Call for Big Ideas in Golden (B.I.G.) Grant Applications

MARCH 18, 2022 – The Golden Civic Foundation (Foundation), today announced the opportunity for Golden-based non-profit organizations to submit applications for the annual Big Ideas in Golden (B.I.G.) Grant Program. The B.I.G. Grant will support community projects that will make a BIG and lasting impact on the Golden community. Project applications must be submitted by May 16, 2022 to be considered for the 2022 B.I.G. Grant. One B.I.G. Grant will be selected to be the beneficiary at the Foundation’s annual Gala Paddle Raise and the funding amount is contingent upon total funds raised at this fundraiser (which has ranged from $20,000 to $76,000 for past Paddle Raise project beneficiaries).

“Our goal with the B.I.G. Grant Program is to provide a straightforward way for the community to better inform our work ‘For the Good of Golden’,” said Greg Poulos, Board Director and B.I.G. Ideas Committee Chair for the Foundation. “We want to hear directly from our local community about viable projects that will materially improve the quality of life for our residents and visitors for many years to come.”

In alignment with the Foundation’s founding purpose to “to operate for the charitable and civic purposes for the citizens and residents of the City of Golden,” the Foundation is asking Golden-based non-profit organizations to submit proposals for projects that most likely will not be addressed by local, City of Golden tax funds and that will improve the quality of life for a broad base of the Golden community. “Shovel-ready,” brick and mortar projects are preferred but all ideas will be assessed in relation to their impact on our community. All applicants must be an established 501(c)(3) organization, school or be partnered with a 501(c)(3) non-profit fiscal agent, and, must provide a preliminary business plan, including other possible funding sources beyond this grant.

Grant Information

Project Scope

The Foundation requests that Golden-based non-profit organizations to submit proposals for projects that most likely will not be addressed by local, City of Golden tax funds and that will improve the quality of life for a broad base of the Golden community. “Shovel-ready,” brick and mortar projects are preferred but all ideas will be assessed in relation to their impact on our community.

Applications are due on Monday, May 16, 2022. 

Please review the following information and there is a link at the bottom of this page to download an application.

Preferred Impact Areas:

  • Arts & Culture: Vibrant art and cultural amenities and opportunities to promote cultural enrichment and help drive the local economy. Examples could include public art and theater, music or dance equipment or resources.
  • Civic Development: “Brick and mortar” type projects that provide improved amenities for our community such as improvements to a property (like a community track complex) or land, property acquisition and re-purposing for the community’s benefit (like the American Mountaineering Center).
  • Critical Needs Support: Infrastructure to give residents of all ages equitable access to opportunities for healthy living, such as social service facilities or amenities.
  • Environment: Projects that sustain a healthy local community and provide opportunities for outdoor entertainment and recreation, such as gardens, trails, parks and land preservation.
  • Other: The Foundation will consider all ideas, and preference will be placed on physical (“brick and mortar”) type projects that will have a long-lasting impact on the quality of life for the community of Golden.

Eligibility Requirements

Eligible non-profit organization applicants must be classified as a 501(c)(3) by the Internal Revenue Service, be partnered with a 501(c)(3) non-profit fiscal agent or, be a local government agency or public school. Applicant organizations must operate within the City of Golden and funds must be used for the benefit of Golden citizens.

All eligible applicants must provide:

  • A completed application
  • Proof of 501(c)(3) non-profit status
  • A modestly detailed business plan with a feasible funding strategy
  • A step-by-step schedule for project completion within, preferably 12, and up to 24 months
  • Proof of 25% funding including a description of other possible funding sources beyond this grant

Project Review Process & Timeline

Project ideas will be reviewed and considered annually by an Advisory Committee consisting of a Golden Civic Foundation Board of Director, staff member and several independent citizens representing various areas of Golden. The favored idea(s) will be brought to the entire Golden Civic Foundation Board of Directors for review and may be selected as the Paddle Raise beneficiary at the Foundation’s Annual Gala & Auction or forwarded on for consideration as part of the Foundation’s annual “For the Good of Golden” Grant Program.

What We Will Not Fund

Important to note is that we do NOT fund:

  • Direct support of individuals; endowments; churches, church projects, or religious organizations; sport organizations or booster clubs; debt retirement or operational deficits
  • General operating expenses
  • Production of films or other media-related projects
  • Preschools, day care centers, nursing homes, etc.
  • Political issues or efforts
  • Tickets, raffles, golf outings, or sponsorships.

The Golden Civic Foundation will not consider grants to organizations which discriminate on the basis of age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, national origin, religious affiliation, or presence of a disability.

2021 B.I.G Idea Grant Recipient:

Golden Volunteer Firefighter Art Tribute Project

In late 2021, the Golden Civic Foundation selected the Golden Fire Department’s Volunteer Art Tribute Project as the recipient of the B.I.G. grant. During our Gala & Auction on November 6, 2021, the paddle raise focused on this unique community project and raised an initial $60,000 of the needed $157,000 to complete the project.

Spearheaded by Captain Tom Young, local hero and 39-year veteran of the Golden Fire Department, along with Golden volunteer firefighters, Tina Gustafson and Ben Moline, this keystone art piece, titled “Follow Your Heart,” will commemorate the hundreds of volunteer firefighters who have unselfishly volunteered (and are still volunteering) thousands of hours protecting the citizens of Golden for more than 140 years.

Check out our latest video to hear Tom’s story and learn about the proposed new public artwork that will honor generations of volunteer firefighters here in Golden.

As of March 2022, donations are still being raised to make this volunteer memorial come to life in Golden!

Donations can be made by check to: Golden Civic Foundation, P.O. Box 1538, Golden, CO 80402. Please place “GFD Volunteer Art Tribute Project” in memo line.

Donations can also be made online via Colorado Gives at:

“The support from the Golden Civic Foundation from their annual Gala Paddle Raise and the generosity of the Golden community is unlike any other fundraising effort I have ever been associated with. The money raised in that one celebratory evening helped to transform our school’s upper athletic field to workable areas for football, track & field, soccer, lacrosse, and so much more. We are extremely proud of this new update to our school and welcome its use by the community when students are not on campus. I cannot express how deeply appreciative we are that GCF helped us with this project.”
Brian Conroy

Principal, Golden High School