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, who 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.

What We’ll Fund To advance its mission, Contigo Fund will fund organizations to do several types of activities. Organizations may apply for support for one or more of the following:

Healing and Empowerment: Projects that provide opportunities for healing for Queer communities historically marginalized by society from equal opportunity and power. Including peer-led support groups, community organizing, and other programs that focus not only on providing culturally and linguistically competent services but on empowering community members to advocate for long-term systemic and transformative change. 

Advancing Racial Equity and Justice: Projects that address societal, structural and systemic racism and other inequities in health outcomes. Anti-racist strategies that address systemic barriers for Queer people of color. Alternatively, efforts that address root causes and focuses on a particular intervention, such as training for policy change within a specific issue area. Other examples include addressing: online disinformation and hate; white supremacist violence and rhetoric; and voter subversion and suppression that undermine democracy and entrench systemic inequities.

Leadership Development: Projects that promote leadership development, including popular and political education and grassroots and advocacy training and skills building, among Queer communities historically marginalized by society from equal opportunity and power.

Work led by trans/gender-expansive/intersex individuals and women, undocumented leaders, sex workers, and youth: Projects that center and are led by women of color, transgender, queer, gender expansive, intersex and/or undocumented leaders, sex workers, and youth.

Bridge-Building: Projects that create opportunities for meaningful connection, mutual learning, and coalition among Central Florida’s diverse communities, especially between Queer Black and Latinx, Muslim, Immigrant, and other communities of color.

Racial, Economic, and Gender Justice-focused: Projects that raise an intersectional awareness to address homophobia, transphobia, patriarchy, gender inequity or inequality, gender-based violence, Islamophobia, xenophobia, racism, economic inequity, and other forms of bigotry and disparities.

Safety and Security: Establishing safety and security measures in response to the rise of anti-Queer hate and mass violence  – particularly against transgender, nonbinary, drag communities and people of color – and advocacy and organizing focused on systemic change – including addressing gun violence and advancing gun control measures.

Grants and Decision Process

Contigo 2024-2025 All Black Lives Grant Cycle:

  • Grants for this annual cycle can be made up to a maximum of $20,000 and 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 and must demonstrate how a proposal would be accomplished in that period for the amount requested.

Annual Grant Cycle Application, Distribution, And Reporting Timeline

  • January 10, Wednesday: Public release of RFP application

  • February 5, Monday: Applications due by 5 pm EST

  • Mid-to-Late February: Final decisions on grants & notification 

  • Mid-March: Grants distributed

  • Mid-September: Mid-term Progress Check-ins 

  • January 15, Wednesday: Final Reports from grantees due by 5 pm EST

Submitting a Successful Application: Eligibility, Process and Timeline

Who Is Eligible to Apply

Contigo Fund seeks proposals for efforts based in Central Florida supporting Queer communities historically marginalized by society from equal opportunity and power and advancing racial, economic, and gender justice:

  • Organization must be based in Central Florida (Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Lake, Polk, and Volusia Counties), and proposed efforts must uniquely serve Central Florida’s Queer communities.

  • Groups or proposed projects/programs must be directed/led by Queer leader(s).

  • Efforts should help sustain and grow capacity and forward movement to empower Queer people living at the intersection of marginalized identities, particularly Black and Latinx individuals, immigrants, and other communities of color.

  • 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 under the auspices of fiscal sponsorship of an established 501(c)(3).  Fiscally sponsored groups are required to 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 Contigo Staff for assistance connecting with potential sponsors.

  • Fiscally sponsored groups need to have an oversight and accountability structure in place 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.

  • Extreme preference will be given to organizations with less than $1 million in expenses.

  • Regardless of their structure or age, the applicant’s proposal should demonstrate their alignment with Contigo’s values and 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 must be a part of a learning community and will be asked to participate with other community leaders, including convenings, leadership, 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 will not be awarded to

  • Efforts outside of Central Florida (Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Lake, Polk, and Volusia Counties)

  • For charity, direct cash assistance, or individual scholarships

  • Efforts led by other philanthropic grantmaking institutions or for the purpose of re-granting

  • Health service organizations (including those that operate pharmacies) with revenue generated from the 340B drug program that do not reinvest 100% of that revenue into community programs for and led by impacted communities

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. To accomplish this, and in alignment with our values, we identified and recruited a Community Board and form Community Steering Committees to guide the distribution of grants and determined that it must be made up of leaders from the local community and principally include leaders who are a part of and rooted in Queer communities historically marginalized by society from equal opportunity & power.  All Community Board and Community Advisory Committee 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 serve to disqualify a reviewer from participating in the review of an application or proposal. A conflict of interest may be real or apparent.


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