Areas of Focus

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At Community First Foundation, our strategic plan guides our approach to using flexible grant dollars to fuel positive change. We tap into the power of community by forming strong relationships with community partners. We typically release a few grant opportunities each year within our three primary areas of focus.

Honoring our Heritage in Jefferson County

We have a special relationship with Jefferson County. Our roots and history are based in Jefferson County’s Lutheran Medical Center. While our name has changed and our geographic focused has expanded over the years, we honor our heritage by looking for funding opportunities to build strong community in the Jefferson County region.

Community First Foundation understands that health is shaped by more than the absence of disease. The physical, social and economic environments where we live, as well as access to health care and education, also contribute to individuals’ overall health. When these things, known as social determinants of health, are optimized for all individuals living in a community, we are making strides toward a healthy community. That’s why in 2018, Community First Foundation infused more than $1.75 million into community health grants supporting more than 124 organizations that serve Jefferson County.

See list of 2017-18 community health grantees
Promoting Mental Wellness

Community First Foundation has been on a journey to understand what is needed to improve mental wellness in the metro Denver area. Through this work we’ve learned that investing early to support the mental health of infants and young children produces benefits later on. We’ve discovered that social connections help people overcome barriers which improves mental health. Mostly, we’ve come to understand that it takes collective action from the community to transform the systems that support mental health.

By partnering with advocacy groups, service providers and others, we’ve identified three areas where we can make the most impact in improving mental wellness. These areas are:

  • Supporting the social and emotional development of infants and young children.
  • Facilitating coordinated, systematic efforts to improve community mental wellness.
  • Investing in promising approaches to change attitudes around mental health. 
Promoting Mental Wellness: Innovators Society
Powering Community Through Strengthening Nonprofits

At Community First Foundation, we believe that the more vibrant and resilient a community’s nonprofits, the more effective they will be in serving the community and contributing to its well-being. We support nonprofits in the following ways.

  • Through the Incentive Grant Program, we help nonprofits build endowments for a steady stream of revenue.
  • Through year-round online giving at
  • By offering complimentary training in a variety of areas as well as free meeting space.
  • Through inclusive workforce development and scholarship programs. In partnership with Red Rocks Community College, we created the Nonprofit Pathway certificate program to prepare individuals to enter the nonprofit sector, provide additional training to experienced professionals and ensure Colorado’s nonprofits have access to a skilled, inclusive and diverse workforce.
Do You Fit Our Basic Eligibility Criteria?

There are certain eligibility requirements that nonprofits must meet to apply for a grant. Each nonprofit must be:

  • Headquartered or providing services in the Denver metropolitan area which includes Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas and Jefferson counties.
  • A 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization.
  • Fiscally responsible for the proposed project.

The following are not eligible for grants from Community First Foundation:

  • Individuals
  • For-profit organizations
  • Fundraising events
  • Private foundations or other foundations or nonprofits that distribute money to recipients of its own selection
  • Endowments
  • Organizations that practice discrimination of any kind
Noah Atencio
Vice President of Community Impact
Raymael Blackwell
Program Officer
Paul Mulligan
Director of Donor and Grants Administration
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