Our philosophy on grantmaking

People and communities know what they need 

AJL recognizes that we are neither the experts nor the authority on the issues we work on. We respect and trust our colleagues, partners and the communities we serve and recognize them as the experts on their own experiences. We believe that by bringing together diverse representatives of all communities affected by our grantmaking to make funding decisions, the collective expertise and experiences of the group will lead to more effective and equitable grantmaking decisions and increased impact.

Shared power. Shared impact.

The Committee

Families and youth. Community organizers. Professionals working within education and human services. AJL Board and staff. These are the folks with the most expertise, experience and who are the most qualified to make AJL's grantmaking decisions each year.  Meet the 2023 grantmaking committee here.

What We Fund

AJL's Grantmaking Committee makes funding decisions based on the following criteria:

  • Nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations that serve marginalized youth and families in Colorado within education and human services
  • Organizations that are diverse and reflect the communities they serve, and are either community-led or heavily community-informed.
  • Organizations with either demonstrated impact or demonstrated potential impact within the communities they serve. 
  • Organizations that serve youth and families in Metro Denver or San Luis Valley primarily.

AJL does not make grants for research projects or give support to conferences, seminars, media events, or workshops unless they are an integral part of a broader program. AJL does not provide support for the production and development of television and radio programming or individual scholarships. AJL considers applications from organizations with organizational budgets under $5 million. 

If your organization qualifies and you'd like to be considered by the grantmaking committee for a grant, please reach out to Allia Alrodan at 

How and When We Fund

  • Grantmaking Committee Recruitment (January thru March): AJL's Board and Staff spends the first quarter of the year building a diverse and knowledgeable grantmaking committee.
  • Grantmaking Committee Meeting 1 (April): Introductory meeting to build relationships, review mission, vision and values, as well as responsibilities, process and decision-making criteria.  
  • Grantmaking Committee Meeting 2 (June/July): Meeting to identify, review and select organizations to invite to submit an application. AJL Grants Manager to conduct site visits with potential grantee organizations after this meeting and coordinates application process.    
  • Grantmaking Committee Meeting 3 (September):  Meeting to determine final grantmaking decisions. Grantmaking Committee votes on their top 20 organizations to be rewarded funding after this meeting. Applicants to be notified of decisions by November 30. Funds must be deposited by December 31.
  • Grantmaking Meeting 4 (November): Grantmaking committee, grant partners, AJL staff and Board to meet for introductions, discussion and reflection after funds have been distributed.