Fort Collins chosen for Bloomberg Philanthropies project

Molly O'Shea

Bloomberg Philanthropies has chosen the City of Fort Collins to participate in the What Works Cities City Budgeting for Equity and Recovery program.

The program seeks to enhance different cities’ use of data, according to Bloomberg Philanthropies What Works Cities website


“This work in data management lays the groundwork for the City to incorporate data and evidence in a more systematized and robust manner prior to the hiring of a data manager who will work across all areas of the City,” the website reads.

Fort Collins Mayor Wade Troxell and City Manager Darin Atteberry wanted to “help advance the City’s use of data and evidence to improve its ability to deliver results for residents, both through increasing internal use of City data as well as making more data available through the City’s open data portal,” according to the website

“Reaching our goals is about trust, communication and investing in citizen input. We want to have outcomes that people love and communicate in our city.”-Wade Troxell, Fort Collins mayor

Goals for the program include accessing and spending COVID-19 relief funds, having financing that strengthens budget health, increasing revenues that do not impact low-income families negatively and incorporating an “equity analysis” into budgetary decisions, according to What Works Cities’ website.

According to The National League of Cities, cities are projected to lose $360 billion in revenue over the next three years while still needing to deliver community services, and almost 90% of cities are expecting revenue shortfalls after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Troxell, among other City financial leaders, will learn from the finance experts from various sectors and participate in educational workshops with peers, according to City of Fort Collins News. They will also receive $100,000 valued assistance of customized technical support.

Troxell explained that this is the second budgeting and equity program in which Fort Collins has partnered with What Works Cities and the tenth initiative the City has worked on with Bloomberg Philanthropies.

“Our priorities are equity and inclusion, going through a budgeting process and having a lens for equity,” Troxell said. 

Troxell said that Fort Collins has done a number of projects with Bloomberg Philanthropies, stating that the organization recognizes Fort Collins as a thoughtful, forward-thinking and well-managed city, thus allowing the organization to choose the city to be part of the program.   

“When people think of Fort Collins in the context of all the other cities that were chosen to participate, there were a number of capital cities,” Troxell said. “But Fort Collins punches above our weight in terms of our community doing thoughtful, forward-thinking initiatives because we want to create the best community for everyone.”

Troxell said that the goal is to have a more equitable and inclusive city that includes all community members and to have Fort Collins be the most liveable and most desirable community in the nation.


“I believe, for Fort Collins, this is nothing new,” Troxell said. “Reaching our goals is about trust, communication and investing in citizen input. We want to have outcomes that people love and communicate in our city. And we want to continue to grow and get better at it.”

Molly O’Shea can be reached at or on Twitter @Molly_O23.