What We Fund

Beginning 2023, the following changes regarding Buell Foundation funding have been implemented:

  • Applications for child care centers that serve fewer than 15% enrollment of low-income families will no longer be considered. THBF definitions for low-income by county can be found here.
  • Applications for organizations that have operating reserves greater than nine months will no longer be considered. Operating reserves are generally calculated by dividing net current assets into annual operating budget.
  • Given budgetary restrictions following recent changes, we anticipate a more competitive selection process for capital applications.
  • The Foundation will no longer be considering requests for capital projects in our January and May application cycles.
  • All applications for capital projects must be submitted in our September cycle.
  • At this time, the Foundation is only considering capital projects for licensed child care facilities, with priority given to those focused on expanding or creating new capacity.
  • Given budgetary restrictions, programs in the following areas will no longer be eligible for funding: nutrition & physical activity, book distribution, children’s museums, and certain parent information and support programs. At this time, the Foundation will only consider longer duration parenting information programs with active participation (i.e., parenting education classes, home visitation programs, etc.).

At the Buell Foundation, we believe that investing in quality programs will lead to long-term changes in Colorado. The Buell Foundation seeks proven, promising, or developing programs that can demonstrate success in helping children thrive. We support efforts to improve quality and encourage meaningful evaluation and assessment. It is our goal to partner with outstanding organizations to improve the systems that serve children. Particular focus is placed on programs that target underserved communities.

Our funding strategy includes two primary areas of interest:

Our funding priority at this time is on programs that support the education and development of children zero to five. In the last fiscal year, over 90% of grants paid were in that category. In addition, please note that it is also a priority for the Foundation to fund programs in rural Colorado. In recent years, over 65% of grants were awarded to programs serving communities outside of the Denver metro area.

Grants will be given only to organizations that are tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or government entities. Applicants must be categorized “not a private foundation” under section 509(a) of the Code. Grants are most often awarded within the $10,000 to $50,000 range.

Within our areas of interest, the majority of our grants will be of the following types:

  • Program/project support
  • Operating support
  • Technical assistance
  • Capital improvements (limited to early childhood programs)

Grants are not made to or for the following:

  • Endowments
  • Individuals
  • International programs and activities
  • Legislative lobbying or support of political candidates
  • Litigation
  • Loans
  • Medical programs
  • Multi-year awards
  • Past operating deficits
  • Programs outside the state of Colorado
  • Projects promoting religion
  • Retirement of debt
  • Sponsorship of events, annual campaigns, membership drives, or conferences
  • Testimonial dinners

Exceptions may be made only at the discretion of the Board of Trustees.