The Giving Project brings together a cross-class cohort of people who are passionate about social change and interested in developing new skills in fundraising, grantmaking, and community building.

The Giving Project

Join our Giving Project

The Giving Project is an innovative new model for funding social change, building community, and leadership development. It brings together a multiracial, cross-class group of people who are passionate about social change and interested in building their skills in fundraising, grantmaking, and community building. Participants work together to raise and grant money to 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 cross-class, multiracial 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 Funds’ staff will train you in grassroots fundraising and provide lots of support.
  • Each member is trained in Chinook Funds’ democratic grantmaking process. As a participant, you will read and score proposals, participate in site visits, 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. You could have wealth, you could be low-income – it doesn’t matter. 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 lines of race and class.
  • You are ready to take on a challenging and transformative experience for the next 6 months.

The Giving Project will be a multi-racial, cross-class cohort. LGBTQ-identified people, people of color, and low-wealth 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 for the 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 the next Giving Project cohort which will begin in July 2017.

  • 7/9/2017 – Introduction (9a-5p)
  • 7/22-7/23/2017 – Racial Justice & Class Analysis (10a-5p; 10a-5p)
  • 8/2/2017 – Grantee Panel (5-8p)
  • 8/15/2017 – Fundraising Training (5:30-9p)
  • 8/26/2017 – Grantmaking Training (10a-5p)
  • 9/24/2017– Screening Applications (10a-5p)*
  • 9/25-11/17/2017 – Site Visits
  • 11/18/2017 – Final Decisions (10a-5p)*
  • 12/5/2017 – Celebrate and Evaluate Giving Project (6-9p)

*The meets on these days are scheduled to end at 5:00pm. However, because we are using a consensus process to make big decisions, there may be a chance that we run later.

The best way to get connected to The Giving Project is to attend an information session. Please RSVP below!

Check out our video to learn more about Chinook Fund and our new endeavor in our video below.

The selection process consists of an application and one in-person interview. Here’s how to apply:

Step 1: We recommend you attend an information session. You will meet Chinook Fund staff and volunteers who are working on The Giving Project, learn more about the model, and get your questions answered in-person before applying. Sign up for an info session here.

Step 2: If you are unable to attend an information session and would like to learn more, please fill out the online application in the next tab.

Step 3: We will reach out to you to join us for an in-person interview.

Step 4: After our one on one interview, we will send you a registration link for you to fill out. We will notify you about whether you have been selected for the upcoming Giving Project or have been placed on a waiting list for a future cohort.

The Giving Project Interest Form

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 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.

Is childcare available?

Yes. Chinook Fund is committed to providing childcare for the 8 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 Funds’ 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 its 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.