The Giving Project brings together a diverse cohort of people from all income levels who are passionate about social change and interested in developing new skills in fundraising, grantmaking, and community building.
The Giving Project
Chinook Fund is proud to collaborate with 6 other community foundations and justice funders in the national development of this innovative philanthropy model. The Giving Project brings together a diverse group of people at all income levels who are passionate about social change and want to strengthen their skills in fundraising, grantmaking, and community building. Participants work together to deepen their understanding of social justice principles in order to support grassroots organizations that build power for social change in Colorado.
How does the Giving Project work?
The Giving Project is a process. It requires a commitment of your time, talent, and resources over a period of six months. The basic Giving Project structure is:
- A diverse group of up to 25 individuals commits to gathering 9 times over the course of 6 months.
- Through workshops and trainings, the group develops a shared understanding of race, class, and power within society.
- Each person makes a meaningful financial gift — whatever that means for you.
- Each person commits to fundraising from their friends, family, and community to support the financial goal of the group. Chinook Fund’s staff will train you in grassroots fundraising and provide plenty of support.
- Each member is trained in Chinook Fund’s democratic grantmaking process. As a participant, you will read and score proposals, participate in site visits, write site visit reports, make collective decisions, and grant money to some of the most inspiring, effective social change work in Colorado.
Who should apply?
Anyone. You do not have to know anything about nonprofits, philanthropy, or fundraising. There is no minimum (or maximum) amount you have to donate or raise as an individual. You should apply if:
- You want to make a difference about issues of injustice in Colorado.
- You want to learn how to fundraise, make grants, and expand your network.
- You are passionate about building community across race and class lines.
- You are ready to take on a challenging and transformative experience for the next 6 months.
The Giving Project will be a diverse group. LGBTQ-identified people, people of color, and low-income individuals are especially encouraged to apply.
Giving Project meeting dates are set and final. All meetings will take place at Chinook Fund’s office at the Posner Center (in Northeast Denver).
When you apply to join a Giving Project, you are committing to all of these dates and must identify any potential conflicts. If you have more than one conflict with these dates, please consider applying for a different cycle.
- 1/11/2020 – Laying the Groundwork (Sat. 10a-5p)
- 1/25-1/26/2020 – Understanding Race & Class (Sat. & Sun. 10a-5p)
- 2/4/2020 – Grassroots Fundraising 101 (Tues. 5:30-9p)
- 3/7/2020 – Social Justice Giving (Sat. 10a-5p)
- 4/11/2020 – Screening Applications (Sat. 9a-5p)*
- 4/14-5/31/2019 – Site Visits
- 4/21/2020 – Meet the Changemakers (Tues. 5:30-8p)
- 6/6/2020 – Final Decisions (Sat. 9a-5p)*
- 6/16/2020 – Evaluate & Celebrate (Tues. 6-9p)
- 9/12/2020 – Laying the Groundwork (Sat. 10a-5p)
- 9/22/2020 – Introduction to Philanthropy (Tue 5:30-9p)
- 10/3/2020 – Understanding Race & Class, part 1 (Sat. 10a-5p)
- 10/10/2020 – Understanding Race & Class, part 2 (Sat. 10a-5p)
- 10/27/2020 – Grassroots Fundraising 101 (Tues. 5:30-9p)
- 11/7/2020 – Social Justice Giving (Sat. 10a-5p)
- 11/17/2020 – Meet the Changemakers (Tues. 5:30-9p)
- 12/12/2020– Screening Applications (Sun. 9a-5p)*
- 12/15/2020-2/8/2021 – Site Visits
- 2/13/2021 – Final Decisions (Sat. 9a-5p)*
- 3/2/2021 – Evaluate & Celebrate (Tue. 6-9p)
*The meetings on these days are scheduled to end at 5:00pm. However, because we use a consensus process to make big decisions, we may run later if everyone agrees to stay late.
Want to join?
Attend an Information Session. You can RSVP below. You’ll learn about Chinook Fund, our grant making work, and The Giving Project program in detail. If you are unable to attend any Information Sessions, select “I can’t attend but want to learn more”—we’ll get in touch! All our Information Sessions are digitally accessible.
Apply. After attending an Information Session, you can fill out an application here. Our application collects demographic information and experience level, which allows us to select program members for diversity.
Interview. After receiving your application, a Chinook Fund representative will reach out to you for an interview. It’s a great opportunity to ask questions, connect with our community, and get clear on the commitments, timelines, and goals.
Chinook Fund accepts applicants using an equity framework on a rolling basis. Any applicants who are not selected within 2 weeks of their interview are placed on a waiting list until recruitment for the cohort ends. Those who were not admitted are first tier candidates for future Giving Projects.
Chinook Fund can admit 25 members with 3 alternates for each cycle.
Our Giving Project members are building the movement! Thanks to their outstanding passion for justice and their dedicated collective effort, the Giving Project has strategically moved hundreds of thousands of dollars and activated hundreds of new donors to support change, not charity.
Fall 2019 Giving Project
Spring 2019 Giving Project
Melanie Herrera Bortz
Fall 2018 Grantmaking Committee
Spring 2018 Giving Project
Fall 2017 Giving Project
Spring 2017 Giving Project
Katie Terrazas Hoover
David B. Weaver
Fall 2016 Giving Project
Spring 2016 Giving Project
Through your meaningful gift, Chinook Fund will continue to direct resources to improving schools, housing, criminal justice reform, living wage jobs, immigrant rights, and so many other pressing issues that are improving the lives of Coloradans from all walks of life.
We invite you to join us. Chinook Fund is a 501(c)3 charitable organization. Contributions to Chinook Fund are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.
This group funds diverse organizations engaged in all types of social justice community organizing across Colorado. Giving Project volunteers will make all grantmaking decisions independently. It is our firm belief that by having community members manage the grantmaking process, Chinook Fund is able to fund movements which are most relevant to the community.
Each Giving Project participant will submit an online application and have an in-person interview conversation with a member of the Giving Project leadership team. We are looking for people who can commit to all meetings in the process, have the time and capacity to fully invest in the cohort experience, and meet our overall goals for cohort diversity. We especially encourage people of color and LGBTQ-identified people to apply, and are looking for individuals from various class backgrounds.
Yes. Chinook Fund is committed to providing childcare for the 9 meetings as part of the program. If you require childcare, please tell us during the application process.
The Giving Project participants will use Chinook Fund’s longstanding funding criteria to select grantees. We are committed to funding organizational efforts that change systems of injustice within Colorado. For grantees, nothing will change in our process or funding guidelines.
Frankly, most people do. Most of us feel intensely uncomfortable asking for money. There are a lot of reasons for that, which every Giving Project group will explore in our fundraising training. We will help you learn how to ask for money effectively and to feel good about it, knowing you are engaging in powerful action for social change. It’s not just about fundraising; Giving Project participants become donor organizers – leveraging their own donations to bring in the donations of others and help build power for those working for long-term social change. We just ask every participant in every Giving Project to challenge themselves, which will mean different things for different people.
We will train participants in grassroots fundraising. This means having conversations with people in your network one-to-one (or virtually) about their values and making a direct ask. We are not using online platforms like GoFundMe or crowd-sourced fundraising. The purpose of this is to build skills around relational fundraising, which is the most challenging—and yet still the most effective—type of fundraising.
· Tell others about the Giving Project! We need your help to get the word out.
· Be willing to be fundraised. We need a list of supporters willing to have one-to-one conversations with our Giving Project participants that would be “easy asks.”
· Donate. In order to make Giving Projects work, we need financial support from people who love the idea and the work but can’t be involved themselves. You can choose to donate to the Giving Project or to the Chinook Fund’s general fund.