RFA Information Page

Tony Grampsas Youth Services Program

Request for Application

Colorado Department of Human Services
Office of Children, Youth and Families

Deadline: Applications must be received by 5:00 p.m. MST

Monday, December 23, 2019


The TGYS Program is housed within the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS), Office of Children, Youth and Families (OCYF), Division of Child Welfare (DCW). 

Anticipated Funding Available: Available funding has ranged from $9.5 - $10.5 million in the previous grant cycle and is contingent upon the annual legislative appropriation.  Through Single, Multi-, and Intermediary Agencies across the state of Colorado, TGYS funded 100 grantees with 135 programs during the previous grant cycle with grant amounts ranging from $25,000 to $850,000.

Because TGYS Program funding levels can vary greatly from year to year, this open, competitive RFA process is intended to determine which agencies qualify through the selection process. There is typically not enough available funding for all qualifying agencies.  If additional funds become available during the three-year grant cycle, the TGYS Board may select qualified, unfunded applicants to receive these additional funds. 

Funding Type: Monthly reimbursement contract

Estimated Number of Grants to be Funded: Varies depending on number of qualified applicants, funding amounts requested, and annual legislative appropriation

Matching Requirements: Applications for Mentoring programs that meet statute (C.R.S. § 26-6.8-104) require a 20% match.  For all other applications, no match is required.However, a competitive application will demonstrate diverse sources of funding supporting the program being proposed in the application.

Grant Cycle: July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2023

Duration of Grant: The TGYS grant cycle is three years.  Annual renewable funding is contingent upon grantee program and fiscal performance (both in terms of accomplishing objectives and maintaining grant compliance), the grantee program’s continued alignment with the TGYS goals and outcomes, and the availability of TGYS appropriated funding. If TGYS appropriated funding is decreased, reductions in funding for grantees will occur.

Eligible Applicants: Any local government; Colorado public or nonsectarian secondary school, including charter schools, group of public or nonsectarian secondary schools, school districts or groups of school districts, boards of cooperative services, and institutions of higher education; the Colorado National Guard; state agency or state-operated program; or any private nonprofit or not-for-profit community-based organization are eligible to apply for a TGYS grant. Organizations who receive a TGYS grant must be registered with the Secretary of State to operate in Colorado.

Eligible Uses of Funding

The TGYS award CAN be used to:

  • Fund programs that address factors at the individual and relationship level of the socio-ecological model
  • Fund prevention, intervention, and education programs for children, youth, and families aimed at reducing youth crime and violence, child abuse and neglect, and/or adolescent and youth marijuana use (C.R.S. 26-6.8-102(b))
  • Implement new direct-service programs or continue, enhance, or expand existing direct-service programs
  • Fund reasonable operating and administrative expenses (e.g. database or financial software, fiscal staff, etc.) that directly support TGYS funded programs
  • Support program evaluation activities (budget may include 5% for evaluation or $10,000, whichever is lower, per program)
  • Fund programs that provide screenings or assessments and referrals if there are post surveying measures or outcomes that can evaluate effectiveness.
  • Prepare communities/local grantees for program implementation and provide staff training, technical assistance, program monitoring, evaluation coordination, and direct service funding to subcontracting agencies (applies to Intermediary Agency applicants only)
  • Provide reasonable administrative oversight of all collaborating partners and support grant management functions provided by a Lead Agency (applies to Multi-Agency applicants only)

Ineligible Uses of Funding

The TGYS award CANNOT be used to:

  • Fund programs that address factors at the community and societal level of the socio-ecological model
  • Support residential treatment programs or inpatient mental health treatment
  • Support childcare slots or student scholarships
  • Engage in inherently religious activities including but not limited to worship, religious instruction, or proselytization as a part of the programs or services provided pursuant to this application
  • Support programs or strategies thorough research has already proven ineffective or harmful
  • Fund train the trainer model programs
  • Fund one time events and activities that are not in conjunction with ongoing programs
  • Apply as both a single agency and as part of a multi or intermediary agency
  • Fund depreciation costs which are not included in indirect costs

Minimum Funding Request: $25,000 per program

Maximum Funding Request -- Single Agency:  $500,000

Maximum Funding Request -- Multi or Intermediary Agency:  $1,000,000

Maximum Number of Programs per Agency-- Tier 1:  One

Maximum Number of Programs per Agency-- Tiers 2, 3, 4:  Three

Funding Reductions:  If an applicant receives a qualifying score and is selected to receive TGYS grant funds, funding award amounts will NOT be reduced because of score.

For example: Applicant applies in Tier 3 for $78,000 for Program 1 and scores 86 and $32,000 for a Program 2 and scores 91 and is approved for funding by the TGYS Board, the applicant will receive the full request of $110,000.The only reason a funding request will be reduced is if the Statement of Work or Budget are deemed unreasonable.*

*Note: Please be sure your budget is reasonable.  Do NOT request 2-3 times the amount of funding you anticipate needing with the expectation your request will be reduced. We ask that you request an adequate but appropriate amount of funding for your program.

Tier 1

Tier 2

Tier 3

Tier 4

Grant Request Amount*


$25,001 - $100,000

$100,001- $500,000

$500,001- $1,000,000

Maximum number of programs





Maximum amount of funding allocated to Tier


Remaining 15% of the TGYS budget or approximately $1,350,000

Remaining 60% of the TGYS budget or approximately $5,4000,000

Remaining 25% of the TGYS budget or approximately $2,250,000

Minimum qualifying score





Who can apply

Single Agencies Only

Single, Multi or Intermediary Agencies

Single, Multi or Intermediary Agencies

Multi or Intermediary Agencies Only

*Total request per applicant/agency for all programs. For example, if one applicant applies for 3 programs with a total request of $125,000, the organization would apply in Tier 3.


The Tony Grampsas Youth Services (TGYS) Program was established in 1994 to provide state funding for effective, community-based programs that serve children, youth, and their families to prevent youth crime and violence. Since that time, the statue has evolved and now includes programs that prevent child abuse and neglect, marijuana use, and high school dropout. TGYS is authorized by Colorado Revised Statutes § 26-6.8-101 through 106.  These statutes define the role of the TGYS Board and TGYS program.  The 13-member TGYS Board is required to establish program guidelines, timelines, match requirements, criteria for awarding grants, funding priorities, and result-oriented criteria for measuring the effectiveness of programs.

TGYS funding is a result of an annual appropriation made by the Colorado General Assembly which has included funding from the Colorado Master Settlement Agreement Tobacco (MSA) fund, the General Fund and the Marijuana Tax Cash Fund (MTCF). It is anticipated these funds will continue to serve as the primary funding sources for the TGYS Program. 

The TGYS Program embraces the Strengthening Families approach for programs providing services to children ages 0 to 8 years and their families, and the Positive Youth Development approach for programs providing services to children and youth ages 9 to 25 years and their families.

Strengthening Families is a research-informed approach to increase family strengths, enhance child development, and reduce the likelihood of child abuse and neglect.  It is based on engaging families, programs, and communities in building five protective factors:

  1. Parental resilience
  2. Social connections
  3. Knowledge of parenting and child development
  4. Concrete support in times of need
  5. Social and emotional competence of children

Positive Youth Development is an intentional, pro-social approach that engages youth within their communities, schools, organizations, peer groups, and families in a manner that is productive and constructive; recognizes, utilizes, and enhances youths' strengths; and promotes positive outcomes for young people by providing opportunities, fostering positive relationships, and furnishing the support needed to build on their leadership strengths.  Positive Youth Development is guided by the following principles:

1. Strengths-based - taking a holistic approach that focuses on the inherent strengths of an individual, family, or community, then building upon them

2. Inclusive - addressing the needs of all youth by ensuring that our approach is culturally responsive

3. Engaging youth as partners - ensuring the intentional, meaningful, and sustained involvement of youth as equitable partners in the programs, practices, and policies that seek to impact them

4. Collaborative - creating meaningful partnerships within and across sectors to effectively align our work

5. Sustainable - addressing long-term planning through funding, training, capacity building, professional development, and evaluation in order to ensure ongoing support and engagement of youth


Grantee Requirements

The TGYS Board may, in its discretion, rescind funding if these requirements are not met and previous arrangements have not been made.

  • Attend TGYS annual orientation/grantee meetings
  • Submit annual mid-year reports via TGYS database
  • Submit annual year-end report via TGYS database
  • Submit monthly reimbursement invoices via TGYS database
  • Maintain a criminal background check policy to minimally include, but not be limited to, completion of a criminal history background check and notifications of convictions that exclude candidates from hire
  • Participate in minimum three hour site visit which will include:
    • Statement of Work review
    • Program observation
    • Meeting/Interview with program staff, Executive Director, and fiscal agent (Multi- and Intermediary Agencies may have multiple site visits for partner agencies at the discretion of TGYS staff)
    • Spot check on staff and volunteer background checks
  • Attend TGYS evaluation webinar
  • Participate in one annual phone call with the TGYS program evaluation team
  • Administer, through paper surveys or online, the TGYS Evaluation to all children, youth, and families receiving services through each grant funded program 
  • Submit completed TGYS program evaluations to the TGYS program evaluation team on a quarterly basis, when possible
  • Administer the TGYS implementation survey to all staff or volunteers who provide direct services to children, youth, and families through each grant funded program
  • Attend Positive Youth Development training (for programs serving youth 9 to 24)
  • Attend Strengthening Families online training (for programs serving children 0 to 8 and their families)
  • Have a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with necessary partners for providing services (i.e., school districts, etc.) prior to receiving grant award
  • Have a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with each partner agency and submit as part of this application. There is no maximum limit to the number of partner agencies. (Applies to Multi & Intermediary Agencies only)
  • Submit renewal documents (years 2 and 3)

Non-discrimination Statement

CDHS expects all persons who perform work on behalf of or funded by CDHS, including all employees, volunteers, and outside vendors (including subcontractors and grantees), to conduct such work in a manner consistent with this policy and applicable nondiscrimination laws. The Grantee shall agree to use such resources in a manner consistent with this policy and applicable nondiscrimination laws.  Programs using TGYS funding shall not discriminate based on race, ethnic group, socio-economic status, national origin, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, familial status, mental or physical disability, pregnancy, veteran status, or HIV status.

Mandatory Reporting

Maintain a mandatory reporting policy, pursuant to C.R.S. 19-3-304, requiring mandated staff and volunteers to report known or suspected child abuse and neglect to the child abuse hotline 1-844-CO-4-KIDS.

Contract Management System

Effective July 1, 2009, pursuant to C.R.S. § 24-102-205, § 24-102-206, § 24-103.5-101, and § 24-105-102 requiring monitoring of contractor performance, the Colorado Department of Human Services has adopted the contract management best practice of evaluating contractor performance. Evaluations will occur on an annual basis throughout the contract period. An evaluation of the entire contract period will occur when the contract expires. The evaluation that occurs at the end of the contract period is referred to as the final evaluation. For those contracts that meet the requirements of C.R.S. §24-102-205, § 24-102-206, § 24-103.5-101, and § 24-105-102, the final evaluation rating will be posted to the public website maintained by the Office of the State Controller. This website is a searchable database of all personal services contracts valued at $150,000 or more entered into after July 1, 2009. The following link provides access to the website http://contractsweb.state.co.us.  This evaluation process has been incorporated into the Department’s routine contract oversight (or monitoring) practices.


All Lead Agency Applicants are required to meet the State of Colorado Insurance Requirements. Per Colorado Revised Statute § 24-102-206, all TGYS grantees, including partner agencies, are required to disclose information about where services will be performed under the contract. Upon TGYS award notification, a disclosure form will be sent to grantees for submission to the TGYS fiscal team.

Notification of Open Records Act

All materials submitted regarding this grant application becomes the property of the State of Colorado and is subject to the terms of Colorado Revised Statutes § 24-72-201 through § 24-72-205.5, Public (open) Records. The State of Colorado has the right to use any or all information/material presented in the grant application, subject to limitations for proprietary or confidential information. Disqualifications or denial of the application does not eliminate this right. Any additional restrictions on the use or inspection of material contained within the proposal shall be clearly stated in the proposal itself. The contents of the application will become contractual obligations if the project is funded, subject to mutual modifications in the contracting process. 


Applicant Types

Applicants may only submit one grant application per agency and may only apply as one of the following three types:

Single Agency - an eligible agency that applies for a TGYS grant independently, despite any programmatic collaboration that may exist with other service providers.  Single Agencies may apply for funding for one program in Tier 1 or up to three programs in Tiers 2 and 3.

Single Agency Example: 

Fairfax County Youth Center

The single agency administers the TGYS grant both fiscally and programmatically; handles all invoicing, reporting, and evaluation requirement for the grant; works with youth ages 12 to 14; and implements an evidence-based, life skills curriculum that has been shown to reduce youth violence and improve decision-making skills among participants.

Multi-Agency - an eligible agency that applies for a TGYS grant as a collaborative, may apply for Tier 2, 3, or 4, and must meet ALL of the following requirements:

  • Has an established collaborative partnership between two or more agencies for the purpose of providing community-based services. 
  • Has one Lead Agency subcontracting other agencies, which are referred to as “partner agencies.”  The Lead Agency is expected to:
    • Serve as the liaison to the TGYS Program as the primary contact and will coordinate and submit all required TGYS reports for the partner agencies.
    • Manage and coordinate all TGYS fiscal procedures for the partner agencies.
    • Conduct program monitoring with partner agencies to ensure alignment with the TGYS Program.
    • Coordinate TGYS-related evaluation processes with the partner agencies.
  • Has a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with each partner agency participating in the collaborative and submit as part of this application. There is no maximum limit to the number of partner agencies.

Multi-Agency Example:

ABC Youth Collaborative – Lead Agency

Ben Franklin Charter School – Partner Agency

Starz Middle School – Partner Agency

Rocky Mountain Youth Academy – Partner Agency

The Lead Agency oversees and coordinates the collaborative with partner agencies to implement comprehensive services for youth ages 9 to 18 in their community. The collaborative’s goals are to increase academic skills and provide weekly interactions with positive adult role models. The Lead Agency oversees the fiscal and programmatic administration of the TGYS grant including billing, reporting, communication, program monitoring, evaluation coordination, and convenes the partner agencies on a regular basis to share information and track performance of the collaborative. The partner agencies implement effective direct services, provide relevant information to the Lead Agency, and participate in regularly scheduled collaborative meetings.

Intermediary Agency - an eligible Lead Agency that applies for a TGYS grant to promote and support evidence-based strategies or programs within other agencies, may apply for Tier 2, 3, or 4 and must meet ALL of the following requirements:

  • Interacts with local, community-based organizations as well as with state-wide or nationwide entities to effectively implement a specific evidence-based strategy or program. 
  • Has the capacity (knowledge, skills, and resources) to provide a variety of services to local programs that implement the same specific evidence-based strategy or program. These services include: 
    • Community preparation for program implementation
    • Staff training on the evidence-based strategy or program
    • Technical assistance
    • Program monitoring
    • Liaison to program developer/national office
    • Evaluation coordination
    • Financial administration through subcontracts
  • Serves as the fiscal and coordinating entity (Lead Agency) with the intent of subcontracting TGYS-related services with their community providers (partner agencies). 
  • Has an application process to identify partner agencies either prior to submission of the TGYS application or once notification of funding is made. 
  • Has a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with each partner agency and submits as part of this application. There is no maximum limit to the number of partner agencies.

Intermediary Agency Example:

Colorado Mentoring (part of USA Mentoring) – Lead Agency

The Lead Agency oversees the implementation of the evidence-based “ABC Mentoring” program within 20 community-based partner agencies by identifying, preparing, and supporting these partner agencies in the execution of the “ABC Mentoring” program through providing technical assistance, distributing resources from the national office, conducting annual site visits, coordinating evaluation efforts, and applying for and distributing grants to local partners. 

NOTE: Applications for Tiers 2, 3, and 4 may include funding requests for more than one program, with a maximum request of three programs.  A separate Statement of Work (SOW) and Budget are required for each program for which funds are being requested.

For example, Agency XYZ may request TGYS funds in one application to support both the Happy Larks Literacy Program and the Dream Big Youth Mentoring program. However, Agency XYZ must submit an SOW and Budget for the literacy program and another SOW and Budget for the youth mentoring program.Agency XYZ may NOT submit two separate applications. If Agency XYZ applies as a single agency and is a partner agency in Agency ABC’s multi-agency application, both of those applications would be disqualified.

Please Note:  The two main differences between a Multi and Intermediary Agency are:

  1. A Multi-Agency does not have to use an evidence-based program, whereas an Intermediary Agency must use an evidence-based program and a primary responsibility of the Intermediary lead agency is monitoring program fidelity.
  2. An Intermediary lead agency does not provide direct services, whereas a multi-agency lead agency does provide direct services.


Priority Funding

The TGYS Board has determined the following areas for priority funding consideration. Applicants with qualifying scores whose applications meet the criteria listed below will receive a percentage increase to their final application score. Priority increases will not be given to applicants without qualifying scores.

  1. Youth Crime and Violence Prevention (3%):  Applicant’s mission or vision statement must include a reference to youth crime and violence prevention, or the applicant’s program must use curriculum specifically designed for youth crime and violence prevention. 
  2. Marginalized Communities (2%):  Applicant’s mission or vision statement must include a reference to one of the five marginalized communities listed below, or the applicant’s program must use curriculum specifically designed for one of the five marginalized communities listed below. 
    1. Immigrants, Refugees, and Migrants
    2. LGBTQ & Gender Non-conforming
    3. Young People Involved with the Juvenile Justice System
    4. Young People who are Homeless
    5. Children & Youth in Foster Care
  3. Nine Priority Counties based on the Statewide Youth Development Dashboard (SYDP) (2%):  Applicant must serve children, youth, and/or families from only the nine prioritized counties OR the number of children, youth, and/or families from the priority counties the applicant intends to serve must equal a minimum of 20% of all the populations they are proposing to serve.
    1. Adams
    2. Archuleta
    3. Custer
    4. Dolores
    5. El Paso
    6. Gilpin
    7. Lake
    8. Pueblo
    9. Saguache
  4. Rural & Frontier Counties and Tribes (1%): Applicant must serve only rural & frontier counties and/or tribes OR the number of children/youth and families from the priority counties the applicant intends to serve must equal a minimum of 20% of all the children/youth and families they are proposing to serve.

Scoring Reductions

Current TGYS grantees who have had their funding reduced two or more years due to timeliness of communication concerns will receive a 10% reduction in their application score for the SFY21-23 RFA.

Initial Technical & Fiscal Review

Each application will undergo an initial technical and fiscal review process whereby staff reviewers will determine if applications meet minimum requirements to move on to a comprehensive review. If an application is incomplete, does not meet the requirements of the grant outlined in the pre-application agreements, or does not meet minimum fiscal standards, the application will be disqualified.

Comprehensive Review

Applications passing the initial review will progress to the comprehensive review.  The comprehensive review will consist of a minimum of three volunteer reviewers who will independently review and score each of their assigned applications using the scoring rubric followed by a team review to reach a consensus score for each application. Reviewers will include professionals from the Colorado Departments of Human Services, Public Health and Environment, and Education and representatives from other state-wide entities and community partners. Reviewers may also have expertise in prevention, intervention, grant making, youth development, early childhood, non-profit management, fiscal policies and procedures, and evaluation.

Reviewers will be asked to self-identify any conflicts of interest before the process begins. A conflict of interest exists when a reviewer is employed by, volunteers for, serves on the Board of, consults with, has founded an applicant organization, or fiscally benefits from TGYS funds as a result of the award. These conflicts will be addressed in the distribution of applications to review teams and reviewers will not review and score those applications with which they have a conflict of interest.


  • Applicants will be allowed to appeal Initial Technical Review disqualification.
    • Applicants will be notified of Technical Disqualification by January 7, 2020.
    • Appeals for Technical Review Disqualifications are due January 10, 2020 by 5:00pm MST.  No exceptions or extensions will be granted.  Please be sure to have someone checking your email during this week of appeals.
    • Specific appeal instructions will be included in the notification of disqualification.
  • Applicants will NOT be allowed to appeal application scores or funding amounts.


Each application will receive a comprehensive review score and will be ranked from highest to lowest. Applications must have a minimum qualifying score, listed below, before any priority points, to qualify for funding.   A list of qualified applicants and their scores will be presented to the TGYS Board for review, and funding decisions will be made based on availability of funds through the annual appropriation made by the Colorado General Assembly.

 Minimum Qualifying Scores

  • Tier 1:  70%
  • Tier 2:  75%
  • Tier 3:  80%
  • Tier 4:  85%

Determination of Funding Amounts

The TGYS Board strives to strike a balance across TGYS grantee recipients state-wide, with no single organization receiving more than 15% of the overall TGYS budget.  The TGYS Board will make award decisions based upon the review team scores, proposed funding scenarios, ratings from the Contracts Management System, and other geographic and funding priorities.  The TGYS Board will NOT reduce funding based on application scores. 

Final Approval

Final approval of all TGYS grantees is made by the Governor.