Social Justice

The Brett Family Foundation is committed to the support of the important work our grantees do to make our state a more just and caring place to live.

We support organizations throughout the state of Colorado working to address the root causes of social, economic, gender and racial inequities through strategies that empower affected communities to engage in the democratic process and advance progressive policy solutions.

We invest in the following social change strategies:

  • Strategic Analysis, Research and Policy Development -- Objective research to inform and reinvigorate public debate and to identify public policies that create opportunity for low-income and other marginalized individuals and families while protecting and advancing civil rights; resource mapping and power analysis to identify opportunities for policy change and to forge strategic linkages between organizations and efforts working toward a common social justice agenda.
  • Community-based Organizing and Base Building -- Base building and organizing strategies that engage and build power among disenfranchised and underserved individuals and communities to address the underlying causes of social, racial and economic injustices. We prioritize community-based organizations and coalitions that incorporate civic education and voter engagement into their work, and which work to achieve state-level impact.

We recognize that these strategies are necessary but not sufficient to create progressive social change. They must be reinforced by nonpartisan electoral work, effective message generation and communications, and leadership development. We prioritize organizations that have built these capacities into their work and which engage in strategic partnerships to leverage these capacities in other organizations.

Social Justice Grantmaking Practices

We make single-year general operating support grants. 

Social Justice Grantmaking Criteria

Successful Brett Family Foundation Social Justice Grantees will also meet the following criteria:

  • Have governance structures that reflect democratic principles (Community-based organizing groups should demonstrate involvement of affected communities and engage its membership in the development and the implementation of strategies to address the underlying causes of social, economic and racial injustices.);
  • Work to address the needs identified by the underrepresented and low-income communities that are directly impacted;
  • Work across issues;
  • Be accountable to partners and constituents;
  • Employ multiple strategies for change (and combinations there of): research, policy development and advocacy, organizing, voter education and mobilization, and coalition building;
  • Work in cross-sector partnerships (i.e. policy groups, labor, community-based organizations) and support coalition-building;
  • Articulate a long-term vision including a power analysis and strategies for social change;
  • Have the internal capacity, management infrastructure and leadership to achieve organizational mission and implement identified social change strategies;
  • Have an internal leadership development process, including political education.


The Brett Family Foundation does not fund the following:

  • Grants to individuals
  • Programs outside Colorado
  • Religious organizations
  • Candidates for political office
  • Individual public or private schools (k-12, graduate, post graduate)
  • Large public charities

Applying for a Social Justice Grant

Application for a Social Justice Grant is by invitation only. For more information, please email