The Caring for Community Fund, governed and funded by Aspen Skiing Company employees with a 2 for 1 company match, is now accepting grant applications for its new Healthy Mind Large Grant and its annual small grant program. Applicants for the Healthy Mind Large Grant (requests from $50,000 to $80,000 with a mental health focus) must submit a letter of interest no later than August 1, 2018. Those applying for a small grant (average $7,500) are asked to submit an application by October 26, 2018.

In addition to employee contributions to the fund, in 2017 Aspen Skiing Company executives donated $86,500 of their own money. This, combined with an additional $13,500 from the Aspen Skiing Company Family Fund, will more than triple the budget for the Caring for Community Fund. With these new contributions, Caring for Community will donate approximately $130,000 in the fall of 2018.

In its first year of operation the Caring for Community Fund awarded $35,500 to 10 organizations in the Roaring Fork Valley. In 2018 the fund will continue to offer small grants (average $7,500) focused on supporting basic human needs required to move forward productively such as healthcare, crisis support (food aid, emergency relocation services, legal assistance), safe and affordable housing, and educational and job training resources.

With the additional donations collected in 2018, the Caring for Community Foundation board is modifying its process to include an initial and more in-depth discussion with grant applicants whose work is focused on mental health. The fund will accept short letters of interest describing the project and the amount requested. These letters should address the need the project fills and the impact that a one-time large grant could have. Because this is a one-time donation, the letter should address the future sustainability of the project. The grant could fund a new project, support the expansion of an existing effort or pilot new programing. Joint projects that leverage the skills of multiple providers are also welcome. The board may make a single large grant (between $50,000-$80,000) or a few grants of smaller size.

Letters of interest for projects focused on improving mental health services are due August 1, 2018. Between August 1 and September 15 the board will meet with some or all of the interested applicants (dependent upon the total number of requests) to select a limited number to complete a full application. All other applicants will be eligible to apply for small grants (averaging $7,500) from the Caring for Community Fund’s annual gifting cycle.

Applicants can request an electronic grant application, eligibility guidelines or more information from Matthew Hamilton Letters of interest and completed applications should be emailed to Matthew.

Caring for Community Fund is dedicated to serving communities from Aspen to Parachute through the funding of organizations which help facilitate a strong, healthy, supportive and productive community. To this end, grants will be focused on organizations providing community members support in times of critical need and allowing them the opportunity to fulfill their potential. Critical areas of focus include:

  • Healthcare, with specific emphasis on improving access to mental health and addiction counseling services

  • Crisis support – food aid, emergency relocation services, legal assistance

  • Safe and affordable housing

  • Educational and job training resources to ensure all people with specific emphasis on programs serving children and young adults, have the resources, support and opportunities necessary to be successful.

Funding will be particularly focused on opportunities to leverage dollars across the community effectively and expand programs where a need exists.