The Innovation Station Fund provides grants to schools and nonprofits for the creation of innovative, hands-on learning spaces that encourage students to invent, explore and create. Eligible organizations should be located in Larimer County, CO or Weld County, CO or San Diego County, CA.

What is an Innovation Station?

An Innovation Stations is a unique, hands-on space where kids can learn by doing, making and creating. A place where FAIL is an acronym for “First Attempt In Learning” and creators aren’t afraid to go back to the drawing board. 

You might call yours a makerspace, a fab lab, a creation station, or something else. Whatever you call it, your space is all about helping kids learn by doing and we’d love to help you bring your dream Innovation Station to life!

Innovation Station Fund Criteria

In order to be considered for a grant through the Innovation Station Fund, the request should meet the following criteria:
  • The organization is recognized by the IRS as a 501c3 public charity (public schools do qualify under their school district’s EIN)
  • The materials you are requesting funding for will directly serve youth in Larimer, Weld, or San Diego county
  • The purpose of the request is to develop or enhance a hands-on learning space for your school or nonprofit organization that fosters creativity, innovation and an entrepreneurial mindset 
  • The Innovation Station will be accessible to a large population within your school or organization, not just for a specific class, group or club

Grant Cycle & Details

  • The Innovation Station Fund grant cycle is open once per calendar year. For 2022, the request for proposals open on September 12, 2022 and applications are due by Friday, November 18, 2022 at 11:59pm. 
  • The Innovation Station Fund awards grants of up to $25,000 per school/organization. Due to the large volume of high quality applications received each year, it is common to receive partial funding. We encourage applicants to submit requests that include plans for partial funding and/or phased implementation when possible. 
  • Applications will be reviewed after the posted deadline and award notifications will be sent by January 31, 2023.

Grant Funding Requirements

Grant Funding Limitations

  • All Innovation Station Fund grant recipients are required to submit a grant report post-implementation. Details will be emailed to grant recipients following the award notification.
  • Site visits may be conducted by OtterCares Foundation staff and affiliates. Site visits will be scheduled at times mutually convenient for both parties and will be performed to ensure grant funding has been expended in accordance to the original grant request approval and to recognize the successes of the Innovation Station programs.

The Innovation Station Fund does not support the following:

  • Traditional science labs
  • Technology devices or multimedia equipment that will only be used for general purposes by the organization (ex: computer carts)
  • All grant recognition should be attributed to the OtterCares Foundation. Approved logos and brand guidelines will be provided via email, upon request.

Please be advised that OtterCares does not currently fund for the following:

  • Political campaigns and/or legislative lobbying efforts
  • Reproductive choice advocacy groups
  • Direct support for individuals
  • Building/construction projects
  • General operating support/unrestricted funds
  • Travel expenses
  • Organizations redirecting funding outside of Larimer or Weld counties, or San Diego community

The Happenings

Join us as we Ignite Tomorrow Today by educating and inspiring youth to become entrepreneurs and philanthropists! To get news and happenings about the OtterCares Foundation, sign up here!