Gates Family Foundation


Contact Information


The purpose of the foundation is to enhance the quality of life of those who live and work in Colorado through activities that promote broad education, self-sufficiency, connection to nature and cultural appreciation.

Funding Interests

The foundation's environmental interests currently focus on urban and mountain parks and U.S. Forest Service trail systems. Many of its investments center on encouraging recreation and healthy lifestyles. The foundation also partners with land conservation organizations to protect strategic landscapes through the purchase of conservation easements or outright purchase of property.

Geographic Focus

Colorado with special attention to the Denver metropolitan area.

Types of Support

Capital projects.

Grant Size

$7000 to $200000

Requirements & Limitations

The foundation generally does not support the following:

  • Loans, grants or scholarships to individuals, or loans to organizations;
  • Make grants for projects that have been completed prior to the next trustees' meeting;
  • Make grants for conferences, meetings or studies that are not initiated by the trustees;
  • Make grants to other foundations or organizations engaged in grant making;
  • Grant funds to retire operating debt; and
  • Make grants for the purchase of vehicles or office equipment.


Application Process

Prior to submitting a proposal, many applicants find it useful to call a program officer of the foundation to review the substance of the proposed project. Alternatively, applicants may put an initial inquiry in writing by sending a short narrative (item C in the Common Grant Application). If the information in the narrative appears to dovetail with the major current interests of the foundation, staff will request a proposal. The foundation has specific guidelines for proposals; therefore, applicants should use the Common Grant Application which is available on-line.


The board of trustees meets quarterly. Proposals are generally due by January 15, April 1, July 1 and October 1.

Recent Grants

Grant 1

Grantee: Palmer Foundation, Denver, CO
Amount: $36000
Purpose: First payment of a $90,000 commitment toward the purchase of a conservation easement on the Johnston Ranch.<br><br>

Grant 2

Grantee: Sand Creek Regional Greenway Partnership, Denver, CO<br>
Amount: $250000

Final payment of a $750,000 commitment toward the Sand Creek Regional Greenway.

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