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Building and Bridging Power

Supporting the work of organizing people in communities experiencing the most inequities, and building policy infrastructure with and between grassroots and grasstops organizations.


Social and economic policies and systems have a direct impact on health. The Colorado Trust recognizes that achieving health equity will require advocacy and policy change. The Building and Bridging Power initiative aims to build community power and strengthen an organizing infrastructure and advocacy environment so that impacted community members are able to advance policy solutions addressing their most pressing issues at the local, regional and state levels (noted with an asterisk below).

The Building and Bridging Power initiative has three funding components that aim to build different dimensions of power (informed by the Grassroots Policy Project’s Three Faces of Power):

1. Organizing people and resources for direct involvement in issues and in decision-making arenas.

We funded 16 grassroots organizations to build or strengthen their capacity to contribute to an activated base of residents across the state who use their power to take action and promote policies that advance health equity.

2. Contributing to a durable, long-term policy infrastructure that centers community voices throughout the policy process.

We funded seven grasstops organizations to intentionally foster relationships in service of elevating community voices and priorities in policy advocacy.

All grassroots and grasstops organizations have access to the following additional supports:

  • $23,000 annually for self-determined capacity building
  • Access to between $5,000 and $30,000 through the Responsive Advocacy Support Fund, which supports real-time advocacy needs in a rapidly changing policy environment
  • Participation in convenings and meetings organized and supported by The Colorado Trust to foster relationship and capacity building.

3. Developing narrative power and shifting popular narratives that can inform policy solutions that advance health equity.

We funded five well-established media outlets to conduct accountability journalism; six community-based or focused outlets to fulfill communities’ critical information needs and elevate community voice; and have awarded eight diversity, equity and inclusion grants to newsrooms interested in developing their capacity in this area. We are partnering with the Colorado Media Project to administer the community-based and diversity, equity and inclusion grants.

Grant contact: Johanna Ulloa Girón, advocacy program manager, (303) 539-3129.

Download a set of resources on digital organizing for power building and organizational capacity building.

* Denotes a news outlet that is funded by The Colorado Trust through the Colorado Media Project.

A Better Future for Colorado's Communities


Johanna Ulloa Girón

Advocacy Program Manager


The Colorado Trust is contracting with two evaluation partners to document progress and outcomes of this power-building initiative. Community Science will be tracking how the grassroots and grasstops organizations increase their organizational capacity; the activities they conduct to build and exercise power; and examples of how power is held and demonstrated. Dilliplane Consulting is exploring how journalism grantmaking can contribute to large-scale, long-term goals around narrative power, narrative change, and policy change.

Grant contact: Johanna Ulloa Girón, advocacy program manager, (303) 539-3129.

Learn about the health equity issues affecting Coloradans at Collective Colorado, a publication of The Colorado Trust.