Skip to main content

Daniels Fund


Last Updated: 2016-02-15

At A Glance

Daniels Fund

101 Monroe St.

Denver, CO United States 80206-4467

Telephone: (303) 393-7220


Type of Grantmaker

Independent foundation

Additional Descriptor

  • Celebrity: Business; Politics; Sports

Financial Data

(yr. ended 2014-12-31)

Assets: $1,391,728,128

Total giving: $62,829,173





Additional Contact Information

Toll free tel.: (877) 791- 4726; Additional e-mail for general contact:


Established in 1997 in CO - Founded by the late Bill Daniels, a pioneer in cable television known for his kindness and generosity to those in need. He established the Daniels Fund to provide grants and scholarships in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. His estate transferred to the Daniels Fund when he died in 2000, making it one of the largest foundations in the Rocky Mountain Region. Daniels owned and operated hundreds of cable TV systems in virtually every state in the country. The firm he founded, RBC Daniels, is nationally recognized as a leading provider of investment banking services to media and technology companies. An avid sports fan, he was one of the first cable leaders to focus on sports programming. He also sponsored heavyweight boxing champions, served as president of the American Basketball Association, was a founder of the United States Football League, and was an owner of several professional sports teams, including a stake in the Los Angeles Lakers. He established Young Americans Bank, the nation’s only bank specifically for kids, to help young people learn the importance of financial responsibility. He collaborated with the University of Denver to incorporate ethics in the business school curriculum. The school was named the Daniels College of Business in 1994. He also funded the Daniels Children’s Center on the campus of the Betty Ford Center.

Purpose and Activities

Giving primarily for child care education reform and early childhood education, higher education, youth development, the elderly, homelessness and self-sufficiency, alcoholism, and substance abuse, amateur athletics, and for people with physical disabilities.

Program Area(s)

The grantmaker has identified the following area(s) of interest:


The goal of the program is to ensure older adults achieve maximum independence and quality of life. Focus is on the following: 1) In-Home Services: in-home visitation, meal delivery/food preparation, transportation (emphasis on rural areas), home maintenance and modification, family/caregiver training and support; respite care; 2) Community Engagement: intergenerational programs, senior volunteer programs, enrichment activities, and wellness programs; and 3)End of Life/Palliative Care: hospice and family counseling.

Alcoholism and Substance Abuse

The goal of the program is to assist youth and adults with alcohol and substance abuse challenges in achieving and maintaining stability. Focus is on the following: 1) Prevention (Emphasis on Youth): outreach and education and information and resources; 2) Treatment: early identification and intervention and outpatient and residential services, including access/affordability and capacity and infrastructure; 3) Supportive/After-Care Services: case management, sober living, life-skills training, children's programs, and support groups.

Amateur Sports

The goal of the program is to expand opportunities in quality youth sports programs that foster sportsmanship, confidence, discipline, and teamwork. Expand opportunities for national and international amateur sports competition. Focus is on the following: 1) Youth Sports: community-based youth sports programs, after-school sports programs, and quality coaching/training; 2) Competition: "pipelines" to national and international competition.

Boundless Opportunity Scholarships

This scholarship provides college scholarships for non-traditional students of all ages, awarded by select colleges and universities using funds provided by the Daniels Fund.The scholarship is available at select two- and four-year colleges and universities in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming who then provide need-based scholarships to successful student applicants. Students interested in applying for a scholarship should request an application from their college or university’s financial aid office, or review the scholarship section of their school’s website. See fund's web site for the colleges and universities that have partnered with the fund.

Daniels Scholarships

The program provides a four-year annually-renewable college scholarship for graduating high school seniors who demonstrate exceptional character, leadership, and a commitment to serving their communities. Eligible students must be current high school seniors graduating during that academic year from a high school in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, or Wyoming. An applicant must be a current resident of one of these four states, and at the time of application, be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States. Applicants must also demonstrate financial need, and meet other scholarship program requirements. Approximately 250 scholarships are awarded each year. .


The goal of the program is to ensure physically and developmentally disabled individuals and their families achieve maximum independence and quality of life. In the area of developmental disabilities, the focus is on support services such as in-home support, early identification, intervention, programs, respite care, family/caregiver training and support and vocational programs. In the area of physical disabilities, the focus is on equipment such as equipment loan banks, equipment purchase, equipment supportive services, refurbish and repair programs, rehabilitative program equipment, and information and resources.

Early Childhood Education

The goal is to improve the quality of the early childhood education system to ensure school readiness. Focus is on the following: 1) Teacher/Leadership quality: preparation and training and accountability; 2) Facility quality: curriculum and materials, and for capital construction and improvement; and 3) Parental involvement: information and resources and for outreach and education.

Ethics and Integrity in Education

Funding in this area is for programs that foster principle-based ethics for K-12 students. The goal is to improve the quality of ethics curriculum to foster principle-based leadership.

Grants to Individuals Program

Scholarships to graduating high school seniors from CO, NM, UT, and WY for higher education.

Homeless and Disadvantaged

The goal of the program is to ensure that homeless individuals and families achieve and maintain self-sufficiency. Focus is on the following: 1) Emergency Services: shelter, food, and basic needs; and 2) Transitional Housing with Supportive Services: transitional housing, employment programs, vocational training, child care, case management, financial literacy, life skills training, and employment programs.

K-12 Education Reform

The goal is to improve the quality of the K-12 education system to ensure increased student achievement. Focus is in the following: 1) Reform/School Choice: for charter schools, tuition assistance programs (portable vouchers), challenges to the status quo of teacher tenure, evaluation, and compensation; reforms that challenge barriers to quality; and community engagement; 2) Parental Engagement: Education and resources, and parental advocacy for high quality schools and/or school choice; 3) Teacher/Leadership Quality: Innovative teacher/leadership pipelines for charter schools.

Youth Development

The goal of the program is to provide opportunities for youth to develop character and gain the necessary life skills to become successful adults. Focus is on the following: 1) Academic and Supplemental Services: tutoring, mentoring, and life skills programs; 2) Civic Literacy & Community Engagement: civics education, service learning, leadership development, character development and patriotism; 3) Financial Literacy and Entrepreneurship: financial education, free enterprise and economics education; and 4) Career and Technical Education: career development, mentoring, and employment programs.

Fields of Interest

  • Addiction services
  • Alcoholism
  • Developmental disability services
  • Early childhood education
  • Education
  • Geriatrics
  • Homeless services
  • Homeless shelters
  • Track and field
  • University education
  • Youth development
Population Groups
  • Academics
  • Children and youth
  • Economically disadvantaged people
  • Homeless people
  • Low-income and poor people
  • People with disabilities
  • Seniors
  • Students

Financial Data

Year ended 2014-12-31

Assets: $1,391,728,128 (market value)

Expenditures: $72,096,405

Total giving: $62,829,173

Qualifying distributions: $69,590,345

Giving activities include:

$48,672,345 for grants

$14,156,828 for 1174 grants to individuals