Frequently Asked Questions
Have questions about the Colorado Grants Guide®? These FAQs should help you better understand what the Colorado Grants Guide® has to offer and how to use the searchable database. By clicking on the questions below, you can find the answers to the most frequently asked questions.
About the Colorado Grants Guide®
Why should I purchase a subscription to the Colorado Grants Guide®?
The Colorado Grants Guide® will help you:
- Identify a wide range of funding opportunities (from traditional foundation grants and corporate sponsorship to government loans and grants)
- Save time, money, and energy during the funding research process
- Connect with the correct people at funding organizations to help you establish connections and build relationships
- Manage your grant research, funder communications, and funder relationships*
*Grant research management tools like Alerts, Update Notes, and Favorite Funders are included in private access subscriptions (Nonprofit, Business/Individual, and Municipal/Government).
What sets the Colorado Grants Guide® apart from the competition?
The Colorado Grants Guide® stands out from the competition because it…
…is tailored to Colorado grantseekers.
All funders featured in the Colorado Grants Guide® support Colorado nonprofit organizations. The Colorado Grants Guide® also includes information about each funder’s grantmaking in Colorado (i.e. the portion of grants awarded in CO vs. overall and the average range of grant amounts given in CO).
…tends to be cheaper.
Subscriptions to the Colorado Grants Guide® are cheaper than the majority of comparable subscription levels for other databases.
…includes the same content across subscription types.
While other databases often omit certain content sections depending on the subscription level purchased, the Colorado Grants Guide® includes all sections across subscription types.
…includes a wider range of funder types.
Some subscription-based databases only include traditional foundations and trusts in the majority of subscription levels and only include other types of funders (i.e. public charities, corporations, et cetera) in more expensive tiers, whereas the Colorado Grants Guide® always includes all funder types. Additionally, it includes funder types that are not featured in other databases (i.e. government agencies, religious organizations, et cetera).
…provides direct contact information for funders.
Instead of listing generic contact information, the Colorado Grants Guide® lists, whenever possible, specific contacts at funding organizations to help grantseekers connect and build relationships with funders. Additionally, the Colorado Grants Guide® directs users to the funding opportunity-specific webpage, saving you both time and energy!
…includes additional, pertinent financial information.
In addition to total assets and total giving like other databases, the Colorado Grants Guide® includes the total number of grants awarded, the number of grants awarded in Colorado, the dollar amount awarded in Colorado, the highest and lowest amounts awarded in Colorado, and the average grant range in Colorado for the most recent fiscal year for which there is available information. This helps you better gauge what a reasonable requests for funding might be.
Can I still purchase the Colorado Grants Guide® book?
No, CRC no longer prints or sells the book. In 2010, CRC switched to an online-only model in order to ensure that the Colorado Grants Guide® is as up-to-date and accurate as possible. All of the same information that was included in the book (and more!) is now housed in the searchable online database.
What are the differences between the various subscription types?
All Colorado Grants Guide® subscriptions include access to the same information regarding funders and funding opportunities.
The differences between subscriptions are related to the type of access (username/password log-in versus an established IP connection) and the available research management features (Favorite Funders, Alerts, et cetera).
How do I purchase a subscription/renew my existing subscription to the Colorado Grants Guide®?
To purchase or renew a subscription:
- Select your organization type from the list on this page.
- Depending on your organization type, you may be able to choose between 3 and 12 months, rural and metro, etc. Click on the “Purchase ____ Subscription” button corresponding to the subscription you wish to purchase.
- Add the product to your cart on the right-hand side, by indicating the number of subscriptions you’d like to purchase and clicking “Add.”
- If you are purchasing a Nonprofit Subscription, please also select your organization’s operational budget for the year of purchase from the drop-down box.
- Review the items in your cart. If you need to make changes to the number of items, simply adjust the number at left and click “Update.”
- If you have a discount code, enter it in the “Discount Code” box on the left-hand side. To see your new total, click “Update.”
- Click “Proceed to Checkout”
- If you are an existing customer, enter your log-in information and click “Log On.” If you are a new customer, click “New Customer.”
- Enter (or if you are an existing customer, review) your contact, billing, and shipping information and then click “Next.”
- Create a username and password for the Colorado Grants Guide®. These are not case sensitive.
- Enter any additional comments you might have and then click “Next.”
- Review your order. If everything is correct, agree to the terms and conditions and click “Make Purchase.”
- If you chose to pay by credit card, you will be prompted to enter that information. If you chose to pay by check, you will be provided with information about how to make a check payment.
You will gain access to the Colorado Grants Guide® when your payment is received.
If you are renewing an active subscription, the new subscription will “link up” with the existing subscription once the order has fully processed in our system. This will correct the new expiration date to be 3 or 12 months after the existing expiration date.
When will my (rural) library next receive a free subscription?
Rural libraries will no longer receive a free 12-month subscription when their region is “active” for the Rural Philanthropy Days (RPD) conference. If you have any questions regarding this change, please contact the Program Coordinator.
Has the pricing structure changed?
The majority of the changes to the most recent Colorado Grants Guide® subscription and pricing policy took effect on March 1, 2014. CRC restructured subscriptions to tailor each type to the needs of each of our subscriber bases: nonprofit organizations, individuals/businesses, municipalities, higher education institutions, and libraries.
Effective January 1, 2015, CRC no longer provides subscriptions to all rural libraries in the state. Rural library branches located in the two active Rural Philanthropy Days (RPD) program regions for any given year will receive a free 12-month subscription. Libraries in the other six regions that are “inactive” will be required to pay a fee for subscriptions, which is our lowest 12-month subscription price point.
Can I demo the database before purchasing?
You can get a sneak peek inside the database by viewing our Colorado Grants Guide® Overview Tutorial and by viewing a sample funder profile.
Can I set up an auto-renewal for my subscription?
No, each year you will need to manually renew your subscription.
Can CRC assist my organization in the grant seeking process?
Yes, in addition to publishing the Colorado Grants Guide®, CRC trains nonprofit professionals across Colorado in grant seeking, writing, and reporting. Check our list of upcoming trainings to see opportunities near you. CRC also offers tutorials on how to use the Colorado Grants Guide®. For a list of upcoming dates, please visit the Colorado Grants Guide® homepage.
Accessing the Colorado Grants Guide®
Where can I access the Colorado Grants Guide®?
You can access the Colorado Grants Guide® from the Log In tab in the drop-down menu under Colorado Grants Guide®.
I’m having trouble logging in to the Colorado Grants Guide®.
If you are having trouble logging in to the Colorado Grants Guide®, please ensure that your subscription is active and that you have the correct log-in information.
If you’ve forgotten your log-in information, you can recover your username and password by entering your email in the box at the bottom of the log-in screen. An automatically-generated email will be sent to that address with this information.
If your username and password information is correct and the database is not allowing you to log in, your subscription may have expired. To regain access to the Colorado Grants Guide®, you can purchase a new subscription.
I am experiencing technical difficulties.
If you are having trouble logging in to the Colorado Grants Guide®, please ensure that your subscription is active and that you have the correct log-in information.
How do I know when my subscription ends?
When you log in to the Colorado Grants Guide®, the home page will say “Welcome _____!” Immediately after this welcome message, you will see (in smaller print): “Your subscription expires on X/X/XXXX.”
How do I change my password?
To change your password, log in to the database with your existing information. Once logged in, click “Change Password” on the right-hand side of the screen.
Rural Libraries: How do I provide access to library patrons?
Rural Libraries receive a unique username and password to log patrons in to the Colorado Grants Guide®. Please remember that, according to the license agreement, a librarian must log in for patrons. Log-in information is not to be distributed.
If logging patrons in becomes too cumbersome, rural libraries are welcome to purchase an IP connection. To establish this connection, there is a one-time fee of $100. (Please note that the IP connection is required for libraries serving over 10,000 residents and optional for those serving fewer.)
Colorado Grants Guide® Content and Functions
How do I search for funders in the Colorado Grants Guide®?
There are several ways to search for funders. From the homepage, you can click:
- “Browse the Database” to search alphabetically or by funder type.
- “Advanced Search” to search more specifically for the name of a funder, your program areas, the type of grant you need (operating vs. program), a keyword, an application deadline timeframe, et cetera.
For a full explanation of how to utilize each search function, please see the Colorado Grants Guide® Users’ Guide.
How do I narrow or refine my search?
In the Advanced Search function, users can utilize the different fields to narrow a search. We recommend you start broad, and then narrow. For example, start your search in the Advanced Search with an Area of Interest to see which funders support that interest area. You will likely end up with a wide range of funders and will want to further narrow your list. Other search functions that will help to quickly narrow a search include: Type of Grant, Funder Type, Funder Deadlines, and Keyword Search. Keep in mind: the more fields you fill out in the Advanced Search feature, the fewer funders will match your criteria.
How do I know if a foundation accepts the Common Grant Application?
There are two ways to find out which funders accept the Common Grant Application (CGA):
- In Advanced Search, you can check a box that says “Accepts the Common Grant Application” to search for foundations that accept the CGA.
- Each funder’s profile also indicates whether or not it accepts the Common Grant Application (CGA), the Common Grant Report (CGR), or the Common Capital Grant Application (CCGA) in twoplaces: the top right corner, next to the CONTACT section and also toward the bottom of the profile, in the DETAILS section.
Where can I find the Common Grant Application form?
The Common Grant Application forms can be found on our website under our Resources tab. You can find grant application, capital grant application, and grant report forms on this site, including very helpful users’ guides for each form.
When can I contact a funder?
We recommend that you always contact a funder (if contact information is available) before submitting a full application. This will help you build a relationship with the funder and give you an opportunity to ask any specific questions about your proposal. These questions should be limited to information that you were unable to find in your research or on the website.
What if the profile has no contact information?
There are three cases in which a profile could appear without contact information:
- This most often indicates that the foundation is unstaffed. Oftentimes banks manage small foundations and trusts. This can be challenging if you have questions about the application aprocess; however, these funders generally have more simplified application guidelines. It is also typical for small foundations not to have websites.
- Sometimes you will see missing contact information for corporate funders and national foundations. Because these funders receive so many proposals each year, they are unable to respond to individual phone or email inquiries. If you need to contact one of these funders, look for an online contact form on the website.
- Pre-Select foundation profiles appear with the CONTACT section completely omitted. Because these foundations do not have competitive granting processes, they do not accept inquiries.
What does it mean when a funder “Does Not Accept Unsolicited Proposals”?
This indicates that the funder will not accept a full proposal without you first completing a preliminary step. The foundation might require a Letter of Intent/Inquiry (LOI), require you to respond to a specific Request for Proposal (RFP), require you to pass an eligibility quiz, or ask that you contact the staff before applying. This condition is not meant to scare off potential applications but to ensure your program or organization is a good match before you complete a full application.
What are "Pre-Select" foundations?
Pre-Select foundations are generally small, private foundations that do not have an open application or competitive granting process. The board members/trustees handpick grantee organizations based on prior giving and/or personal connections.
What types of funders fall into the “Other” category?
These are granting organizations that do not fit well into the other six funder categories. Here you will find organizations like local United Way or Rotary offices and religious organizations which do not have IRS-assigned Employer Identification Numbers (EIN).
What does it mean if a funder’s geographic focus says “Multi-State”?
These funders’ geographic scopes of funding are larger than just the state of Colorado but not necessarily national in scope. Generally these funders award grants regionally or, for corporations, in states where they provide services. For example, a funder that provides grants to Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, and Kansas would be considered multi-state.
Why were “no funders found” in my search?
This message will appear if you have made your search parameters too narrow. We recommend that you start broad and then narrow. For example, start your search by selecting an Area of Interest to see which funder support that program area. You will likely end up with a wide range of funders and will want to further narrow your list. Other search functions that will help to quickly narrow a search include: Type of Grant, Funder Type, Desired Grant Size, Funder Deadlines, and Keyword Search. Keep in mind: the more fields you fill out in the Advanced Search feature, the fewer funders will match your criteria.
This message might also appear if the database “doesn’t like” the way you filled a field. Try entering the information a different way. For example, in the Funder State field, instead of searching “colorado,” try “CO.”
If you notice that a useful funder of Colorado nonprofit organizations is not included in the Colorado Grants Guide®, please contact us and let us know. We always appreciate your oversight and assistance to ensure that the database is as comprehensive as possible!
Where can I find more examples of awarded grants?
The FINANCIALS section includes a link to the funder’s most recent financial statement. Whether this is an IRS Form 990 or financial statement/annual report created by the funder, here you should find a comprehensive list of grants awarded during that fiscal year. If the funder has an Employer Identification Number (EIN) registered with the IRS, you can search for that EIN on Guidestar or Foundation Center to pull up tax documents for additional years. On the IRS Form 990, grants made during that fiscal year will appear in section XV, line 3 or in an attached schedule.
According to the information in the profile, I seem to be a good fit. Should I apply now?
Yes and no. That is great that you found a funder that aligns with your mission and needs! But, if you’ve only looked at the Colorado Grants Guide® profile, your work is not done. The database contains a succinct version of funder guidelines; however, you should always review the information on the funder’s website and contact someone at the foundation if you have any questions about its guidelines before applying. The Colorado Grants Guide® is an excellent research tool, but it is important to conduct as much additional research on a funder as possible before submitting an application. This will save both of you time and energy in the long run.
What is the Alert Date and how do I use it?
The Alert Date feature is included in the Nonprofit, Business/Individual, and Municipal/Government subscriptions. If you enter a date (MM/DD/YYYY) in this field, an automatic email will be sent to you on the specified date with a copy of your User Notes for that profile. You can use this to remind yourself of an upcoming deadline, to check back for updates, et cetera.
What are User Notes and how do I use them?
The User Notes feature is included in the Nonprofit, Business/Individual, and Municipal/Government subscriptions. The User Notes function allows you to add notes to a profile which only you can see. You can use this feature to track when you applied to a funder, additional things that you found in your research, and to track your communications and relationship with the funder.
To utilize the User Notes, simply enter your notes and click “Update Notes.” When you log back in to view this profile again, you will see your entered notes at the bottom, along with a time stamp with the last date these were edited.
What is the Favorite Funders list and how do I use it?
The Favorite Funders feature is included in the Nonprofit, Business/Individual, and Municipal/Government subscriptions. At the top of the page, above the funder name, there is a link that says “Add this funder to my favorite funders list.” After you click this, the link will change to say, “This funder has been added to your favorites!” You can click the “Favorite Funders” link at the top right to see this foundation in your full favorites list. Each time you revisit the profile, you will see, “This Funder is on your Favorite Funders List” above the profile.
To remove a funder from your Favorite Funders list, click on the “Favorite Funders” link at right to display your complete list of favorites. To the right, there is an “Actions” column, which give you the option to remove or view each funder. Click “Remove” to remove a funder from this list.
What does it mean if a funder “is dissolved or not currently funded”?
This message may appear for several reasons:
- A limited time grant opportunity has closed. This is common with government programs.
- The foundation filed its final IRS Form 990 and its assets were distributed.
- The foundation was absorbed by another funder. Community foundations sometimes absorb smaller funders and create a “fund” in the same name or incorporate their assets into its general pool.
- The granting program has been postponed for an indefinite period of time, either due to a lack of funds or because the funder is reassessing its grantmaking priorities.
In each of these cases, we try to add an explanatory note to the top of the profile.
Why are dissolved/unfunded grant programs included in the Colorado Grants Guide®?
How do I know when a profile was last updated?
In the top right-hand corner of the profile, you will see a date stamp that indicates the last time our research team updated the profile.
How/when are the Colorado Grants Guide® profiles updated?
Our Research Team works hard to ensure that funder profiles are as up-to-date and accurate as possible by reviewing funders’ websites, annual reports, financial information, and IRS Form 990s and continuously connecting with funders in order to provide you with the most current information available.
During the calendar year, each profile is updated at least once, and those funders that have been identified as “major” statewide funders are generally updated several times per year.
In addition to our regular update procedure, when a subscriber or funder alerts us of a change, that update is reflected immediately in the Colorado Grants Guide®.
Why does some information seem to be dated?
Our Research Team works hard to ensure that each profile is as up-to-date as possible. We utilize funder websites, annual reports, financial information, and IRS Form 990s and are continuously in contact with funders in order to provide you with the most current information.
Although you might find a profile with seemingly dated FINANCIALS or PAST GRANTEES sections, this was the most recently available information at the time of updating. If you find more current information, please let us know by clicking the “Tell us about changes to this funder profile” link above the profile. We always appreciate your oversight and assistance to keep the profiles as current as possible!
What if I notice that a useful funder is not included in the Colorado Grants Guide®?
If you notice that a useful funder of Colorado nonprofit organizations is not included in the Colorado Grants Guide®, please contact us and let us know. We always appreciate your oversight and assistance to ensure that the Colorado Grants Guide® is as comprehensive as possible!
What if I find something in the profile to be inaccurate?
Although our Research team works hard to ensure that the profiles are as up-to-date and accurate as possible, funder priorities and guidelines change often, and we are not always aware of or able to make changes as soon as they occur. Because of this, we always encourage subscribers to conduct as much research on a funder as possible before submitting an application.
If you find something in the profile to be outdated or inaccurate, please let us know by clicking the “Tell us about changes to this funder profile” link above the profile. We always appreciate your oversight and assistance to keep the profiles as current as possible!
For more information, please contact:
Dave Grimsland, Colorado Grants Guide Manager
Please see the User’s Guide page for further explanations of how to use the Colorado Grants Guide®.