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Get Government Grants

Government grants are a unique opportunity for Colorado nonprofits ~ from where you find the grant announcements, to how you apply, and how you manage a grant award.

At the national-level, government grants and contracts make up over 30% of nonprofit annual revenue, and can be a key source of larger, longer-term funding for nonprofit organizations. Government grants are unique, as compared to private and family foundation grants, and therefore it’s important for nonprofits to assess their readiness and capacity to apply for these types of funds. Below, please find some resources that we hope are helpful in your journey to learn more about government grant-making for Colorado nonprofits.

Upcoming Government Grant Training

Here are some general tips:


Government grants are made at a local, regional, state, and federal level. Each level is unique, including where you find out about them grants, how you apply, and what capacity and readiness you may need to be successful in receiving and managing the grant award.

Carefully review the application and eligibility requirements to ensure you meet the criteria and are competitive for the grant.


  • Does the grant fit with your organization mission and strategic plan? Does the agency share an interest in the problem you want to address?
  • Do you have the staff and capacity to fulfill the grant requirements and reporting? Do you or your team have the time to write a competitive grant?
  • Does the grant award financially cover all your time/expenses and make the grant writing process worthwhile?


    Procurement in Colorado is decentralized, meaning many state agencies are delegated to do their own solicitations. This means suppliers who are interested in doing business with the State should conduct research in order to determine which agencies may have a need for your goods or services, and to create a more effective strategy.

    If the grantor has a Q&A or informational session for potential grantees, participate and research the grant program history. Read the program announcement or RFP carefully and familiarize yourself with all of the requirements.

  • Visit your local/regional gov’t website or contact local representatives (including your Economic Development or Community Foundation) to inquire about local area grants. Visit your local/regional library and talk with the resource librarian

  • State
    Here are a few offices to start in CO:
  • Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) Funding Opportunities
  • DOLA Local Community Funding Guide – Comprehensive guide to government grant opportunities available.

    Colorado Forward – a great way to find federally legistated funding allocated to Colorado.

    Colorado.gov – search under “departments” for websites of individual agencies, commissions, and departments that make grants

  • Official Grant website of the US Government – www.grants.gov 

    Here are some helpful toolkits: Center for Public Health Practice- Grants Management 101 Toolkit 

    SLFRF Toolkit – CRC America
    Time management and preparing to write your grant is important. Establish a grant deadline schedule including financials and other attachments and plan in advance. In addition, set up your grant program narrative and attachments according to the application document

    Request Letters of Support EARLY so you have plenty of time

    Establish grant deadline schedule including financials and other attachments

    Use the application language in your proposal

    Break up the text with headers, bold and italics
    Less is more! Don’t crowd in unnecessary words

    Don’t use adverbs (very, extremely) or first and second person nouns (I, you, we)

    Do not submit supplemental information unless it is requested


    Other grant writing resources include DOLA’s IIJA/IRA grant writing program: IIJA and IRA Grant Writing Assistance Program | Division of Local Government (colorado.gov)
    Once you have written the main sections of the grant, make sure to edit and review 3+ times. You also should have an outside reader review it. Read it through with the evaluation criteria in mind. Read it out loud and read it backwards and double check the attachments. While reading through it, also check for these grammer issues:

    Follow the AP Style sheet rules & put one space between sentences

    Avoid acronyms if possible. If you have to use acronyms, spell out at least once prior to their use, e.g., Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) at first use and then CDOT thereafter.

    Avoid abbreviations whenever possible. Do not use an abbreviation as the first word of a sentence or bullet

    In general, spell out numbers one through nine, and use figures for numbers 10 and higher 

    Use percent instead of % in sentences; at the beginning of a sentence, both the number and symbol are spelled. Using % is ok in tables and figures.