About All Black Lives Grant

HISTORY: Co-designed by Contigo’s leadership alongside Black LGBTQ+ Leaders from Contigo’s Community Board and moderators of the Central Florida Black LGBTQ Lives Matter Listening Session, Contigo launched the All Black Lives (ABL) Grants Cycle on June 10, 2020.  ABL is inspired by the historic racial justice uprising and motivated by the escalating and often invisibilized cases of murder and violence against our Black Transgender family at the hands of police brutality, white supremacy, and transphobia. We are all called on to #SayTheirNames. PURPOSE: Dedicates funding to frontline LGBTQ+ organizing groups and efforts that are Black LGBTQ+ led in Central Florida to build on the movement for Black lives — particularly those led by and for Black Transgender, Gender Nonconforming, and Gender Nonbinary community and Sex Workers. Supports grassroots organizing to build visibility and power, promote safety, and amplify the demands of those impacted by anti-Black racism and gender discrimination.

VALUES: ABL recognizes Black trans and queer folks have been at the frontlines of the LGBTQ+ and Black Lives Matter movements. We remember trans women of color, such as revolutionary Black trans activist Marsha P Johnson alongside trans Latina activist Silvia Rivera. Together they led the riots at Stonewall in 1969, which propelled the LGBTQ+ rights movement. We remember three Black women, two of whom identify as queer feminists, including Alicia Garza and Patrisse Cullors, that co-founded the Black Lives Matter Movement. Protests ignited movements because of state-sanctioned police brutality, violence, and inequality. Our history reminds us of the vital role Black LGBTQ+ folks play in all our justice movements and how this historical moment calls on us to do more in centering, supporting, and following their lead.

Contigo Fund’s Theory of Change:

Shaping a system that, 

  • brings those pushed farthest to the margins of society closest to the center; 
  • opens doors of opportunity for those historically marginalized from power into positions of decision-making leadership; 
  • meets the unique needs of those most impacted by inequalities and inequities with cultural competence, humility, compassion; and
  • where every individual has a role and no community is disposable, catalyzes a strong intersectional movement and builds a social justice ecosystem that can include and support everyone.

How We Measure Impact To catalyze and advance change, Contigo Fund measures our impact in the following ways: 

  • Opportunity that is expanded to LGBTQ+ leaders and leaders of color in positions of decision-making power that were not in place prior to the Pulse tragedy. In 2022, Contigo funded and sustained 35 new positions for LGBTQ+ leaders and leaders of color. These leaders are driving an intersectional movement advancing social, racial, economic, and gender justice across Central Florida.
  • Existing organizations have launched new and life-changing movement-building programs and services based on cultural competence, humility, and compassion for LGBTQ+ communities of color. In 2021, Contigo funding launched and sustained 23 programs serving LGBTQ+ communities of color at existing organizations. Since the Pulse tragedy, these organizations have deepened their relationship and meaningful engagement with those communities. New organizations and groups led by and for LGBTQ+ leaders and leaders of color that were sustained, expanded, strengthened and cemented. In 2022, Contigo funded and sustained 11 new regional organizations and groups. In the aftermath of the Pulse tragedy, these organizations and groups have matured and created permanent sanctuary spaces for community and leadership opportunities for other LGBTQ+ leaders and leaders of color.

Who Is Eligible to Apply Contigo Fund seeks proposals for efforts based in Central Florida supporting POC and LGBTQ+ communities historically marginalized by society from equal opportunity & power:

  • The organization must be based in Central Florida, and proposed efforts must uniquely serve Central Florida’s Black LGBTQ+ communities.
  • Groups or proposed projects/programs must be directed/led by Black LGBTQ+ leader(s).
  • It should help sustain and grow capacity and forward movement to empower Black LGBTQ+ people living at the intersection of marginalized identities, particularly women, trans, and nonbinary folks, youth, rural communities, and the broader African diaspora such as Caribbean and other immigrant communities.
  • Must be a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization or fiscally sponsored by a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. To apply, groups do not need 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status. Those lacking 501(c)(3) status can apply as being fiscally sponsored under the auspices of an established 501(c)(3). Fiscally sponsored groups must submit a fiscal sponsorship agreement outlining the roles of both the fiscal sponsor and the fiscally sponsored group and signed by representatives of both parties. If your group does not yet have a fiscal sponsor, contact the Foundation Manager for assistance connecting with potential sponsors. 
  • Fiscally sponsored groups need to have an oversight and accountability structure or develop a plan for such a structure before receiving a grant. The oversight and accountability structure for the group can be a Community Steering or Advisory Committee of local community members that reflects the community the group seeks to support, setting the vision of the project and guiding its work like a board of directors. Please note the oversight and accountability structure is separate from the fiscal sponsor’s governance structure. The community steering / advisory committee informs the group’s work in alignment with the group’s mission and oversight of the group’s financial health and executive leadership. The oversight and accountability structure in place – or plan to develop one – must include an outline of the roles and responsibilities of the committee and any staff, including how the committee will oversee staff.
  • Very strong preference will be given to organizations with less than $1 million expenses.
  • Regardless of their structure or age, the applicant’s proposal should be able to demonstrate their alignment with the values of Contigo and their potential for advancing its vision and theory of change.
  • Preference is given to projects and programs that respond to a distinct unmet need in the target communities and employ medium-term to long-term solutions.
  • Applicants are required to be a part of a learning community/capacity-building program. They will be asked to participate with other community leaders, including convenings, leadership and organizational development training, and peer learning opportunities. Contigo will cover training costs, and the applicant core staff and board or community steering committee or community advisory board members should be prepared to devote appropriate time and thought to participate actively in these opportunities.

Grants for this annual cycle can be made up to a maximum of $20,000 in prioritized funds and up to $1,500 in discretionary funds. Submissions are limited to one application per organization (joint applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis), and applicants can apply for a 12-month grant up to the maximum. They must demonstrate how a proposal would be accomplished in that period for the amount requested.

Who Makes Grant Decisions Contigo Fund serves as a participatory and social justice model for grantmaking in which decision-making power about grants is in the hands of the communities most impacted by funding decisions. Our approach brings the principle of “nothing about us without us” to philanthropy and recognizes that those closest to the challenges we face are closest to the solutions we need. Contigo leadership convened and trained a Community Steering Committee (CSC) for the All Black Lives Grants Cycle of 8-10 key Black LGBTQ+ leaders. Officially established in December 2021, members of the CSC make all grantmaking decisions. All members agree to a conflict of interest agreement, including conflicts arising from employment, financial benefit, personal relationships, professional relationships, or other interests. If applicable, any one condition may disqualify a reviewer from participating in an application or proposal review. A conflict of interest may be real or apparent.  Submission Instructions To be considered for funding, submit your application and supporting documents by the deadline no later than 5 pm EST, Wednesday, February 15th. Send your proposal via the Contigo grant portal on the Contigo Fund website. If you have any issues with the portal, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Contigo’s Foundation Manager, Joél Junior Morales, at [email protected].   You will receive a confirmation of receipt of your application within 48 hours of the submission deadline. Annual grant awards will be announced by late-February 2023. The role of the Foundation Manager for Contigo Fund includes supporting applicants and grantees through the grant submission, reporting, evaluation process and participation in leadership training opportunities. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Joél Junior Morales at [email protected]

Grants will not be awarded to:

  • Efforts outside of Central Florida
  • For charity, direct cash assistance, or individual scholarships
  • 501(c)4 organizations
  • Efforts led by other philanthropic grantmaking institutions or for the purpose of re-granting
  • Proposed projects/programs NOT directed/led by Black LGBTQ+ leader(s)
  • Health service organizations (including those that operate pharmacies) with revenue generated from the 340B drug program  that does not reinvest  100% of that revenue  into community programs for and led by impacted communities
  • Sponsorships for conferences, fundraisers, or other annual or one-time events …exceptions may be made for service / educational events, such as strategic conferences and convenings that are part of larger movement strategy; however, they must demonstrate how it would advance a strong long-term systemic impact on target communities in a way that lives beyond that event

Receiving a grant from All Black Lives Fund will not preclude an organization from applying for additional support from Contigo Fund as it becomes available.

For more information about this opportunity and for those that meet our criteria, we invite you to review additional background and submit your grant request through our online portal: HERE

Check Out the 2021 & 2022 All Black Lives Fund Grant Recipients