As 2020 is a year like no other, this year’s Get Grounded Foundation grant cycle was like no other. We launched the private 501(c )3 five years ago and I have participated in eight different grant selection committee meetings since 2015. The 9th grant selection committee meeting was very different. While it is always difficult to narrow down the list of deserving nonprofits, this year we had more than double the number of applicants requesting three times the typical grant request. And they were all deserving – organizations doing difficult work as the world continues its battle to contain the novel coronavirus pandemic, volunteers are in short supply due to social distancing, economic uncertainty is driving funding decisions and the uncertainty of the election hangs in the air.
Our Foundation is funded from agency profits of GroundFloor Media (GFM) and our sister agency, CenterTable. In the last five years, we have been able to distribute nearly $200,000 in community grants and we had planned to maintain our level of giving in 2020 to support existing programs that provide for at-risk or neglected youth between the ages of 3 and 15 in the Denver area.
As a business leader trying to decide between donating to the community or laying off or placing team members on furlough, it weighs on you. However, in late March, Ramonna Robinson and I made the decision to keep our commitment to both the community and to our team members and to find ways to cut expenses in other areas to keep this commitment. In early April, we made the decision to donate $12,000 to the COVID Relief Fund as well as provide several emergency grants requested by our former grantees. In October we were able to provide $30,000 to 12 outstanding local community programs that are getting a new or innovative program off the “ground floor” in the areas of child abuse and neglect, youth behavioral health and/or childhood hunger relief.
If you have a minute, read a bit about our new grantees. These represent a small sample of the people in our community making a difference in the lives of others. And if you know of a deserving organization that might be eligible for a Get Grounded grant, mark 5 p.m. MT on Monday, Aug. 9, 2021 on your calendar as that is the next deadline for submitting grant applications. You can find more details on the Get Grounded section of our website.
In addition to the grants, Jim Licko and I launched a new podcast – Good and Grounded – where we have quick and candid conversations with Colorado leaders about the issues we’re facing as a community with a focus on how to best support Colorado nonprofits and small businesses during this turbulent time. Give a listen and subscribe. If you know of a Colorado leader taking a stand, drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to talk more.
2020 Get Grounded Foundation Grant Recipients
Each of our grantees are selected after careful consideration from our grant review committee to ensure they meet the specific criteria set out in the Get Grounded Foundation process. Below is some additional background on each of the grant recipients.
A Precious Child
A Precious Child assists children and families facing difficult life challenges such as abuse and neglect, crisis situations and poverty. It works with more than 440 Agency Partners throughout eight Denver metro counties to identify children and families in the most need of their services.
Get Grounded Foundation Grant Awarded: Funds will help A Precious Child’s Empowerment Center develop an individualized take-home kit for parents of children up to 12-years-old containing age-appropriate resources to help them support their child’s social-emotional development.
Lives enriched and transformed through encounters with the arts, Augustana Arts gathers community, supports the arts, and delights the spirit through performance, education and engagement.
Get Grounded Foundation Grant Awarded: Funds will be used to launch City Strums the newest addition to Augustana Arts youth music education program, including instrument and music acquisition, and outreach to schools and community centers serving low-income children.
Children’s Farms of America
Children’s Farms of America is dedicated to helping local neighborhoods establish small-scale farms where kids learn to grow and sell healthy food.
Get Grounded Foundation Grant Awarded: Funds will be used toimplement gardening and nutritional education programming, in the Montbello neighborhood, that is consistent with COVID-19 restrictions as well as a spring break and summer wellness camp for children experiencing hunger.
CMDance strives to build healthy, thriving communities through world-class arts education programs that bring the global culture of both solo and partnered vernacular dancing to youth and adults.
Get Grounded Foundation Grant Awarded: Funds will be used to produce digital dance instruction for in-school programs.
Denver City Lax
Denver City Lax creates opportunities for youth in underserved neighborhoods by providing access to lacrosse and then engaging participants in year-round lacrosse training, academic guidance and enrichment experiences.
Get Grounded Foundation Grant Awarded: Funds will be used for two, five-week sessions for three age groups: elementary, middle and high school students for help with reading, writing, problem solving/financial literacy programs — combined with lacrosse training.
Developmental FX works to transform the lives of children and families affected by neurodevelopmental disorders so they can live to their fullest potential. The mission of Developmental FX is to prepare children with developmental differences for a bright future of engaged belonging by equipping them, their families, therapists and teachers via innovative programs in Colorado and around the world.
Get Grounded Foundation Grant Awarded: Funds will provide seed funding to expand the program to serve 60 children ages 6-15 and their families with in-home visits and other touch points with their caregivers and teachers over the course of a year.
Extended Hands of Hope
Extended Hands of Hope offers safe housing and supportive services to sex trafficking survivors, empowering them to move forward with hope and dignity. “Simply Good” is EHH’s social enterprise consisting of homemade bath and body scrubs created by youth survivors of trafficking. Simply Good exists to provide job training skills, empower trafficking survivors, and act as a sustainable revenue source for the organization.
Get Grounded Foundation Grant Awarded: Funds will support the Simply Good social enterprise program including material costs, packaging and marketing of the products and promotion.
Food for Thought
Food for Thought Denver strives to eliminate weekend hunger for children in the Denver area by providing food Powersacks. Doing so allows them to contribute more positively to their school environment and the communities in which they live, regardless of economic and social class. They believe that no child should go hungry.
Get Grounded Foundation Grant Awarded: Funds will be used to purchase food to fill the Food for Thought bags for the more than 10,000 students to take home every Friday.
Hunger Free Colorado
Hunger Free Colorado leads efforts to connect families and individuals to food resources and fuel change in systems, policies and social views, so no Coloradan goes hungry. Hunger Free Colorado brings a unified, statewide voice to the issue and solutions surrounding hunger, with a goal to ensure all Coloradans have access to affordable, nutritious food.
Get Grounded Foundation Grant Awarded: Funds will be used to connect families in high-need immigrant communities, through the outreach work of promotoras, with child nutrition programs.
PlatteForum was founded in 2002 to provide opportunities for learning through the arts to Denver’s most vulnerable youth and expand public access to programming high in artistic excellence. The in-depth, curriculum-based arts education experiences meet state educational standards and are provided over an extended period of time to allow for long-term relationships between youth, staff and professional artists.
Get Grounded Foundation Grant Awarded: Funds will be used to supportLiteracy Through the Arts, which are professional artist-led workshops that blend art, writing and literary skills to engage K-8 youth participants.
STAR Institute’s mission is to improve quality of life across the lifespan by promoting sensory health and wellness; generating research that helps us understand sensory processing; treatment that pioneers best-practice interventions throughout the lifespan; and education that shares what we know with practitioners, educators, advocates and parents.
Get Grounded Foundation Grant Awarded: Funds will be used to support low-income children 3-15 years of age who have sensory processing challenges, and their families in therapeutic groups.
Tennyson Center for Children
Foster Together recently joined Tennyson as one of its programs, allowing the organization to provide a wider range of supports and services to foster families, especially in light of escalating community needs with COVID-19. In just a few short years, Foster Together has built an inspiring base of support and assisted 170 foster families with 250 children in solidifying their relationships and in helping families maintain stability and permanence.