Feb 10, 2020

Recent articles

CCLP’s 2024 legislative wrap-up, part 2

CCLP's 2024 legislative wrap-up focused on expanding access to justice, removing administrative burden, supporting progressive tax and wage policies, preserving affordable communities, and reducing health care costs. Part 2/2.

CCLP’s 2024 legislative wrap-up, part 1

CCLP's 2024 legislative wrap-up focused on expanding access to justice, removing administrative burden, supporting progressive tax and wage policies, preserving affordable communities, and reducing health care costs.

Charity Navigator awards CCLP Four-Star ranking for the third consecutive year

Colorado Center on Law and Policy (CCLP) is pleased to announce that it has been awarded the prestigious and highly coveted Four-Star ranking by Charity Navigator for the third consecutive year.

In awarding CCLP with their top possible rating, Charity Navigator attested that we exceeded industry standards for strong financial health, accountability and transparency. Charity Navigator performs annual evaluations of more than 1.5 million charities in the United States, and only 25 percent of them have ever achieved a Four-Star rating for three consecutive years — demonstrating that CCLP outperforms most nonprofit organizations in the country in meeting the many requirements and best practices needed to be certified as a Four-Star charity.

This result is a testament to the hard work of all CCLP staff, who are dedicated to ensuring CCLP remains at the pinnacle of openness, transparency, and good financial management to inspire the confidence of all funders, donors and partners in our community. CCLP takes the trust placed in us by the public very seriously, and we believe that in order to serve our Colorado community and execute our mission we must also devote ourselves to being good stewards of our financial resources.

“I share this good news in celebration with all CCLP staff and board members, current and former, who have worked so hard to set this organization on the path of exceptional financial stability and transparency such that we could be recognized as one of the top performing nonprofit organizations nationwide, year after year,” said Tiffani Lennon J.D. LL.M, Executive Director of CCLP. “We couldn’t have achieved this exceptional rating without strong continuing support from our funders and donors.”

Beyond the third consecutive Four-Star rating from Charity Navigator, CCLP has been able to continuously improve its financial efficiency over the last several years, leading to a steady decline in the percentage of our budget dedicated to fundraising and administration. As of 2020, we anticipate that less than $0.17 of every dollar in our budget will be spent on administration, fundraising and other overhead. This means that more than 83 cents of every dollar will be spent directly on our advocacy programs this year — significantly exceeding the standards of most nonprofits. This remarkable financial efficiency means that your donation to CCLP has maximum impact on achieving our mission and goals and that you as a donor or partner of CCLP are truly getting the most bang for your buck. We pledge to you to continuously strive for excellence in this regard and we hope in return you will continue to pledge your support to CCLP. Thank you!

Find out how you can support CCLP’s work through this link.

About Colorado Center on Law and Policy: Founded in 1998, CCLP is a nonprofit research, legislative and legal advocacy organization committed to promoting racial equity and economic security for Coloradans facing poverty. CCLP works on issues regarding access to food, health, housing and income. Learn more at copolicy.org.

About Charity Navigator: There is an unprecedented demand from savvy donors for greater accountability, transparency and quantifiable results from the charities they choose to support. In this competitive philanthropic marketplace, Charity Navigator highlights the fine work of efficient, ethical, and open charities. As America’s premier charity evaluator, Charity Navigator is the gold standard in providing donors with essential information needed to give them greater confidence in the charitable choices they make.

Recent articles

CCLP’s 2024 legislative wrap-up, part 2

CCLP's 2024 legislative wrap-up focused on expanding access to justice, removing administrative burden, supporting progressive tax and wage policies, preserving affordable communities, and reducing health care costs. Part 2/2.

CCLP’s 2024 legislative wrap-up, part 1

CCLP's 2024 legislative wrap-up focused on expanding access to justice, removing administrative burden, supporting progressive tax and wage policies, preserving affordable communities, and reducing health care costs.


To maintain health and well-being, people of all ages need access to quality health care that improves outcomes and reduces costs for the community. Health First Colorado, the state's Medicaid program, is public health insurance for low-income Coloradans who qualify. The program is funded jointly by a federal-state partnership and is administered by the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy & Financing.

Benefits of the program include behavioral health, dental services, emergency care, family planning services, hospitalization, laboratory services, maternity care, newborn care, outpatient care, prescription drugs, preventive and wellness services, primary care and rehabilitative services.

In tandem with the Affordable Care Act, Colorado expanded Medicaid eligibility in 2013 - providing hundreds of thousands of adults with incomes less than 133% FPL with health insurance for the first time increasing the health and economic well-being of these Coloradans. Most of the money for newly eligible Medicaid clients has been covered by the federal government, which will gradually decrease its contribution to 90% by 2020.

Other populations eligible for Medicaid include children, who qualify with income up to 142% FPL, pregnant women with household income under 195% FPL, and adults with dependent children with household income under 68% FPL.

Some analyses indicate that Colorado's investment in Medicaid will pay off in the long run by reducing spending on programs for the uninsured.


Hunger, though often invisible, affects everyone. It impacts people's physical, mental and emotional health and can be a culprit of obesity, depression, acute and chronic illnesses and other preventable medical conditions. Hunger also hinders education and productivity, not only stunting a child's overall well-being and academic achievement, but consuming an adult's ability to be a focused, industrious member of society. Even those who have never worried about having enough food experience the ripple effects of hunger, which seeps into our communities and erodes our state's economy.

Community resources like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as Food Stamps, exist to ensure that families and individuals can purchase groceries, with the average benefit being about $1.40 per meal, per person.

Funding for SNAP comes from the USDA, but the administrative costs are split between local, state, and federal governments. Yet, the lack of investment in a strong, effective SNAP program impedes Colorado's progress in becoming the healthiest state in the nation and providing a better, brighter future for all. Indeed, Colorado ranks 44th in the nation for access to SNAP and lost out on more than $261 million in grocery sales due to a large access gap in SNAP enrollment.

See the Food Assistance (SNAP) Benefit Calculator to get an estimate of your eligibility for food benefits.


Every child deserves the nutritional resources needed to get a healthy start on life both inside and outside the mother's womb. In particular, good nutrition and health care is critical for establishing a strong foundation that could affect a child's future physical and mental health, academic achievement and economic productivity. Likewise, the inability to access good nutrition and health care endangers the very integrity of that foundation.

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) provides federal grants to states for supplemental foods, health care referrals, and nutrition information for low-income pregnant, breastfeeding and non-breastfeeding postpartum women and to infants and children up to age five who are found to be at nutritional risk.

Research has shown that WIC has played an important role in improving birth outcomes and containing health care costs, resulting in longer pregnancies, fewer infant deaths, a greater likelihood of receiving prenatal care, improved infant-feeding practices, and immunization rates

Financial Security:
Colorado Works

In building a foundation for self-sufficiency, some Colorado families need some extra tools to ensure they can weather challenging financial circumstances and obtain basic resources to help them and their communities reach their potential.

Colorado Works is Colorado's Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program and provides public assistance to families in need. The Colorado Works program is designed to assist participants in becoming self-sufficient by strengthening the economic and social stability of families. The program provides monthly cash assistance and support services to eligible Colorado families.

The program is primarily funded by a federal block grant to the state. Counties also contribute about 20% of the cost.


Child care is a must for working families. Along with ensuring that parents can work or obtain job skills training to improve their families' economic security, studies show that quality child care improves children's academic performance, career development and health outcomes.

Yet despite these proven benefits, low-income families often struggle with the cost of child care. Colorado ranks among the top 10 most expensive states in the country for center-based child care. For families with an infant, full-time enrollment at a child care center cost an average of $15,140 a year-or about three-quarters of the total income of a family of three living at the Federal Poverty Level (FPL).

The Colorado Child Care Assistance Program (CCCAP) provides child care assistance to parents who are working, searching for employment or participating in training, and parents who are enrolled in the Colorado Works Program and need child care services to support their efforts toward self-sufficiency. Most of the money for CCCAP comes from the federal Child Care and Development Fund. Each county can set their own income eligibility limit as long as it is at or above 165% of the federal poverty level and does not exceed 85% of area median income.

Unfortunately, while the need is growing, only an estimated one-quarter of all eligible children in the state are served by CCCAP. Low reimbursement rates have also resulted in fewer providers willing to accept CCCAP subsidies.