Notice of Funding Opportunity

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
U.S. Embassy Yerevan, Public Affairs Section

Annual Program Statement

Funding Opportunity Title:             PAS Yerevan Small Grants Program

Funding Opportunity Number:      PAS-Yerevan-FY21

Deadline for Applications:               Rolling Basis with Biannual Review

Assistance Listing Number:             19.040 – Public Diplomacy Programs

Total Amount Available:                 Up to $150,000, pending funds availability

 

  1. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION


The U.S. Embassy Yerevan Public Affairs Section (PAS) of the U.S. Department of State is pleased to announce that applications are being accepted for PAS Yerevan’s Small Grants Program. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and awarded pending funds availability.  This is an Annual Program Statement, outlining our funding priorities, the strategic themes we focus on, and the procedures for submitting requests for funding.  Please carefully follow all instructions below.

 

Purpose of Small Grants: PAS Yerevan invites proposals for projects that strengthen mutual understanding and cooperation between the United States and Armenia through programming that highlights shared values and promotes bilateral cooperation. All projects must include an American cultural element, or connection with American expert/s, organization/s, or institution/s in a specific field that will promote increased understanding of U.S. policy and perspectives.

Priority Program Areas:

  1. Reinforce U.S. – Armenian Shared Values
  2. Advance Regional and Global Security
  3. Develop Media Capacity and Expand English Language Opportunities
  4. Strengthen Democracy and Civil Society
  • Reinforce U.S. – Armenian Shared Values, by funding proposals which: Promote U.S. culture, including music, dance, arts, film, sports, and education, and support human rights, social inclusion, entrepreneurship, youth outreach, and women’s empowerment.
  • Advance Regional and Global Security, by funding proposals which: Promote reconciliation and lasting partnerships between the people of Armenia and Azerbaijan and/or Turkey, including plans for continued cooperation after the project ends.
  • Develop Media Capacity and Expand English Language Opportunities, by funding proposals which: train journalists and advance the use of new media tools, as well as expand English language learning and training opportunities for journalists, students, and youth.
  • Strengthen Democracy and Civil Society, by funding proposals which: encourage transparency and accountability in governance, foster civic engagement and reforms, and promote democracy, trade and investment, rule of law, civic education, and entrepreneurship. Most projects of this nature are funded under the Democracy Commission and Alumni Outreach Small Grant Programs.

 Activities that are typically funded include, but are not limited to:

  • Bringing an American expert speaker or performer to Armenia;
  • Conferences on American themes or issues of mutual interest;
  • Exhibitions of works by Americans or on American themes;
  • Youth empowerment, leadership, and education programs;
  • Cultural programs, and particularly those that target underserved communities;
  • Radio, television, and social media programming in support of the above four objectives;
  • Exchange programs that support reconciliation with neighboring countries.

 Activities that are not typically funded include, but are not limited to:

  • Ongoing salary costs;
  • Paying to complete activities initiated with other funds;
  • Projects that are inherently political in nature or that contain the appearance of partisanship/support to individual or single party electoral campaigns;
  • Charitable or development activities;
  • Construction programs;
  • Projects that support specific religious activities;
  • Lobbying for specific legislation or programs;
  • Scientific research;
  • Fundraising campaigns;
  • Commercial projects;
  • Trade activities;
  • Projects aimed primarily at the institutional development of the organization; and
  • Programs that duplicate existing programs.

Authorizing legislation, type, and year of funding:

 Funding authority of this program rests with the Smith-Mundt and Fulbright-Hays Acts. The program is supported by Public Diplomacy Funding.

 

  1. FEDERAL AWARD INFORMATION
   Length of performance period:    Up to 12 months
Number of awards anticipated: Up to 10 awards (depending on award budgets)
Award amounts: While the Public Affairs Section will consider proposals up to $50,000, projects that are smaller in scope are more likely to be awarded.  Most grants selected are between $5,000 and $25,000. 
Total available funding: Up to $150,000
Type of Funding: Public Diplomacy Funding


The U.S. Embassy reserves the right to award less or more than the funds described in the absence of worthy applications or under such other circumstances as it may deem to be in the best interests of the U.S. government. This notice is subject to funds availability.

Funding Instrument Type:  Grant, fixed amount award, or cooperative agreement. The type of funding instrument, exact amount of funding, the scope of work, and the terms and conditions of a successful award will be determined in pre-award negotiations between the applicant and U.S. Embassy representatives after the application has been selected for funding.

Cooperative agreements will only be used for awards to organizations in case the proposed project involves substantial U.S. Embassy involvement. “Substantial involvement” means that, after the award is approved for funding, U.S. Embassy staff will assist, guide, coordinate, or participate in project activities in a partnership role. The U.S. Embassy will not assume direction, primary responsibility, or a dominant role in project activities. These reside with the recipient for the entirety of the project.

  1. ELIGILIBITY INFORMATION

 

  1. Eligible Applicants

U.S. Embassy Yerevan encourages applications from all sectors: committed and organized civil-society organizations, local representatives of civil society, think tanks, non-governmental organizations, and individuals. Most selected proposals will be from those registered and performing in Armenia. However, a limited number of proposals from U.S.-based organizations will be considered. For-profit or commercial entities are not eligible to apply.  

  1. Cost Sharing or Matching

Cost sharing is not required.

  1. Other Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible to receive an award, all organizations must have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number from Dun & Bradstreet, as well as a valid registration on: www.SAM.gov. Please see Section D.3 for information on how to obtain these registrations.  Individuals are not required to have a DUNS number or be registered in SAM.gov.

  1. APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION

 

  1. Address to Request Application Package

Required application forms are available below.

  1. Content and Form of Application Submission

Please follow all instructions below carefully. Proposals that do not meet the requirements of this announcement or fail to comply with the stated requirements will be ineligible.

Content of Application

Please ensure:

  • The proposal clearly addresses the goals and objectives of this funding opportunity
  • All documents are in English
  • All budgets are in U.S. dollars

The following documents are required:

  1. Mandatory application forms
  1. Summary Coversheet: Cover sheet stating the applicant name and organization, proposal date, program title, duration of the program, proposed start and end date of the implementation, and brief purpose of the program.
  2. Proposal (10 pages maximum): The proposal should contain sufficient information that anyone not familiar with it would understand exactly what the applicant wants to do. You may use your own proposal format, but it must include all the items below.
  • Proposal Summary: Short narrative that outlines the proposed project, including project objectives and anticipated impact.
  • Introduction to the Organization or Individual applying: A description of past and present operations, showing ability to carry out the project, including information on all previous grants from the U.S. Embassy and/or U.S. government agencies.
  • Problem Statement: A clear, concise, and well-supported statement of the problem to be addressed and why the proposed project is needed.
  • Project Goals and Objectives:  The “goals” describe what the project is intended to achieve.  What aspect of the relationship between the U.S. and Armenia will be improved? The “objectives” refer to the intermediate accomplishments on the way to the goals. These should be achievable and measurable.
  • Project Activities: Describe the project activities and how they will help achieve the objectives.
  • Project Methods and Design: A description of how the project is expected to work to solve the stated problem and achieve the goal.
  • Proposed Project Schedule:  The proposed timeline for the project activities.  Include the dates, times, and locations of planned activities and events.
  • Key Personnel: Names, titles, roles, and experience/qualifications of key personnel involved in the project.  What proportion of their time will be used in support of this project?
  • Project Partners:  List the names and type of involvement of key partner organizations and sub-awardees.
  • Project Monitoring and Evaluation Plan: This is an important part of successful grants. Throughout the duration of the grant, the project monitoring and evaluation plan explains how the activities will be monitored to ensure they are happening in a timely manner, and how the project will be evaluated to make sure it is meeting the goals of the grant.
  • Future Funding or Sustainability: This section explains the applicant’s plan for continuing the project beyond the grant period, and/or the availability of other resources, if applicable.
  1. Detailed Budget and Justification Narrative: After filling out the SF-424A Budget (above), use a separate sheet of paper to present the budget breakdown and to describe each of the budget expenses in detail.  See section H. Other Information: Guidelines for Budget Submissions below for further information.

 

  1. Attachments:
  • A one-page CV or resume of key personnel who are proposed for the project
  • Letters of support from project partners describing the roles and responsibilities of each partner
  • Official permission letters, if required for project activities
  1. Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM.gov)

Required Registrations:

All organizations applying for grants (except individuals) must obtain these registrations.  All are free of charge:

  • Unique Identifier Number from Dun & Bradstreet (DUNS number)
  • NCAGE/CAGE code
  • SAM.gov registration

Step 1: Apply for a DUNS number and an NCAGE number (these can be completed simultaneously)

DUNS application: Organizations must have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number from Dun & Bradstreet, if your organization does not have one already, you may obtain one by calling 1-866-705-5711 or visiting here:

NCAGE application: Application page here.

Instructions for the NCAGE application process can be found here:

For help from within the U.S., call 1-888-227-2423

For help from outside the U.S., call 1-269-961-7766

Email NCAGE@dlis.dla.mil for any problems in getting an NCAGE code.

Step 2: After receiving the NCAGE Code, proceed to register in SAM by logging onto: https://www.sam.gov.  SAM registration must be renewed annually.

  1. Submission Dates and Times 

U.S. Embassy Yerevan will accept proposals on a rolling basis throughout the year and will review proposals on a biannual basis subject to the availability of funds, on/around: June 1 and December 1.

 

In the case of successful proposals, the complete grant process (from the date of the review to the time the funds are available for use) typically takes up to 10 weeks.

  1. Funding Restrictions

The funds requested under this program CANNOT fund partisan political activity; humanitarian aid and charities or charitable activities; scientific research; fundraising campaigns; commercial projects; trade activities; conferences and individual trips abroad; projects aimed primarily at the institutional development of the recipient organization.  Please note that award funds cannot be used to purchase alcoholic beverages.

  1. Other Submission Requirements

All application materials must be submitted by email to yerevangrants@state.gov.

  1. APPLICATION REVIEW INFORMATION

 

  1. Criteria

Each application will be evaluated and rated based on the evaluation criteria outlined below. The criteria listed are closely related and are considered as a whole in judging the overall quality of an application.

Organizational capacity and record on previous grants: The organization has expertise in its stated field and PAS is confident of its ability to undertake the project.  This includes a financial management system and a bank account.

Quality and Feasibility of the Project Idea – The project idea is well developed, with detail about how project activities will be carried out. The proposal includes a reasonable implementation timeline.

Goals and objectives: Goals and objectives are clearly stated, and the project approach is likely to provide maximum impact in achieving the proposed results.

Embassy priorities: Applicant has clearly described how the stated goals are related to and support U.S. Embassy Yerevan’s priority areas and/or target audiences.

Budget: The budget justification is detailed. Costs are reasonable in relation to the proposed activities and anticipated results. The budget is realistic, accounting for all necessary expenses to achieve proposed activities.

Monitoring and evaluation plan: Applicant demonstrates it can measure project success against key indicators and provide milestones to indicate progress toward goals outlined in the proposal. The project includes output and outcome indicators and shows how and when those will be measured.

Sustainability: Project activities will continue to have positive impact after the end of the project.

  1. Review and Selection Process

A Grants Review Committee will evaluate all eligible applications.

  1. FEDERAL AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION

 

  1. Federal Award Notices

The grant award or cooperative agreement will be written, signed, awarded, and administered by the Grants Officer. The assistance award agreement is the authorizing document, and it will be provided to the recipient for review and signature by email. The recipient may only start incurring program expenses beginning on the start date shown on the grant award document signed by the Grants Officer.

If a proposal is selected for funding, the Department of State has no obligation to provide any additional future funding. Renewal of an award to increase funding or extend the period of performance is at the discretion of the Department of State.

Issuance of this NOFO does not constitute an award commitment on the part of the U.S. government, nor does it commit the U.S. government to pay for costs incurred in the preparation and submission of proposals. Further, the U.S. government reserves the right to reject any or all proposals received.

Payment Method: Payments will be made in at least two installments, as needed to carry out the program activities.

Organizations whose applications will not be funded will also be notified via email.

  1. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

Terms and Conditions: Before applying, applicants should review all the terms and conditions and required certifications which will apply to this award, to ensure that they will be able to comply.  These include: 2 CFR 200, 2 CFR 600, Certifications and Assurances, and the Department of State Standard Terms and Conditions, all of which are available at:  https://www.state.gov/about-us-office-of-the-procurement-executive/. Note the U.S Flag branding and marking requirements in the Standard Terms and Conditions.

  1. Reporting

Reporting Requirements: Recipients will be required to submit financial reports and program reports.  The award document will specify how often these reports must be submitted.

  1. FEDERAL AWARDING AGENCY CONTACTS

If you have any questions about the grant application process, please contact PAS at: manukyana@state.gov.

Note:  We do not provide any pre-consultation for application related questions that are addressed in the NOFO. Once an application has been submitted, State Department officials and staff — both in the Department and at embassies overseas — may not discuss this competition with applicants until the entire proposal review process is completed.

  1. OTHER INFORMATION

Guidelines for Budget Justification

Personnel: Describe the wages, salaries, and benefits of temporary or permanent staff who will be working directly for the applicant on the program, and the percentage of their time that will be spent on the program.

Travel: Estimate the costs of travel and per diem for this program. If the program involves international travel, include a brief statement of justification for that travel.

Equipment: Describe any machinery, furniture, or other personal property that is required for the program, which has a useful life of more than one year (or a life longer than the duration of the program), and costs at least $5,000 per unit.

Supplies: List and describe all the items and materials, including any computer devices, that are needed for the program. If an item costs more than $5,000 per unit, then put it in the budget under Equipment.

Contractual: Describe goods and services that the applicant plans to acquire through a contract with a vendor.  Also describe any sub-awards to non-profit partners that will help carry out the program activities.

Other Direct Costs: Describe other costs directly associated with the program, which do not fit in the other categories. For example, shipping costs for materials and equipment or applicable taxes. All “Other” or “Miscellaneous” expenses must be itemized and explained.

Indirect Costs:  These are costs that cannot be linked directly to the program activities, such as overhead costs needed to help keep the organization operating.  If your organization has a Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate (NICRA) and includes NICRA charges in the budget, attach a copy of your latest NICRA. Organizations that have never had a NICRA may request indirect costs of 10% of the modified total direct costs as defined in 2 CFR 200.68.

“Cost Sharing” refers to contributions from the organization or other entities other than the U.S. Embassy.   It also includes in-kind contributions such as volunteers’ time and donated venues.

Alcoholic Beverages:  Please note that award funds cannot be used for alcoholic beverages.

Notice of Publicly Released Information:  All federal grant awards—organization name and project title— will be published on the U.S. Embassy Yerevan’s website at the discretion of the Public Affairs Section.

Previous Assistance Projects

 

  • Ayb Educational Foundation – Khan Academy Armenia: STEM localization/training program
  • Armenian Center for American Studies NGO – U.S. Foreign Policy towards the Security of South Caucasus
  • Dilijan Community Center NGO – Dilijan Inclusive Theater
  • Argina Cultural NGO – Modern Art Center in Lori Berd
  • Startup Armenia Scientific Educational Foundation – Training of trainers for Startup Clubs
  • Dilijan Community Center NGO – Youth Entrepreneurship Institute
  • Debi Arach Humanitarian NGO – An American Summer at Debi Arach Children’s Center