The Community Foundation of Northern Colorado established its nonprofit loan program in 2017 to provide loan financing for nonprofit organizations that are located in, and serving the residents of, Northern Colorado and the Eastern Plains of Colorado. Loan funding is intended primarily to assist the nonprofit with timing issues surrounding pledge receivables, payment of an approved government or foundation contract, or some other verifiable form of repayment.
We encourage all applicants to read the below description fully, as well as the expanded attachments, before beginning the loan application process.
Loans are available to nonprofit organizations that are both located in and aiding the residents of Northern Colorado and the Eastern Plains of Colorado. Generally, applicants should be able to meet these criteria before submitting the Letter of Intent and Loan Application:
- A 3-year operating history as a 501(c ) 3 public charity
- Annual operating budget of at least $500,000
- Audited financial statements for the last three years
- No prior loan defaults
- Have, or can obtain, a Certificate of Good Standing
Preferred loans primarily consist of capital projects, equipment funding, or other programming needs that have easily identifiable sources and uses of funds.
The parameters surrounding the criteria for the loan program include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Impact: The Program will consist solely of investments that further the Foundation’s mission, which is to inspire and unify the communities we serve. The Foundation will generally make strategic investments where its capital is key and/or catalytic to success.
- Duration: Loans will generally call for payment in full within five years. However, the Committee may extend duration on a case-by-case basis.
- Amount: Preferred loan amounts are between $50,000 and $350,000.
Collateral is required for all loans issued. Eligible collateral includes: real estate, assignment of pledges, assignment of deposit accounts and/or Donor Advised Funds, and general equipment.
Click here for more information regarding investment criteria, parameters, eligibility, collateral, loan terms, interest rates, preferred loans, and fees.
Step 1: Letter of Intent
Eligible organizations that wish to apply to the Nonprofit Loan Program must submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) and Certificate of Good Standing. The purpose of the LOI Certificate of Good Standing are for the nonprofit to provide brief documentation to show the viability of the project, the organization’s ability to carry debt, and confirmation that the organization has met its statutory requirements and is thus authorized to transact business in Colorado. If it is determined that the organization would be a viable candidate for the Nonprofit Loan Program, its representatives will be invited to submit a full application.
Step 2: Full Application
Organizations that are invited to complete a full application will do so online. The application will require the organization to provide the following:
1. Detailed description of the project.
2. Detailed description of the project’s cost and funding sources. Please also include
a completed Budget Template (click here to download), as well as the Income Breakdown Worksheet (click here to download).
3. Detailed description of the strength of the organization and the current financial position.
For a full description of all necessary documents and parts, please download the attached document.
Step 3: Presentation
Organizations may have an opportunity to present their project to the Nonprofit Loan Program Committee (“the Committee”). Presentations should last no longer than 20 minutes, and an additional 20 minutes will be available for Q & A.
Step 4: Review Process
The Committee meets on a monthly basis and will review your application at the next gathering. When the Committee reviews applications, it will consider the strength of the organization as outlined in step 2 section c above, the community impact of the project, and the organization’s ability to repay the loan. The Committee will make every attempt to make its recommendation to the Executive Committee, or request additional information, within 45 days of receiving a full application.
For a detailed rubric used in the review process, please see the attached document.
Step 5: Approval or Denial
The Committee will submit funding recommendations to the Executive Committee. Upon approval by the Executive Committee, applicants will be notified, and the loan will enter the legal review and the document preparation stages.
Step 6: Final Acceptance and Loan Closing
Once the loan terms are approved by the Executive Committee, the Community Foundation staff will prepare all necessary documents, including, but not limited to: Note and Security Agreement, Deed of Trust, Guarantees and Assignments. Funds are disbursed upon receipt of all required documents. Loans are administered by the Foundation’s Accounting Department with the support of the Vice President for Community Engagement.
Nonprofit Loan Program Recipients
Crossroads Safehouse shelters, supports, advocates for, and empowers all people so we can live free of domestic violence and interpersonal abuse. Awarded a $75,000 loan over 5 years, Crossroads will utilize the funds to focus on development work, ensuring their critical services remain a community asset and fundraising activities are able to expand. The community impact of Crossroads’ work reaches throughout Northern Colorado and beyond, with over 500 individuals being sheltered, over 2,000 men, women and children receiving individual and group advocacy, and over 3,000 individuals reached through educational presentations each year.
Teaching Tree Early Childhood Learning Center is a nonprofit organization providing affordable, quality early childhood educational programs in a culturally and economically diverse environment that ensures a climate for individual growth, comfort and security. In Fort Collins alone, more than 6,000 children are on a waitlist for childcare. A 5-year, $350,000 loan will contribute to Teaching Tree’s childcare center expansion. This project will more than double the number of childcare slots the center will have available for low and middle-income families, actively addressing a significant need in our community.
The Gardens on Spring Creek is the community botanic garden of Fort Collins, working to enrich the lives of people and foster environmental stewardship through horticulture. Opened in 2004 as part of a public/private partnership between the City of Fort Collins and the Friends of the Gardens on Spring Creek, The Gardens has experienced significant and consistent growth. Awarded a 3-year loan of $90,000, they are working on completing the first phase of a 5-acre expansion which will include development of “The Great Lawn,” “Undaunted Garden,” “and “Prairie and Foothills Demonstration Sites.” The additional spaces will bring new learning and demonstration opportunities to the community, as well as introduce a new, multi-use outdoor amphitheater venue to Fort Collins.
No Barriers is a powerful community of modern-day pioneers who promote innovation, education and assistive technologies that create transformative life experiences and inspire people with challenges to live full and active lives. The $350,000, 5-year loan to No Barriers USA will allow them to build a field campus in Red Feather Lakes to host youth summer camps, expeditions for veterans, and retreats for a variety of the constituents the organization serves. This capacity building project not only creates a state-of-the-art Northern Colorado based outdoor resource, but also expands programming opportunities, accessibility, and attracts local and national constituents alike.