Louis Calder Foundation: Grants for Colorado and New York

OVERVIEW: The Louis Calder Foundation supports education reform in Colorado, New York and elsewhere in the United States.

FUNDING AREAS: Education reform, K-12 education, charter and faith-based schools

IP TAKE: Although Colorado is not the only geographic interest of this funder, it is a major site of grantmaking and a good foundation for local private schools to know.

PROFILE: Established in 1951, the Louis Calder Foundation is a private foundation based in Denver, Colorado. Louis Calder (1879-1963) was a Manhattan, New York, native who developed the newsprint industry in the Southwest and was also a pioneer in the retail gasoline market. The Calder Foundation aims to “support high-performing alternate education models in anticipation that their successful strategies will become common practice in all schools.” It funds local and national education reform efforts.

The Louis Calder Foundation focuses much of its attention on charter and parochial schools that are high-performing and looking to expand. It also supports teacher and leadership development through programs that enhance the quality of educators. Calder funds public policy efforts to advocate for education reform, and it is commonly a supporter of school capital projects to improve physical environments for student learning. However, Calder does not provide long-term continuing program support, funding for annual or special events, or fund publicly operated educational institutions.

Grants range between about $50,000 and $500,000. Learn more about this funder’s local giving by examining its recent tax records. Grantmaking primarily focuses on Colorado and New York. These have been the top two states for grantmaking for many years. However, Calder considers funding schools throughout the U.S. Past local grantees include the Denver School for Science and Technology, Rocky Mountain Preparatory School, and Teach for America Colorado.

This foundation accepts letters of inquiry from nonprofits through its online system. From there, Calder invites select organizations to submit full proposals, and the whole process takes several months. Direct general questions to the staff at proposals@calderfdn.org or 720-943-9865.

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