There might be an interest for some developers active in Gitea to devote some of their paid time to advance the implementation of federation, a discussion that started late last year. Because of exceptional circumstances (the pandemic), Loïc and Pierre-Louis will have an excess of funds (because there will be very little travel expenses) that can be directed towards this goal. The total amount is ~5,000€.
As suggested by someone who knows the project well during a private conversation, it would be fine to transparently discuss the opportunity on a communication space where the Gitea developers are usually active. Unfortunately these are GitHub and discord, two proprietary platforms that I actively boycott. @pilou graciously agreed to be my proxy and relay my messages in this space.