Women Thriving. Colorado Rising.

OUR WAGES Grantmaking = Real Community Movement

From 2017-2021, 23 Grantee Partners Worked Together for Women's Prosperity

At the Capitol and within communities, our WAGES (Women Achieving Greater Economic Security) cohort of 23 grantee partners worked together from 2017-2021 to address the needs of women and their children. The WAGES approach centered on helping women with low incomes earn livable wages, the gateway to greater access and opportunity that can break inter-generational cycles of poverty and help women rewrite their families' stories.

At the end of the program in 2021, direct-service grantees working with women in communities throughout the state reported: 

  • Participants made significant employment gains
  • A high percentage of participants reached educational goals
  • Many reduced public supports around income, housing, child care, food and healthcare

Over five years, public policy grantees passed several bills to advance economic opportunity for women, such as:

  • Accessible and affordable child care
  • Equal pay for equal work
  • Child and earned income tax credits
  • Law enforcement accountability

How Did WAGES Work?

Together, 15 direct-service partners serving women and their families directly and eight public policy partners comprised our WAGES grantee cohort. As part of a unified cohort of grantees all working to accelerate Colorado women’s progress toward economic security, grantee partners learned from one another to deepen the impact of their work. WFCO convened the WAGES cohort several times annually each of these years and prioritized learning in the areas of equity and two-generation strategies for overcoming poverty. WAGES ended 2021, and funding opportunities no longer exist. Our WINcome grantmaking program, an evolution of WAGES, launched in 2022. 

Read our final WAGES report. 

Public Policy Grantees

Eight Denver-based public policy partners addressed statewide systems-level changes by advocating for policies that enabled and empowered women to enter and remain in the workforce. 

9to5 Colorado logo
9to5 Colorado 

Advocating statewide for workplace flexibility, the safety net, equal opportunity, and taking steps to close the pay gap.  


The Bell Policy Center logo
The Bell Policy Center (Bell) 

Examining and prioritizing policy solutions that ensure women can prepare for, obtain, and retain living wage careers, including convening a two-generation work group and leading research efforts for paid sick leave.

 Read the research
Colorado Center on Law & Policy logo 
Colorado Center on Law and Policy (CCLP)

Coordinating an advocacy coalition of multi-sector partners strengthening access to middle skill jobs, and advocating for critical supports, such as child care on college campuses. With a separate WFCO research grant, updating Colorado's Self-Sufficiency Standard and Overlooked and Undercounted, a demographic analysis of Coloradans struggling to make ends meet.

 Read the research 
Colorado Children's Campaign logo 
Colorado Children's Campaign (CCC)

Expanding access to affordable, high-quality child care statewide through research, policy, and advocacy. 

Colorado Fiscal Institute 
Colorado Fiscal Institute (CFI) 

Working with partners across the state to engage a coalition of supporters focused on tax reform and fiscal solutions.

Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation logo
Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation

Engaging youth leaders to advance policy change that expands young adult access to work supports and education.


Executives Partnering to Invest in Children logo 
Executives Partnering to Invest in Children (EPIC)

Working to advance the reauthorization of the Colorado Child Care Contribution Tax Credit.

Young Invincibles logo 
Young Invincibles (YI)

Gathering valuable insights from young adult women and sharing solutions with multi-sector partners.

 Read the research


Direct Service Grantees

Fifteen direct service grantmaking focused on serving women facing significant obstacles on the path to economic security. The women who participated in the programs offered as part of our WAGES grantee cohort were significantly more racially and ethnically diverse than the population of our state.

Collaborative Healing Initiative within Communities (CHIC) logo
Collaborative Healing Initiative within Communities, (CHIC) - Metro Denver

Propelling formerly gang-affiliated women out of poverty with job training, including construction apprenticeships, and peer support.

  Read Frazier's story
  Watch Adrianette's story
Center for Work Education and Employment (CWEE) logo
Center for Work Education and Employment (CWEE) - Metro Denver

Helping single mothers enter livable wage careers and mitigate the cliff effect.

  Watch Julia's story
Colorado Coalition for the Homeless logo 
Colorado Coalition for the Homeless (CCH), - Metro Denver

Training women who have experienced homelessness for tech industry careers.


  Read our blog with CCH
  Read Laciey's story 
CPCD logo 
CPCD (Community Partnership for Child Development), - El Paso County

Providing career-focused training for parents and quality early care and education for children through a two-generation approach. 

  Watch Arati's story

Pueblo Community College logo

Boys & Girls Club of Pueblo County

DualStar Project: A collaborative of Pueblo Community College and Boys and Girls Clubs of Pueblo County, - Pueblo County

Moving women and girls toward high-growth careers with cyber security training, mentoring, and hands-on learning


  Read our blog with the DualStar Project 
  Watch Patti's story
Eagle County Government logo
Eagle County Government (Department of Human Services), - Eagle County

Boosting workforce success through personalized supports for women exiting public assistance.


  Read our blog with Eagle County Government
Emergency Family Assistance Association in Boulder logo
Emergency Family Assistance Association, Inc. (EFAA), - Boulder County

Providing basic needs support and work-based learning opportunities in partnership with Workforce Boulder County.

  Read Angie's story  
Florence Crittenton Services logo
Florence Crittenton Services of Colorado, - Metro Denver

Offering wraparound support and child care, skills and employment training, and employment navigation for teen mothers. 

Mi Casa Resource Center logo
Mi Casa Resource Center, - Metro Denver

Offering job training and wraparound supports to help women building careers in financial services, healthcare, construction, or development small businesses. 

  Watch Francesca's story 
OneMorgan County logo
OneMorgan County, - Morgan County

Engaging recent refugee and immigrant working mothers and building community leaders with community college support and career guidance. 

  Watch Marcela's story
  Read our blog with OneMorgan
Project Self Sufficiency
Project Self-Sufficiency of Loveland-Fort Collins, - Larimer County

Providing single mothers moving through postsecondary education with skilled advising, career planning, and tools to support children's success.

  Watch April's story 
  Read Cassie's Story

Durango Adult Education Center logo

La Plata Family Centers Coalition logo

Women's Resource Center logo

Southwest Colorado Women's Project: A collaborative of the Durango Adult Education Center, Women’s Resource Center, and La Plata Family Centers Coalition, - Southwest Colorado

Offering comprehensive career-boosting services to women, including case management, family and parenting support, and career guidance and education. 



As part of the WAGES cohort, WFCO awarded a separate grant to OMNI Institute to lead the cohort’s evaluation and learning. Additionally, WAGES was supported by facilitation partners Davian Gagne & Zoë Williams of Hawthorn Consulting. 

WAGES was made possible with the support of the Women’s Funding Network (Two-Generation Advocacy Cohort); WomenGive – United Way of Larimer County; The Chambers Fund, a donor-advised fund held at The Women’s Foundation of Colorado; and WFCO’s many generous donors.


Find Us on Social Media (#WFCO)

Join our social media network by engaging with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter, and by watching our videos on Vimeo.


Get Our E-Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter to receive updates on our work, statewide events, research, and much more.

Sign Up Now


We have advised you to seek your own legal and tax advice in connection with gift and planning matters. The Women’s Foundation of Colorado does not provide legal or tax advice.

© 2018-2022 All rights reserved. View our privacy policy or unsubscribe.