Thank you for your interest in submitting a proposal to The Brian Watson Foundation. The Foundation accepts grant applications any time throughout the year, particularly in the area of people in need. There are no submission deadlines. Before applying for a grant, however, we ask that you verify your eligibility and check to see that your request fits with our funding categories.
Since the Foundation receives more requests than it is able to fund, please read the information provided on this page carefully to decide whether your organization is a good fit with the Foundation's areas of interest.
- If you have questions about whether your proposal fits within our guidelines, please contact our executive director by email or phone.
- Review our funding guidelines (below) to determine whether your proposal matches our funding categories. If you have questions about whether your proposal fits within our guidelines, please contact our executive director by email or phone.
- Apply for a specific grant (this is where they select a category and outline the specifics of their request.)
- Community & Country
- Faith-based Initiatives
- People in Need
- Share program results including measurable outcomes and lessons learned.
The Foundation’s mission is purposely broad, allowing it to support the work of many nonprofits that focus on improving the quality of life for individuals and communities. The bulk of the Foundation’s grants are made in the following categories: helping those in need, enhancing community and country and supporting faith-based initiatives.
Recognizing that organizational infrastructure is a necessity, the Foundation welcomes requests for general operating support and efforts designed to promote increased organizational capacity. The Foundation also accepts requests for specific programs.
Most of our grants support Colorado nonprofit organizations and programs although we do consider applications from outside Colorado if they meet our funding guidelines.
In addition, please note that organizations that have received funding for two consecutive years may be required to take a year off before re-applying .
In general, we look for the following in organizations supported by the Foundation:
- Alignment with the mission and interests of the Foundation.
- Viability, as expressed by the support of other supporters and funders.
- Clearly presented mission, goals, plans and financials for the organization along with measureable outcomes.
- A solid plan that shows leadership’s ability to build and sustain an organization to meet its mission and maintain its finances.
- We prefer that the Foundation fund no more than 10% of an organization’s annual budget.
- A committed board of who support the organization through their own contribution of time, talent or treasurer.
- Strong volunteer participation.
- Community buy-in (evident through donations, volunteer engagement, existing partnerships and collaborative efforts).
- Clear thoughts on how to measure success, and a commitment to continual improvement.
- Effective and inspired leadership.
- A willingness to adjust as progress is made, times change and new ideas and approaches come to the forefront.
The Brian Watson Foundation considers each grant application carefully. In evaluating requests, the Foundation values the following in organizations:
- Identify real problems/needs consistent with our mission and values
- Generally address causes rather than symptoms
- Efficient use of resources including minimizing administrative costs
- Leadership in their field
- Demonstration of best practices
- Collaboration with other organizations
- Directors or Trustees who regularly contribute to the organization
- Design, develop and deliver measurable and manageable solutions
To Start a New Application
All requests must be in writing and contain the following information:
- Concise history/accomplishments of requesting organization.
- Amount of request and brief description of the program or purpose for which funding will be used.
- Population(s) to be served.
- List of board members and executive officers.
- Other financial resources available.
- Copy of 501(c)3 IRS Determination Letter.
- Copy of last two years' audited financial statements.
- 2 to 3 letters of recommendation.
The foundation discourages lengthy proposals with multiple attachments. If additional information is required, you will be contacted.
Grant Reporting Requirements
All grantees are expected to submit a report back to the Brian Watson Foundation with details about the impact and results of the program funded. The Report is due either at the of the year or at a pre-determined reporting time.
The Foundation asks grantees to report on results/outcomes, lessons learned, future plans, and financials. If a grantee has evaluation materials that document outcomes, those materials may be used in response to some of the questions.
Grantees may submit their report electronically to our Executive Director who will share the report with the Advisory Board. Please contact us if you have any questions on how to do so.