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The Giving Project

Chinook Fund’s democratized grantmaking brings together a diverse cohort of people from all income levels who are passionate about social change and interested in developing in fundraising, grantmaking, and community building. Through The Giving Project and our Grantmaking Committee (GMC), we are committed to resourcing emerging social justice leaders across Colorado. 

Previous Giving Project Cohort


Apply to be a Member

Info Sessions

Chinook Fund is proud to collaborate with ten 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.

We are now recruiting members for our Fall 2024 Giving Project cohort! Applications are due by August 27th.

Join us for a Zoom info session to learn more about the Giving Project:

August 10th, 2024 – 12:30pm – 2:00pm MT

The Fall 2024 Giving Project begins on September 7th and runs until February 11th.

Please contact Barclay Jones, Program Manager, at for more information about this program.


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 12 times online 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; learn how to fundraise, make grants, and expand your network; are passionate about building community across race and class lines; and are ready to take on a challenging and transformative experience for 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.

Our Members

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.

Spring 2023 Giving Project

Denise Gomez
Derek George
Elizabeth Reyes
Erin Hayes
Hallie Nelson
Hazel Shapiro
Jessica Ramos
LaQuisha Washington
Marine Brichard
Max Chen
Michelle Sykes
Pilar Athaide-Victor
Sarah Kaplan Gould
Savanna Hanson
Star Lee
Vonna Wolf / Gallegos

Fall 2022 Giving Project

Monica Alvidrez
Stacy Cavanaugh
Hadassah Damien
Shannon Fitzpatrick
Elizabeth Friedl
Emma Goldman
Madeleine Grigg
Raeneice Ivory
Stephanie Perez-Carrillo
Melia Polynice
Deserea Richards
Shelby Swan
John Tiedemann
Sheila Wheeler
Vonna Wolf / Gallegos

Spring 2022 Giving Project

Sarah Bucci
Betsy Craft
Sara Fleming
Kierra Goosby
Elise Goss-Alexander
Raegan Haefele
Seyanna Hitt
Lauren Howe
Jaime Marston Cook
Blaine Martinez
Elise Matatall
Jillian McCarten
Olivia Milsted
Octavia Morgan
Marty Otanez
Antonio Rangel
Mara Steinhaus
Michele Stillwell-Parvensky
Anna Sutterer
Kellie Thompson
Celi Torres
Rosa Marie Vergil Garcia

Spring 2021 Giving Project

Dee Arias
Shelby Bates
Molly Delandsheer
Mika Emrich
Amy Engelman
Allison Finnegan-Kihega
Claudia Garcia Curzio
Rachel Garcia
Sophanite Gedion
Emerald Green
Charlie Haimbaugh
Sydney Hunter
Jillian Laumbacher
Rachel Livingston
Trena Moya
Kelly Pierson
Ihoby Rakotomalala
Laura Schneiter
Jacob Sharkey
Nina Sweeney
Tiya Trent

Fall 2020 Giving Project

Hannah Rose Baker
Lisa Bates
Kristine Burrows
Jocelyn Corbett
Joe Dorn
Richard Eveleigh
Elizabeth Franz
Justin Franzen
Vince Hostak
Hana Low
Maureen Maycheco
Isabel Munoz
Aisha Rios
Joanna Rotkin
Hanna Julaine Scarince
Ian Sharkey
Kyra Shields
Raisa Slutsky-Moore
Jackie Tran
Alma Urbano
Adam Vinueza
Waeli Wang
Adam Wright

Spring 2020 Giving Project

Alisha Andrews
Regan Byrd
Alison Carlman
Donna Chrisjohn
Shani Christiansen
Dana Coelho
Shakota Dilley
Lindsey Earl
Jeff Erlacher
Megan Gross
Kyron Hamilton
Nicholle Harris
Aryana Ivey
Brian Jan
Sarah Korn
Andrea Moore
Emma Simpkins
Rubea Stouppe
Katie Vega

Fall 2019 Giving Project

Allison Blakeney
Jason Callegari
Kiara Chavez
Amber Cote
Selamawit Gebre
Whitney Henry
Katalin Kenney
Maggie Lea
Morgan Matter
Chris Newton
Thai Nguyen
Raegan Quattlebaum
Lilly Redford
Amanda Seibel
Hamza Syed
Jess Whetsel
Miles Whetsel
Sydney Zorensky

Spring 2019 Giving Project

Leanne Alaman
Benu Amun-Ra
Sarah Boyer
Jeannene Bragg
Riley Cockrell
Angela Daniels
Karla Flemming
Anna Ghublikian
Andrew Greenberg
Katie Haas
Melanie Herrera Bortz
Katelyn Kerker
Mirise LuBell
Riana Mitchell
Sydney Oelerich
Mark Scaggs
Lance Schendorf
Sarah Thomas
LaQuetta Walker
Ashlee Wedgeworth
Cam Welch
Jasmine White
Ariel Zarate

Fall 2018 Grantmaking Committee

Courtney Banayad
VJ Brown
LeRita Cavness
Donovan Cordova
Asia Drews
Lindsay Fallon
Kathleen Ferrick
Davian Gagne
Shannon Hoffman
Gianina Horton
Clarence Mills
Angela Schreffler
Sierra Trujillo
Helen Wolcott

Spring 2018 Giving Project

Becky Aamot
Hanifah Chiku
Asia Drews
Amy Duggan
Jamil Elfahdi
Signe Hawley
Shannon Hoffman
Kathy Messer
Bianca Mikahn
Cassandra O’Neill
Kasandra Ornelas
Jennifer QuinnWilliams
Anna Reusink
Laura Rossmassler
Lydia Ruter
Marissa Saints
Che Sheehan
Emily Wheeland
Jay Wilson

Fall 2017 Giving Project

VJ Brown
Emma Byers
Alma Diamond
Emmett Hobley
Hannah Hostak
Lina Jasinskaite
Roshini Kumar
Jesus Loayza
Sarah Martin
Calvin McCoy
Karina Montero
Celeste Ortega
Kristin Pazulski
Raven Perez
Diana Pineda
Tina Robbins
Sanjay Roberts
Meghan Sivakoff
Sierra Trujillo
Raksha Vasudevan
Emily Weiss

Spring 2017 Giving Project

Melanie Archuleta
Jennifer Bell
Zach Booz
Mary Coleman
Bailey Connor
Cassandra Cordova
Elizabeth Crowe
Erika Daggett
Lindsay Fallon
Neal Feldman
Vikki Fininen
Sachi Ishida
Clarence Mills
Mahi Palanisami
Luis Ponce
Kimiko Tanabe
Katie Terrazas Hoover
Emily Treece
Heather Schreck
Angela Schreffler
Elizabeth Sterling
David B. Weaver

Fall 2016 Giving Project

Jason Barth
Meghan Carrier
LeRita Cavness
Hayden Dansky
Emily Elsenbast
Kathleen Ferrick
Megan Garn
Shay Gonzales
LaRae Martinez
Erik Ortiz
Desirae Salazar-Sarabia
Alyssa Valdez
Brea Zeise

Spring 2016 Giving Project

Theo Ansbacher-Hunt
Erin Atwell
Mekayla Beaver
Debra Brown
Donovan Cordova
Cher Crichlow
Sierra Fleenor
Justin Garoutte
Stephanie Grover
Gianina Horton
Mandy Jesser
Jenn Knipper
Ginnie Logan
Nancy Niero
Brandon Peterson
Ceema Samimi
Amber Wilson
Helen Wolcott

Apply to be a Member

Program Dates

Members can expect about 100 hours of participation time over the program. Approximately 40 hours are spent in live sessions and 60 hours are spent reviewing materials, evaluating grants, and engaging in site visits.

Schedule of Meetings for Fall 2024
All meetings will be held online via Zoom. Times listed are in Mountain Time.
Saturday September 7, 9am-1pm: Laying the Groundwork
Tuesday September 17, 6pm-9pm: Introduction to Philanthropy
Saturday September 28, 9am-1pm: Understanding Race & Class, Part 1
Saturday October 5, 9am-1pm: Understanding Race & Class, Part 2
Saturday October 19, 9am-1pm: Grassroots Fundraising 101
Saturday November 2, 9am-1pm: Social Justice Giving
Tuesday November 12, 6pm-9pm: Meet the Changemakers
Saturday December 7, 9am-1pm: Screening Applications, Part 1
Tuesday December 10, 6pm-9pm: Screening Applications, Part 2
TBD: Site Visits (individually scheduled)
Saturday January 25, 9am-1pm: Final Decisions, Part 1
Tuesday February 4, 6pm-9pm, Final Decisions, Part 2
February 11, 6-9pm: Celebrate and Evaluate

Attend an Info Session

Register Now!

June 18th, 2024 – noon – 1:30pm MT

July 16th, 2024 – 6:00pm – 7:30pm MT

August 10th, 2024 – 12:30pm – 2:00pm MT

Info sessions are hosted via Zoom.

View Info Session slides


Apply. After attending an Information Session, you can fill out a Giving Project member application here.

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 approximately 25 members with 3 alternates for each cycle.

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

How are participants selected?

Each Giving Project participant will submit an online application and have a 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. We admit members on a rolling basis with an emphasis on equity and diversity in philanthropy.

Is childcare available?

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.

What organizations will be funded by the Giving Project?

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.

I’m interested, but I hate asking for money.

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.

What type of fundraising are we doing?

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.

I’m interested, but I just can’t participate this time. How can I support?

· 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.

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