10 organizations to build capacity and provide support for frontline staff and volunteers.
- LEGAL SERVICES: Grants to organizations serving immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers from a variety of countries and providing services including filing for green cards, applying for special immigrant juvenile status for children, or representing children in the court system and detention cases.
- GO DEEPER: Further grantmaking was done within the Foundation’s focus areas of Aging, Child and Family Development, Education, Health, and Jewish Life.
In addition to grantmaking, Rose Community Foundation’s Community Action work also included thought leadership to address emerging issues. For example, the Foundation presented a forum in October 2018 to highlight the importance of having an accurate 2020 Census count and to raise awareness of local organizations that are mobilizing to ensure an accurate count through outreach and education.
In 2019, for the second year in a row, the Community Action Fund invested more than $1 million to support local nonprofits serving immigrants and refugees, as well as communities vulnerable to discrimination and hate crimes.
Joined by 50 unique donors, the Foundation supported 61 nonprofits through grants in the following areas:
- ANTI-HATE AND DISCRIMINATION: Preventing or responding to hate incidents and fostering community dialogue and healing
- COALITIONS: Support for nonprofit coalitions working to strengthen community, combat hate and mobilize volunteers
- COMMUNITY INTEGRATION AND SUPPORT: Services and programming for immigrant, refugee, and asylum-seeking populations in a shifting landscape
- EVENTS: Funding for events dedicated to creating a safe and welcoming community for all.
- LEGAL SERVICES: Grants to nonprofits providing legal services for children and families facing immigration and detention hearings
- GO DEEPER: Further grantmaking was done within the Foundation’s five historic focus areas of Aging, Child and Family Development, Education, Health and Jewish Life.
In 2019, Rose Community Foundation prioritized making its Community Action work more open, responsive and broad in its reach. Staff from across the Foundation’s departments informed and led an open RFP grantmaking process. The Foundation made small, responsive grants to support ongoing community events aligned with the Community Action Fund’s goals. Perhaps most valuably, the Community Action work led to the development of relationships with new communities and new voices that will inform and guide our ongoing work.
After three full years of grantmaking to nonprofits on the front lines of this critical work, the Foundation has now granted $2,339,890 through the Community Action Fund. Though we are not accepting new applications for grants during the first two quarters of 2020, the Foundation remains steadfast in its commitment to the numerous local nonprofit organizations serving and standing up for immigrants, refugees and communities experiencing hate and discrimination.