direct effect awards

CHFA’s Direct Effect Awards recognize Colorado nonprofit organizations whose missions align with CHFA’s work to strengthen Colorado by investing in affordable housing and community development.

New for 2024
New for 2024
In 2024, CHFA is celebrating 50 years of strengthening Colorado. To commemorate, CHFA will be offering up to an additional five $50,000 awards in each of the two rounds in 2024.
In 2023, CHFA provided more than $2 million in Direct Effect Awards to 178 organizations.

Awards typically range from $5,000 to $30,000. The average donation amount is $11,304.

Round One: Application opened April 1st and closed April 26th. Awardees will be notified in late July 2024.

Round Two: Application will open August 19th and close September 13th. Awardees will be notified in early December 2024.

To receive announcements about CHFA’s Community Partnership efforts including Direct Effect Awards and future grant opportunities, please sign up to receive CHFA’s Community Connections eNews.
Direct Effect Recipients
Since 2021, CHFA has provided over $4.6 million in Direct Effect Awards to over 370 organizations. Read more about the beneficiaries here.

Submission Information

The application for Round One is now closed. Awards will be announced in late July.

Please note: While all applications must be strong to be competitive, applications requesting higher dollar amounts must demonstrate a strong alignment with CHFA’s mission to strengthen Colorado by investing in affordable housing and community development. They should also demonstrate strong support from the community and other funding sources, provide specific details about their projected impact, and show how they will advance equity in their community.

All eligible entries will be judged by a panel comprised of CHFA staff. Award winners will be selected based on the organization’s track record of success, the proposal, and how the award funds will be used.

If you experience issues filling out the online application, please contact us.


To be eligible, nonprofits must have a mission that aligns with CHFA. Does your mission align with CHFA’s mission to strengthen Colorado by investing in affordable housing and community development in the following ways:

Strengthening low- and moderate- income Coloradans ability to achieve or sustain affordable homeownership, financial literacy and education, home maintenance repairs and renovations, housing counseling, or foreclosure prevention.

The development or preservation of affordable rental housing, or providing support and wrap-around services for residents, rental assistance, tenant legal aid and fair housing support, or rental housing search services, or eviction prevention, or support for people experiencing homelessness.

Strengthening economic development and small business access to capital, fresh food access in food deserts, entrepreneurship, leadership, business-readiness, job training and skill development, or nonprofit-sector development and support. 

Does your organization work in any of the following areas that further CHFA’s vision that everyone in Colorado will have the opportunity for housing stability and economic prosperity?
Increasing access to or achievement in early childhood education, K-12, higher education, or financial education; mentoring and scholarships; or narrowing the education gap particularly among diverse, rural, and economically disadvantaged populations.
Mobility, transit, and alternative modes of transportation, increasing access and affordability, jobs and housing in proximity to transit.
Increasing health access and affordability, improving health outcomes for underserved populations inclusive of either physical, mental, or behavioral health.
Providing energy cost assistance for low income households, weatherization, retrofits, or upgrades for energy efficiency.
Is there a different way that your organization meets our broad mission of affordable housing and economic development? If so, please describe.

Applicants seeking to further their work in any of the following areas will receive top consideration.

  • Supporting rural communities
  • Serving special needs populations such as homeless, veterans, seniors, or those with mental, physical, or intellectual/developmental disabilities, including autism.
  • Addressing systemic racial/ethnic inequities and creating opportunities for communities of color
  • Advancing innovation in construction practices, service delivery, community collaboration and partnerships, or other kinds of change-making endeavors that supports housing stability or economic prosperity

Additional Eligibility Criteria

Eligible nonprofit and not-for-profit organizations include public housing authorities, cities, counties, and local municipalities.

Colorado Housing and Finance Authority’s contribution is restricted to supporting the general operations and programs of the organization and may not be used to support any activity proscribed by Section 1-45-117 of the Colorado Fair Campaign Practices Act or advocacy in support or opposition to any state, federal, or local legislation.

Funds may not be used for predevelopment costs, gap funding, or construction costs for single family or multifamily housing projects. We do not typically fund mobile home park infrastructure. Funds may not be used for repairs or rehabilitation of multifamily properties. Individual home repair and/or rehab to ensure livability, energy efficiency, adaptability, and mobility for homeowners is an eligible use of funds.

Funds may not be used to prepare a site or application for a future state Affordable Housing Tax Credit or federal Housing Tax Credit (HTC) application.

We do not typically fund K-12 public, private, or charter schools. We will consider funding for organizations providing early childhood education, youth mentorship, youth entrepreneurship, advancing educational equity, and extracurricular education.

CHFA’s financial support must be directed to serve Coloradans only.

Organizations may only be awarded one Direct Effect grant in a 12-month period. Organizations must wait a full 12 months after being awarded to apply again.

Application Information

Applicants will be asked to respond to the following questions:
  1. Describe, in 150 words or less, how your organization has made the state stronger by helping Coloradans access affordable housing and/or by furthering economic development. For example, describe your impact (people supported, etc.) over the past five years. 
  2. Describe in 500 words or less, the specific program you are seeking funding for and how Direct Effect dollars will be used. Be sure to describe the anticipated impact (people supported etc.) of the project.
  3. Describe, in 300 words or less, who else has contributed to and/or is being asked to contribute towards the funding goal, including committed or anticipated dollar amounts. What is your plan to fulfill the total budget needed? If you receive partial funding from CHFA, how will you fill the gap? (Be sure to include cash support and in-kind, include value of in-kind).
  4. Describe in 300 words or less how your organization strives to advance equity through your programs, who you serve, staff, board, and volunteers, and/or engagement with community. 
  5. Based on your anticipated impact, describe, in 300 words or less, at least three ways you will measure success for this effort. Examples of success measures could include but are not limited to: total number of households expected to be supported, program launch date, or project completion date. Please note: Award recipients will be asked to provide a brief written summary report within one year of receiving their award documenting their progress in reaching the success measures defined in this response.

A copy of the organization’s IRS exemption letter demonstrating proof of nonprofit status or a state charter, articles of incorporation or other establishing documents designating the organization as a nonprofit or not-for-profit entity under the laws of Colorado, and the Colorado Secretary of State's Certificate of Good Standing are required for submission as part of the application process.

Need more information?

Please contact Kristen Soroko or Jerilynn Francis for more information. 

Kristen Soroko

Event and Public Relations Coordinator

Jerilynn Francis

Chief Communications and Community Partnerships Officer

​Use of Entrants’ and Winner’s Entries and Privacy Consent and Release​

​All entries submitted in connection with the Awards shall become the sole property of CHFA and, as such, may be used by CHFA in its sole discretion for purposes related to CHFA’s mission, including art, publicity, marketing, trade, and promotion of CHFA and its various programs without compensation to Award entrants. Submitted entries may be copied and distributed by means of various media, including video presentations, television, radio, news bulletins, mail-outs, billboards or signs, brochures, placement on CHFA websites, other electronic delivery or publications, as well as other social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, and use of submitted entries will be further subject to the user agreements for those media applications. Award entrants waive any and all rights to inspect or approve the finished product, any accompanying text, or any material in which CHFA may eventually use the submitted entries. By submitting an entry for these Awards, entrants relinquish and give CHFA all rights, title, and interests in and to the submitted entries, including any copyright. This consent and release shall be binding on the entrants’ heirs, successors, assigns and legal representatives. Award entrants may only revoke the consent provided in this application in writing and only with respect to the future use of submitted entries by CHFA after the date CHFA receives written notice of entrants’ or winner’s request of revocation of consent pursuant to this section.

CHFA will use the submitted entries in accordance with this Application and with standards of good judgment; however, CHFA does not warrant or guarantee that any further dissemination by third parties of submitted entries will be subject to CHFA’s supervision or control, even after CHFA’s receipt of a request of revocation of consent. Additionally, please note that records held by CHFA may be subject to the Colorado Open Records Act (CORA), C.R.S. 24-72-201, et seq. By submitting an entry for these Awards, entrants release CHFA and its directors, members, officers, agents, employees, personnel, successors, and assigns from any and all liability related to the dissemination of the submitted entries, reproduction, distribution, and display of the submitted entries in print or any and all other media, and any alteration, blurring, use in composite form, distortion, or illusionary effect, whether intentional or otherwise, that may be produced in taking, processing, reduction, or production of the finished product, its publication, or distribution.

The Award winner must agree to be interviewed and featured in communication pieces related to CHFA’s mission, including art, publicity, marketing, trade, and promotion of CHFA and its various programs without compensation to the Award​ winner.