About​ ​Voting Contigo 2023 Grants

Across Florida, countless people are excluded from full participation in the political, economic, and cultural systems that shape their lives.  A history of systemic inequities has led to a democracy that does not accurately represent modern America.  Many communities – Queer people, people of color, women, immigrants, people with disabilities, youth, and rural populations – have historically been denied an equal voice and access to participate in American democracy at all levels fully.  Additionally, in recent years democratic institutions in the U.S. have been put under unprecedented strain by authoritarian influencers.  Trust in government has eroded with the reversal of protections, such as the gutting of the Voting Rights Act and dangerous disinformation campaigns abetted by profiteering technology corporations paired with the passage of Anti-Voting Laws and ongoing partisan gerrymandering in Florida.  When so many lack access to engage with their government and influence decisions that affect their lives, policies fail to address their needs, favoring those with power and resources, thus deepening inequality.  

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 social, 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 the Foundation Manager 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 and Decision Process

Voting Contigo 2023 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 31st, Friday: Public release of RFP application
  • April 26th, Wednesday: 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


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


Reporting and Other Requirements

Grantees agree to the following as part of receiving a grant:

  • All organizations with annual budgets of $500,000 or more must submit audited financial statements, and all others agree to audit as deemed necessary by Contigo.
  • A final written grant narrative and financial report is due upon completion of the grant cycle to the Foundation Manager.
    • Final report must include 
      • a clear evaluation of results and goals met from the proposal;
      • a project financial expense report demonstrating how funds were expended up that period (template available by request); and
      • a consistent method of gathering feedback from those who are affected by the work, results, and how the applicant is responding to what they learned.


Submission Instructions

To be considered for funding, submit your application and supporting documents by the deadline no later than April 26th, Wednesday, by 5 pm EST.  Send your proposal via the Contigo grant portal on the Contigo Fund website. 

The role of the Foundation Manager for Contigo Fund includes supporting applicants and grantees through the grant submission, reporting, and evaluation process and participation in leadership training opportunities. If you have any questions, please get in touch with Joél Junior Morales at [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 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 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.