Guidelines for Obtaining $100,000 Grant from Decriminalize Sex Work for a Washington D.C. Ballot Initiative (March 4, 2020)

Individuals, organizations, and/or campaign committees interested in decriminalizing adult, consensual sex work in Washington, D.C., in November 2022 are encouraged to apply to Decriminalize Sex Work (DSW) for a $100,000 grant by June 30, 2020.

A successful applicant would ideally possess the following skills and background:

  • Experience with running or working at a high-level on campaigns to elect individual candidates to public office and/or to pass local/city/state ballot initiatives (of any kind). 
  • Roots in the D.C. community, including (but not limited to) relationships with the political establishment.
  • Access to — and leadership with — grassroots activists in the D.C. community, who would ideally be mobilized to participate in a citywide signature drive.
  • Experience with being a spokesperson — or working closely with a spokesperson — who has interfaced regularly with the news media (not necessarily in D.C.).
  • Execution of a six-figure campaign budget.
  • Management or coordination with paid signature gatherers (not necessarily in D.C.).


There is no minimum or maximum number of pages for this grant application.  Rather, a successful grant application would simply include satisfactory descriptions of the following:

  • If an existing organization, mission, and organizational chart if applicable.  
  • Plan for identifying, retaining, and coordinating a professional petitioning firm, or independent contractors, to obtain ~25,000 signatures.  
  • Plan for recruiting, activating, and managing volunteer petitioners. 
  • PR strategy that distinguishes between three phases of a D.C. campaign — before the signature drive, during the signature drive, and after the signature drive.
  • Development of the campaign’s messaging to D.C. voters, as well as thoughts on how to rebut or otherwise address an opposition campaign’s messages.
  • Budget that illustrates how DSW’s $100,000 grant fits within the campaign’s overall budget.


DSW will make decisions on all grant applications by September 30, 2020. 

As such, grant applications should span a period of time that (1) begins in late 2020 or sometime in 2021, and (2) ends in November 2022.

Grant applications — or questions about this grant — should be directed to

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