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. 

Spring 2022 Giving Project Application is NOW OPEN! Apply by 12/16/2021 by 12 PM MST to be considered for the next cohort.

The Giving Project

Spring Giving Project launches in January 2022. RSVP below for a LIVE info session via Zoom or view an archived Information Session here. Please contact Barclay Jones, Program Manager, at for more information. 

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.

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.

How do I join? 

Attend an Information Session: Access our slide deck here. View an archived Information Session here

Info Session Dates:

  • 10/26, 12:00 – 1:30 pm
  • 10/26, 6:00 – 7:30 pm
  • 11/9, 12:00 – 1:30 pm
  • 11/30, 6:00 – 7:30 pm

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 approximately 25 members with 3 alternates for each cycle.

When you apply to join a Giving Project or Grant Making Committee (GMC), 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. Click the title of the specific Giving Project you are interested in to download a PDF of the program dates.

Fall 2021: Online Grant Making Committee (GMC)

  • 10/16/2021 – Laying the Groundwork (Sat. 9a-1p)
  • 11/13/2021 – Social Justice Giving (Sat. 9a-1p)
  • 12/11/2021 – Screening Applications Round 1 (Sat. 9a-1p)
  • 12/14/2021 – Screening Applications Round 2 (Tue. 6p-9p)
  • 2/12/2022 – Final Decisions Round 1 (Sat. 9a-1p)
  • 2/18/2022 – Final Decisions Round 2 (Sat. 9a-1p)*
  • 3/1/2022 – Evaluate & Celebrate (Tue. 6p-9p)

Spring 2022: Online Giving Project

  • 1/8/2022 – Laying the Groundwork (Sat. 10a-1p)
  • 1/18/2022 – Introduction to Philanthropy (Tue. 6p-9p)
  • 1/29/2022 – Understanding Race & Class, part 1 (Sat. 9a-1p)
  • 2/5/2022 – Understanding Race & Class, part 2 (Sat. 9a-1p)
  • 2/22/2022 – Grassroots Fundraising 101 (Tue. 6p-9p)
  • 3/19/2022 – Social Justice Giving (Sat. 9a-1p)
  • 4/5/2022 – Meet the Changemakers (Tues. 6p-9p)
  • 4/23/2022 – Screening Applications Round 1 (Sat. 9a-1p)*
  • 4/26/2022 – Screening Applications Round 2 (Tue. 6p-9p)
  • 6/4/2022 – Final Decisions Round 1 (Sat. 9a-1p) *
  • 6/7/2022 – Final Decisions Round 2 (Tue. 6p-9p) *
  • 6/21/2022 – Evaluate & Celebrate (Tue. 6p-9p)

*Chinook Fund is committed to keeping digital meetings under 4 hours. Because we use a consensus process, some decision meetings may need to go longer or require an additional session depending on the cohort’s deliberation needs.

Members of our Online Giving Project and GMC will also be asked to preview materials, view webinars, and possibly complete additional assignments to ensure that our time spent together is as productive and engaging as possible.

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 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

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.

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.