Health<br>Policy & Advocacy
2019 to 2024

In order for Coloradans in every community to thrive, all people must have a voice in the decisions that influence their well-being—especially people who have historically been marginalized or left out of such decisions. The Colorado Trust’s most recent advocacy funding strategy, Building and Bridging Power (BBP), aims to 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/or state levels.

The BBP strategy provides general operating funding, supplemental capacity building and technical assistance resources, and responsive advocacy funding to 23 grassroots* and grasstops** organizations across the state that are committed to ensuring the voices of impacted community members are centered in the policy process.

For more information, please consult this information document. Grant contact: ned [at] (Ned Calonge, MD, MPH), president and CEO, (303) 837-1200.

*Grassroots organizations are led by people closest to the issues. They develop programs and policy by and with their communities.
**Grasstops organizations work directly with policy and decision makers to change local, regional or state policy.

Media Landscape Study
Stories we tell about inequities, including narratives that show up in media accounts, can have a great deal of power. In 2020, The Trust was interested in understanding, across Colorado, the current reach and scope of local news and the state of accountability journalism. At a time of crisis and change, how well were journalists able to hold the powerful to account, inform the public and illuminate systemic inequities?

Researchers from the University of Denver and Hearken examined these questions, with support from The Trust. They undertook a mixed-method approach of content analysis, a journalist survey and community listening and design. Their report, linked here, sheds light on where accountability journalism is happening, and how shortcomings in funding, media diversity and community trust might be addressed to strengthen journalism in the long term.

Download the study here: Media Landscape Study and Recommended Solutions for Consideration (March 2021)

The BBP evaluation will focus on understanding how power is built and bridged as a result of efforts supported in the strategy. Grassroots and grasstops grantees will contribute to the development of measures of success and actively participate in learning and reflection activities.

Through the evaluation, we hope to learn:

  • How power is built among impacted community members to advance policy solutions. What activities deepen or catalyze relationship building, advocacy and policy change?
  • How power can be bridged between impacted communities, grassroots organizations and grasstops organizations so that community voices can lead the development and implementation of policy at all levels. What is needed to shift the infrastructure through which policy is created and implemented, to better accommodate advocacy by (and long-term engagement of) community members?

Evaluation contact: felisa [at] (Felisa Gonzales, PhD, MPH), evaluation & learning manager, (303) 539-3110.

GRANT AMOUNT: $14,520,000