About Voting Contigo 2024 Grants

In Florida today, a significant portion of the population continues to face barriers to meaningful engagement in the political, economic, and cultural spheres that impact their daily lives. Decades of entrenched systemic disparities have resulted in a democracy that inadequately mirrors the diversity of modern America. Historically marginalized communities, including individuals who identify as Queer, people of color, women, immigrants, individuals with disabilities, young people, and residents of rural areas, have long been disenfranchised, unable to fully exercise their right to participate in American democracy on an equal footing.

Moreover, the integrity of democratic institutions across the United States has come under unprecedented pressure due to the influence of authoritarian figures. Public trust in government has been steadily eroded, exacerbated by the rollback of critical safeguards such as the Voting Rights Act, the propagation of harmful disinformation campaigns fueled by profit-driven tech giants, the enactment of Anti-Voting Laws, and the persistent practice of partisan gerrymandering within Florida.

As a result, a significant portion of the population is effectively shut out from engaging with their government and shaping policies that directly impact their well-being. This exclusion perpetuates a cycle of inequality, as policies continue to cater to the interests of the privileged few, further widening the gap between those with power and resources and those without. As we approach future election cycles, it is imperative that we work towards dismantling these barriers to participation and fortifying the foundations of a more inclusive and representative democracy in Florida. By empowering all voices and ensuring equitable access to the political process, we can strive towards a more just and prosperous future for all residents of the Sunshine State.

Applicants can apply for a 6-month grant up to the $5,000 maximum.

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 group’s 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 be able to demonstrate their alignment with the values of Contigo 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 and organizational development training, and peer learning opportunities. Contigo will cover training costs, and the applicant core staff and board or advisory committee members should be prepared to devote appropriate time and thought to participate actively in these opportunities.

Grants and Decision Process Voting Contigo 2024 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

● April 1 , Monday: Public release of RFP application
● April 19, Monday: Applications due by 5 pm EST
● Early June: Final decisions on grants & notification
● December 1st, Friday: Final Reports from grantees due by 5 pm EST

A successful proposal will be informed by recognizing the intersectional nature of oppression, the current social and political context, and the important role Queer people play across all our movements for justice. This effort seeks to empower organizations to act boldly and justly now more than ever in advancing protections for and helping civic spaces thrive to ensure all people have the opportunity to raise their voices, influence decisions, and ensure elected officials are responsive to the communities they serve. Now is the time to organize and mobilize and state clearly and unequivocally that voting rights is a Queer issue. The right to vote is the cornerstone of our democracy and the fundamental right upon which all our civil liberties rest. We must ensure that Queer voters can cast their ballots so we can so we can ensure a reflective and responsive democracy for us all.