#Celebrating80Years: 2017 marked 80 years of working with Colorado’s nonprofits as they seek to strengthen their communities. Throughout 2018, we will be looking back on this history of the outstanding organizations and the people the Trustees have had the opportunity to support. On the blog you will find a history of the Foundation’s grant making and a representative organization from every year since our founding in 1937.
Since 2005 the North Regional Council has actively worked to support the well-being of northern Coloradans by leveraging the expertise of leaders from Boulder, Larimer, and Weld counties. One of the Council’s first multi-year grants was to create and support an early childhood education project called “Best Start for Babies” that now operates as part of the United Way of Weld County’s Promises for Children program.
Grantee Spotlight: United Way of Weld County Promises for Children
The North Regional Council was started in 2005 to serve the people of Larimer and Weld counties. In 2013, the region expanded to include Boulder County. Since its inception, the North Council has been actively engaged in supporting early childhood education, mental health, higher education and health in northern Colorado.
In November 2009, the North Regional Council drafted a request for proposal to the United Way of Weld County and the Early Childhood Council of Larimer County to support an innovative and collaborative approach to enhance educational childcare in the region. The Council gave each organization a small grant to respond to the request and later provided significant support for the first year of the “Best Start for Babies” program.
From the beginning, Best Start for Babies utilized a curriculum that covers child and brain development, discipline, health and safety, social and emotional needs, parental stress and parent-child bonding. The program also provides bilingual instruction, childcare and a family breakfast, and expanded in 2010 to include support for toddlers.
The North Regional Council supported Best Start for Babies until 2013, including facilitation of a strategic planning session in 2012. Best Start for Babies continues to thrive today as a part of United Way of Weld County’s Promises for Children program, which works toward three goals: increase parents’ knowledge of child development, improve parents’ attitudes about being parents and increase social support and social connections among parents in a similar situation.
Today, the North Council is actively working to improve access to mental health services for students. In 2018 the Council initiated a multi-year grant with North Range Behavioral Health and SummitStone Health Partners to place mental health clinicians in six high-need schools in the Thompson Valley and Fort Lupton school districts.
El Pomar in 2011
The Foundation provided 736 grants totaling $11.1 million in 2011, with the largest grants made to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo for its “Encounter Africa” capital campaign, the United States Olympic Committee and Peak Vista Community Health Centers. Another large grantee was Mount Carmel Health, Wellness and Community Center, which received capital funds to renovate the Mount Carmel Church and program funds to implement health initiatives. The means of grant making remained diverse, now including: competitive grants, endowed funds, Awards for Excellence, the Colorado Assistance Fund and Regional Partnerships grants.
Spotlight by Doug Palmer and Kincaid Hoffman