Community Assistance

2024 Application Window - CLOSED

Thank you to those who submitted a Community Assistance Project. We will review all applications and provide responses by the end of April. If you are interested in a future round of Community Assistance, please subscribe to our newsletter to receive updates.

Community Assistance provides communities with the tools and resources to spark meaningful progress, while building local capacity and creating success stories that inspire and inform other communities. Each project is tailored to meet specific local needs and requires a close partnership with the community and CB Team.

Projects are selected through a competitive process. Communities must demonstrate compelling need, readiness, potential for impact, and ideally, opportunities for innovation and transferability. When a community is selected, we enter into a partnership rooted in shared goals, responsibility, and financial investment. This leverages and extends our philanthropic funding and strengthens commitment and political buy-in.

Application Window: [NOW CLOSED]

Community Assistance Application

Who Can Apply

  • This round of assistance is for Colorado communities. It is focused on mountain and rural communities, which includes smaller cities, towns, and rural areas or regions.
  • We select community partners based on demonstrated need, commitment, readiness, and potential for impact. This means that we focus our work in places that are in greatest need for help and in position to use it. 
  • Applications can be submitted by municipal, county, tribal governments, and special districts. Other types of community and economic development organizations, including non-profit organizations, can apply, but must demonstrate support and partnership with the relevant local jurisdiction.
  • Strong preference is given to communities that have attended a Community Builders training, received prior assistance, or otherwise worked with Community Builders. This is particularly important for applicants seeking support on larger scale projects.

Types of Projects

We work on a range of project types and scales across our core issues of housing, land use, transportation, economic development, and civic capacity. See examples of past projects here.

Vision and Strategy. Projects to bring a community together to identify shared values and vision, and strategies to move them forward. Can scale from a block or neighborhood to an entire community or region. Timeframe: 10-20 months

Area Plans. Projects that focus on a specific area, such as a street corridor, downtown, or redevelopment area. While tactical and focused, these often begin with establishing shared community vision and then transition into specific strategies. Timeframe: 8-14 months

Topical Strategies. Projects that focus on a particular issue, such as housing, the economy, multi-modal transportation, redevelopment, or policy/code reform. Like area plans, these may require community engagement to define direction before moving into strategies. Timeframe: 8-12 months

Implementation. Projects that establish tools, information, systems, resources, or programs needed to advance identified goals, strategies or projects. Timeframe: 3-8 months

Building Civic Capacity. Projects to strengthen local capacity, such as training, analytical or communication tools, or other actions that improve a community’s ability to make progress. Timeframe: 3-6 months

What to Expect

Partnership. A partnership between the community and CB that is at the foundation of every project. In contrast to a traditional consulting relationship, CB works with a partner community, rather than for them. The partnership is grounded in shared goals, commitment, responsibility, and resources. This allows us to tailor the project to the community’s needs and put in the time needed to get things right. It also allows us to have honest and open communication with the community and local leaders, rather than just telling people what they want to hear. 

Strengthening Capacity and Engagement. Our approach aims to strengthen the capacity of our local partners so they are better positioned to realize meaningful progress and more prepared to tackle future challenges. This relies on a shared commitment to healthy and inclusive engagement, and working strategically to build leadership and civic capacity through the work.  

Progress and Impact. Our team is committed to realizing real and meaningful impact. We push our partners to explore bold solutions, while also ensuring they are practical and actionable.