Komen Colorado grants empower people to make healthy decisions about their breast screening needs and to access quality care, if diagnosed with the disease.

Komen Colorado believes the ability to receive quality breast cancer care should not be dependent upon ability to pay, age, insurance coverage, geographic location, educational attainment, race, ethnicity, language spoken, immigration status, sexual orientation, or gender affiliation.

Komen Colorado designed the community grants program to make systemic, lasting change in our community:

  • By providing access to current, accurate facts about breast cancer risks and screening guidelines, education programs offer women and men the opportunity to make informed decisions about seeking breast cancer care with their provider.
  • By providing funds to cover the cost of care that is out-of-reach for so many in Colorado, clinical care programs ensure women and men in need of help today do not forgo vital care simply due to cost or other removable barriers.

In 2017, Komen Colorado awarded $662,000 to 14 Colorado-based non-profit organizations, clinics, and hospitals to pay for more than 5,000 women and men to receive clinical breast exams, mammograms, diagnostic procedures, chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, and appropriate education messages through group or one-on-one sessions.

Grantmaking Process

The process to award grants to community partners is cyclical and reviewed every year, especially with the fast-changing and uncertain landscape of the U.S. health care system.

Each year, a new Request for Applications is developed that outlines funding priorities for that specific year. Funding priorities are determined by considering the Mission Action Plan and its target communities and revenue projections.

Since Komen Colorado is not an endowed foundation, the total amount to grant in any given year is determined by the success of the fundraising efforts of the previous year. This is why it is important for Komen Colorado to evaluate and set funding priorities based not only on target communities but also on the amount of resources we can allocate.

Here is an overview of each step in the process:

  1. Evaluate the need
  2. Develop requests
  3. Solicit proposals
  4. Review applications
  5. Award
  6. Monitor


Evaluate the Need

Every four years, Komen Colorado conducts a needs assessment to determine which communities in the 22-county service area have the biggest gaps in achieving standard rates of accessing breast cancer care.

The data Komen Colorado looks at includes the amount of women in a given community, both geographically and culturally, who have a regular mammogram, who receive late-stage diagnoses, and who have high mortality rates.

The end result of this process is a Community Profile that demonstrates why communities are at-risk for lagging in access to breast cancer care and how Komen Colorado will focus resources to ensure these communities do not lag behind others in the future.

Read more about the process and its current findings in the Gaps & Barriers to Care section.

Develop Requests

Once Komen Colorado determines funding priorities, a letter of intent to apply is developed and distributed. Submitting a letter of intent (LOI) is the first step to receive a grant from Komen Colorado in any given year. The LOI is an abbreviated version of the full grant application submission.

A full Request for Applications (RFA) is also developed that outlines that same funding priorities as the LOI, but is only distributed to those invited to apply after LOI submission.

Solicit Proposals

The letter of intent (LOI) is widely distributed publicly throughout the 22-county service area. Wide distribution is essential to ensure a competitive and geographically relevant grant process.

Any non-profit organization that operates in Komen Colorado’s 22-county service area is welcome to apply, given they have a program that will meet one of the funding priorities that will support reaching Komen Colorado’s Bold Goal. Komen Colorado conducts grant writing workshops to help potential applicants better respond to the LOI.

Komen Colorado staff does not review LOI proposals for the program’s merit, but rather ensures that the organization is eligible and presents a program that focuses on breast health education and breast cancer care.  All organizations that meet these criteria are invited to submit a full application using the Request for Application document.

If an organization does not submit an LOI by the deadline, it is not eligible to apply for a grant until the next year.

Review Applications

Komen Colorado staff review submitted application to ensure it is compliant with Komen funding guidelines. If an application is deemed compliant, it moves to the Grant Review Panel.

The Grant Review Panel (GRP) is a group of independent community members who review, score, and rank the applications to recommend for funding. GRP members have background in breast cancer, grant writing, non-profit management, finance, medicine, or related fields.

Komen Colorado staff and board members are NOT involved in the scoring and ranking of grant applications.


When the Grant Review Panel finalizes its recommendations of which applications to fund, the list, ranked in order, is submitted to the Komen Colorado Board of Directors. The Board of Directors must accept or reject the full list and is not allowed to line-item veto any individual application.

In the rare case the list is rejected, the Grant Review Panel is asked to reconvene to address the Board of Directors’ concerns.

Once the grant list is approved, Komen Colorado awards grants in order the applications are ranked, funding as many programs as possible at the full-level, based on revenue projections.


Grant-receiving organizations implement funded projects April 1 through March 31 of the following year. Komen Colorado monitors grants closely throughout the year to ensure awarded funds are used as intended and NOT for purposes unrelated to saving lives from breast cancer.

Grant-receiving organizations submit 6-month, 9-month, and final reports, and host a midpoint site visit with Komen Colorado staff.