Organizations and Focus Areas of Funding: The Telluride Foundation awards annual grants to nonprofits and local governmental entities serving people living or working in San Miguel County, including Rico and Ouray and West Montrose counties. Grants are awarded in seven focus areas: Arts & Culture, Early Childhood Development, Education, Athletics, Health, Human Services, and Environment & Animals.

Current Types of Support: Grants may be submitted annually for general operating, existing and new programs and projects, conferences and seminars, consulting services, matching funds, technical assistance, and start-up funds. One request from multiple organizations to support a collaborative project is also accepted.

Current Restrictions: The Foundation does not fund debt reduction or retiring past operating deficits, fellowships or other grants to individuals, loans, non-educational publications, litigation, political campaigns, operating support for organizations that conduct lobbying or political action campaigns, economic development, endowment funds, religious organizations for religious purposes, graduate and post-graduate research or candidates seeking political office.

Grant Amounts: Grants fall generally in the range of $500 to $40,000 and depend on the funds available for distribution in any given year as well as the nature of each request. If you received a grant in the prior year and you intend to ask for more than you received previously, you should support your new larger request with significant data or reasons to support the requested increase.

Ask if you are not sure: If you have a new grant request that you wish to apply for funding but you are unsure if it fits into the types of programs the Foundation supports, please contact April Montgomery at We are happy to talk through your request to determine if it is a good fit.

First Time Applicants: First time applicants are strongly encouraged to participate in the Foundation’s annual grant webinar to learn more about the application process. First time applicants are also encouraged to reach out to April at to discuss their application prior to submission.

Applicant Eligibility Requirements: The Telluride Foundation will consider grant applications from organizations meeting the following eligibility requirements:

  • Conduct activities and programs consistent with the Foundation’s mission of enriching the quality of life of the residents, visitors and workforce of the Telluride region.
  • Serve people living or working in San Miguel, Ouray, West Montrose counties and Rico.
  • Qualify as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization under the Internal Revenue Code or operate as a local government or one of their subsidiaries.

Applicants without 501(c)( 3) status, but which have applied to the IRS for such status, may apply. A receipt letter from the IRS of application is required at time of application. However, if awarded a grant, funds will not be released to the organization until the 501(c)(3) status has been conferred.

Applicants without 501(c)(3) status, but which are operating under an organization qualified as a 501(c)(3) may apply separately if they have their own advisory board and have the written consent of the qualified organization. In that case, the application must contain a letter of agreement between the two organizations which sets forth the responsibilities of each. An operating relationship is one in which two organizations have an ongoing or intended relationship with each other. In no case shall the organization holding the 501(c)(3) status charge the other organization a fee for acting as the fiscal agent of more than 8% of the total grant awarded.

Review Criteria: The Grants Committee uses the following criteria to review applications. These criteria are not exclusive, and the Committee and Board of Directors reserves the right to use its own best judgment when making final grant award decisions. Priority is given to:

  • Well-run, financially sound organizations. For example, strong board participation and stable management, diverse sources of revenues and earned income opportunities.
  • Organizations whose mission and proposed project addresses a current and proven public need for people living and/or working in the Telluride Foundation’s service area.
  • Applicants that demonstrate strong community support for their organization, its mission and projects. For example, broad and diverse community funding sources and the utilization of a wide range of community resources; the number of diverse participants in involved in program, project or organization, including local residents serving on their board.
  • Organizations that show an effective and efficient delivery of program services. For example, greater than 60% of the organization expenses are spent on program services.

Submitting your Application: All Applicants must submit their grant application using the Telluride Foundation’s Grants Portal. You are welcome to download a pdf version of the Grant Application Questions to help you prepare, but paper submissions are not accepted.

  1. Applicants are strongly encouraged to participate in the Grant Application Webinar which is offered annually. The link to sign up for the live version or to watch the replay is on the community grants webpage.
  2. All required attachments must be uploaded electronically and submitted with your application. All attachments must be in PDF file formats.
  3. A Project Budget Detail Form should be completed and uploaded as an attachment if the organization request is NOT for general operating funds.
  4. Applicants may submit two grant applications only if one is a capital request.
  5. All applicants must measure, and report specified outcome indicators as provided for each grant category. Outcome indicator results must be provided in your annual Progress Report, and you should be prepared to start measuring if you receive a grant. Outcome indicators are listed on the community grants webpage.

Progress reports: are required from each Organization who receives a grant award. Progress reports are due January 31st, after the end of the year in which funding was provided and must be uploaded through the Foundation’s grant application portal. Successful completion of past progress reports will be considered when reviewing new grant applications.

Survey: Organizations awarded a grant in the prior year’s grant cycle are required to participate in an annual anonymous grantee survey. A link to the survey will be sent to every applicant within your grant notification email.

Financial Aid Applicants: Organizations seeking funding for financial aid/scholarships for their programming must include their participant application form, financial aid form and financial aid criteria (including sliding scale if applicable). The Grants Committee will only fund grants for financial aid/scholarships that are limited to recipients who are low-income, qualify for Free & Reduced Lunch, or demonstrate other strong evidence of need.

Child Care Providers: Funding is awarded to providers using Colorado Shines and Teaching Strategies Gold. Please see Child Care Quality Rating System for further information.  For early childhood programs serving birth to pre-K in San Miguel County, the Foundation now works with San Miguel County’s Strong Start Program, a tax-payer initiative to improve access, availability, and quality of early childhood care and education; early childcare programs in San Miguel County should apply for funding through Strong Start and not the Foundation.  Programs not in San Miguel County may still apply for a Community Grant.

Multi-Year Requests: Although most grants are made for one-year time periods, the Grants Committee will consider multi-year requests. The number of organizations awarded a multi-year grant, and the amount awarded is at the sole discretion of the Grants Committee. Click Multi-Year Grant Guidelines for more information and to obtain a Multi-Year form to include in your application.

Capital Requests : Capital costs are defined as those expenditures associated with the construction of any building or edifice, including costs related to preliminary studies, overhead, planning and design costs, architectural fees, engineering fees and any other so called “soft cost” including development, fundraising and other initial costs of a capital campaign. Capital requests can also cover the cost of large depreciable equipment. Once a nonprofit is awarded a capital grant, they are not eligible to apply for additional capital funding for four years. Click Capital Grant Guidelines for more information.

Technical Assistance Grants: Applicants may also apply for technical assistance support which can be used to improve operational efficiencies. You may request technical assistance support as part of your grant application. There is no additional application required. The Grants Committee may also offer an applicant a technical assistance grant rather than – or in addition to, a cash grant award.

Acknowledgment: The Telluride Foundation is honored to support many community nonprofits. We ask that you acknowledge our support of your important work whenever appropriate. At a minimum, we require that:

  • Grantee acknowledges the Telluride Foundation in all announcements, promotions, and other appropriate material stating: “This activity/event/organization is supported by a grant from the Telluride Foundation.”
  • Grantee agrees to include the Telluride Foundation logo in all brochures, notices, signs, and plaques that recognize funders at events or on facilities. Please contact for a copy of the Telluride Foundation logo.

Audited Financials: Organizations that receive a grant of $20,000 or more must submit audited financials or be prepared to seek an outside financial review if requested by the Grants Committee during the year they are funded.

Year Off: Applicants are requested to take a year off from applying for Telluride Foundation grant support once every five years. Foundation staff and the Grants Committee may make exceptions for emergency/hardship situations or for well-run organizations that are unable to meet best financial performance metrics due to size, service area, or constituents served. Please contact if you would like to be considered for an exception.

Our Commitment to Justice, Equity, Diversion, & Inclusion (JEDI):  Please note that at the Foundation, we are committed to serving our entire community and following JEDI best practices.  We expect the same of our grant recipients and read your responses to our JEDI grant application question very carefully. We encourage all grant applicants to read and consider the Foundation’s DEI Self-Assessment.

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