About Voting Contigo Rapid Response Grant 

 

Representation is power, and LGBTQ+ communities of color have historically been marginalized from equal access and opportunity in American democracy. For years, and in particular these past four years, democratic institutions in the U.S. have been put under unprecedented strain by authoritarian influencers. The horrific attacks on our democracy and growing fascist and totalitarian movements call for an infusion of new, strong, and progressive leadership from those most impacted by inequality and injustice. In response to these attacks on our nation’s democratic institutions, Contigo seeks to fund initiatives and projects that are aimed at civic engagement. Organizations with proven track records of success will be prioritized. All activities must be nonpartisan, 501(c)3 oriented. Funds will not be awarded to 501(c)4 activities, PACs, or individual political campaigns. 

 

While 2022 isn’t a presidential election year, however, the very fabric of governing in America will be up for grabs in scores of congressional, gubernatorial, and state legislative races. What’s at stake during the 2022 mid-term election?

  • Governor & Governor’s Cabinet: The Florida Governor, Chief Financial Officer, Attorney General, and Commission of Agriculture are all up for election.
  • U.S. House of Representatives: All 435 seats are up for election since all U.S. House members serve two-year terms. 
  • U.S. Senate: The future of the U.S. Senate is a toss-up.  
  • Florida State Legislature: Due to this year’s redistricting, there are all new House and Senate districts. In addition, every House seat is up for election since all Florida State House members serve two-year terms.
  • Local Elections: Many critical local races are taking place in Orange, Osceola, and Seminole Counties, including open School Board seats which particularly wield substantial power over the lives of our LGBTQ+ youth.

On Aug. 23, primaries will determine which candidates appear on November’s general election ballot for the U.S. House and Senate, governor, the state House and Senate, and other state and local offices. Note that Florida’s passage of a new election law means you’ll be able to use ballot drop boxes only during the hours that early voting sites are open — and that you’ll need to provide ID when requesting a vote-by-mail ballot in person by phone or in writing.

Who Is Eligible to Apply
Contigo Fund seeks proposals for efforts based in Central Florida supporting LGBTQ+ communities historically marginalized by society from equal opportunity and power and advance social, racial, economic, and gender justice:

  • Organization must be based in Central Florida and proposed efforts must uniquely serve Central Florida’s LGBTQ+ communities.
  • Groups or proposed projects/programs must be directed/led by LGBTQ+ leader(s).
  • Efforts should help sustain and grow capacity and forward movement to empower LGBTQ+ 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.  Groups do not need 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status to apply.  Those lacking 501(c)(3) status can apply as being fiscally sponsored under the auspices 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 the Foundation Manager for assistance connecting with potential sponsors. 
  • For this specific funding opportunity, Contigo is also open to proposals from 501(c)(4) organizations. Please contact the Foundation Manager if you are interested in exploring applying for funds for a 501(c)(4) organization.
  • 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 similar to 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 committee’s roles and responsibilities and any staff, including how the committee will provide oversight of 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 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 must be a part of a learning community and will be asked to participate with other community leaders, including convenings, leadership and organizational development training, and peer learning opportunities. Contigo will cover costs of training 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.

Applicants can apply for a 6-month grant up to the maximum and must demonstrate how a proposal would be accomplished in that period for the amount requested.

Grants and Decision Process

Voting Contigo 2022 Rapid Response Grant Cycle:

  • Grants can be made up to a maximum of $5,000 and limited to one application per organization (joint applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis), and
  • Applicants can apply for a 6-month grant up to the maximum and must demonstrate how a proposal would be accomplished in that period for the amount requested.

 

Grant Cycle Application, Distribution, and Reporting Timeline

  • March 15th, Tuesday: Public release of RFP application
  • April 15th, Friday: Applications due by 5 pm EST
  • Early May: Final decisions on grants & notification 
  • November 8th, Tuesday: Election Day
  • December 8th, Thursday: Final Reports from grantees due by 5 pm EST

 

Grants will not be awarded to:

  • Efforts outside of Central Florida
  • 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 does not reinvest 100% of that revenue into community programs for and led by impacted communities

Submission Instructions

To be considered for funding, submit your application and supporting documents by the deadline no later than 5 pm EST. Send your proposal via the Contigo grant portal found on the Contigo Fund website. Any questions can be sent to [email protected]

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 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 LGBTQ+ 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, anyone 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.