Grant Opportunity for Community Partners

“We have no hope of solving our problems without harnessing the diversity, the energy, and the creativity of all our people” -Roger Wilkins

Thank you for your interest in becoming a Community Partner! Please fill out this form to tell us more about your organization, the population(s) your organization is connected to, and why your organization is uniquely qualified to engage traditionally underrepresented groups in the City Plan process. Alternate responses to this call for community partners, such as oral presentations, will be accepted as needed.

Please note: The City may follow up after your completed application is received to request additional details.

Completed responses must be received by: Friday, February 16, 2018. 


Help us build an inclusive approach to community engagement

An update to Fort Collins’ comprehensive plan (City Plan) is about to begin, and we want to make sure we hear from a broad cross-section of the community about the future of our city. City Plan provides policy direction and guidance for the way Fort Collins will address land use, transportation, and transit over the next 20 years.

We recognize that City staff are not always the most appropriate people to create spaces for genuine, authentic conversations about the future. We also know that public meetings, committees, and evening events are not the best way to reach everyone. That’s where you and your organizations come in.

Have you ever wanted to bring people together to talk about the opportunities and challenges facing Fort Collins? Now is your chance! We hope you will consider applying for a Community Partner Grant to help us reach further and deeper in our engagement than ever before. We need to hear everyone’s voice as we develop plans that will shape city growth, transportation, transit, and more!

What is a Community Partner?

A Community Partner is a representative of an organization that is directly connected to and/or providing services to traditionally underrepresented groups in Fort Collins. Community Partners have a passion for ensuring that all voices are heard in City processes, and want to dedicate some of their time, creativity, and enthusiasm to designing and conducting engagement activities as part of City Plan.

Organizations that receive funding will contract with the City Plan team to design, implement, and evaluate engagement activities with traditionally underrepresented groups. Community Partners will be trained, supported and empowered to lead conversations with the populations they serve about land use, transportation planning, sustainability, city services, and other topics. The City will also work with your organization to provide materials for your gatherings and additional resources if you need them. Facilitation assistance, City attendance at your gatherings, or help finding meeting space are a few examples of additional resources that are available to Community Partners.

Examples of underrepresented groups include, but are not limited to:

  • Racial/ethnic minority residents
  • Undocumented and/or immigrant residents
  • Residents earning a low income
  • Students & Youth (residents under 21 years old)
  • Families with young children
  • Seniors (residents over 65 years old)
  • Residents experiencing homelessness or near-homelessness
  • Business owners and operators, employers
  • Residents with disabilities
  • Residents living outside Fort Collins, but within the Growth Management Area

How much funding is available, and how can we use the grant funds?

Individual organizations may request up to $5,000 in funding to support their involvement in the Community Partner Grant program. Coalitions of two or more organizations may request up to $7,000. We recognize that Community Partners know their communities best, so funds can be used flexibly to support the types of events and gatherings that will best engage underrepresented groups in the City Plan process.

Funding can be used for both direct costs and staff time required to attend trainings, plan, and attend gatherings. Examples of possible funding uses include planning, space rental, food, childcare, translation, coordination, participation incentives, materials, and more.

We have allocated $35,000-$40,000 from the overall City Plan budget to support the Community Partner Grant program, and anticipate providing funding to 6-8 different community organizations/nonprofit partners. This funding was specifically identified in the City Plan budget to support equity and inclusion in the City Plan process. The final number and amount of grants will depend on the applications received.

My organization would be a great fit for this! What do we need to do?

Community Partner organizations will participate in the City Plan process over the next 10 months or so. The exact amount of preparation time required will depend on the types of gatherings you plan, but we estimate that attending trainings, completing required documentation/paperwork, and hosting gatherings will require approximately 30 hours total in addition to prep time.

It’s easy to get started!

  1. First of all, apply below!! We will be accepting applications until February 16, 2018 February 23, 2018. City staff will contact selected Community Partners by the end of February.

  2. Attend two training sessions. Training for Community Partners will only take about 5 hours total and will take place on two dates (TBD) in late February/early March 2018.

  3. Host 3 gatherings (1-2 hours each) over the course of the next 8-9 months. We encourage creative events and discussions that will best engage your audience. These gatherings do not have to follow a traditional meeting format.

    • March 2018: You will host your first gathering to share and discuss the community vision for the future of Fort Collins.

    • May/June 2018: This gathering will focus on scenarios for achieving the community vision

    • Oct/Nov 2018: The final gathering will explore the actual policies and implementation of City Plan.

After each of your gatherings, we will ask you to share notes and input from your conversation. The input we receive after each meeting will help shape the direction of the next stage in the planning process. It will also help us understand the issues our community is facing, our shared goals, and which approaches we could take to achieve a community vision for the future.

How will the City select Community Partners?

We will select Community Partners whose applications demonstrate the ability and capacity to engage people who are usually underrepresented in planning and other City processes. Selection criteria will include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Demonstrated connection to underrepresented groups – for example – lower-income residents, seniors, youth, Hispanic/Latinx residents, Black/African American residents, LGBTQ residents, residents with disabilities, etc.
  • Ability to successfully recruit participants and do grassroots, community-based outreach
  • Organizational capacity to plan, coordinate, and implement a 10-month outreach process
  • Alignment of this grant opportunity with organization’s existing work and/or mission
  • Creativity of engagement approach; tailored to best engage the organization’s participants
  • Feasibility of the successful implementation of the proposal

The City Plan Outreach and Engagement Working Group will review applications and provide recommendations to City staff for grant awards. Staff will contact selected Community Partners by the end of February, 2018.

Thank you for your interest. We can’t wait to start planning the city’s future with you!

Questions? Contact the City Plan team at or 970.416.2283.

CLOSED: This survey has concluded.