U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
U.S. EMBASSY YEREVAN PUBLIC DIPLOMACY SECTION
NOTICE OF FUNDING OPPORTUNITY / SMALL GRANTS PROGRAM
Funding Opportunity Title: U.S. Embassy Yerevan PDS Annual Program Statement for Fiscal Year (FY) 2023
Deadline for Applications: Rolling Basis on Quarterly Review— Refer to Section V
CFDA Number: 19.900; 19.040
Total Amount Available: $150,000 Pending funding availability
Federal Agency Contact: Public Diplomacy Section, U.S. Embassy Yerevan
- Funding Opportunity Description
The U.S. Embassy Yerevan Public Diplomacy Section (PDS) is pleased to announce an open competition for organizations to submit project proposals in response to this Fiscal Year 2023 Annual Program Statement (APS). The APS makes funding available for proposals that strengthen ties between the United States and Armenia, highlight shared values, and promote bilateral cooperation.
The APS is a best practice utilized by many U.S. embassies around the world to solicit proposals for funding via an open and transparent competition process. With few exceptions, awards are made based on open competition. In the interest of fairness and transparency, PDS cannot accept unsolicited proposals. PDS only considers proposals received in response to the Annual Program Statement, and Notices of Funding Opportunities (NOFOS) posted on Grants.gov and the Embassy website.
The PDS invites proposals from qualified individuals and organizations for programs that strengthen cultural ties between the United States and Armenia, including cultural and exchange programs that highlight shared values and promote bilateral cooperation. All programs 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, culture, and perspectives. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and awarded pending funding availability. This Annual Program Statement outlines our funding priorities, strategic themes, and procedures for submitting proposals. Please follow all instructions below carefully.
Priority Program Areas
- 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, youth outreach, and women’s empowerment.
- Advance Regional and Global Security, by funding proposals that support reconciliation, peace-building, and lasting partnerships between the people of Armenia and Azerbaijan, and the people of Armenia and Turkey, including plans for continued cooperation after the project ends.
- Develop Media Capacity and Expand English Language Opportunities, by funding proposals that advance media literacy and train journalists and expand English language learning and training opportunities for journalists, students, and youth.
- Strengthen U.S.-Armenia Cultural and Educational Ties, by funding proposals that promote U.S. culture, including music, dance, arts, film, sports, and education, and bring together U.S. and Armenian artists, educators, and other experts together to collaborate and support artistic and cultural projects that advance human rights, social inclusion, youth outreach, and women’s empowerment.
- Advance Shared Prosperity, by funding proposals that foster economic empowerment, resilience, and shared prosperity through STEM education and entrepreneurship.
- Strengthen Democracy and Civil Society, by funding proposals that encourage transparency and accountability in governance, foster civic engagement and reforms, and promote democracy, trade and investment, rule of law, civic education, and entrepreneurship. NOTE: Most projects of this nature are funded under the Democracy Commission and Alumni Outreach small grants.
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;
- arts and 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;
- office equipment;
- paying to complete activities begun 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;
- citizen exchange programs with foreign countries;
- social welfare projects;
- political party activities;
- projects that support specific religious activities;
- scientific research;
- fundraising campaigns;
- commercial projects;
- trade activities; and
- projects aimed primarily at the institutional development of the organization.
Authorizing statutes for the funding opportunity are:
1) Fulbright-Hays Act, which allows the Department of State to use funds for the purpose of supporting international exchanges that address issues of mutual interest to the United States: http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/iegps/fulbrighthaysact.pdf (PDF 88 KB)
2) Smith-Mundt Act which specifies the terms in which the United States government can engage global audiences: http://www.state.gov/pdcommission/library/177362.htm
3) Foreign Assistance Act, which promotes the foreign policy, security, and general welfare of the United States by assisting peoples of the world in their efforts toward economic development and internal and external security, and for other purposes. The Foreign Assistance Act is a United States Act of Congress.
- Award Information
Funding Instrument Type: Cooperative Agreement or Grant. Cooperative agreements are different from grants in that Public Diplomacy Section (PDS) staff are more actively involved in proposal execution and anticipates having moderate to substantial involvement once the award has been made.
While the PDS 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. In rare circumstances, applications above $50,000 will be evaluated.
Applicants should carefully consider their budget requests and submit a budget commensurate with their project goals. 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 interest of the U.S. government.
Project and Budget Periods: Local grants projects generally must be completed in one year or less. The Public Diplomacy Section will entertain applications for continuation grants funded under these awards, beyond the initial budget period, on a noncompetitive basis, subject to availability of funds, satisfactory progress of the applicants, and a determination that continued funding would be in the best interest of the Department of State.
III. Eligibility Information:
The U.S. Embassy Yerevan PDS encourages applications from all sectors: committed and organized civil-society organizations, local representatives of civil society, think tanks, non-governmental organizations, and individuals. For-profit or commercial entities are not eligible to apply.
- Application and submission information:
- Federal Assistance Application Standard Form 424 Individual
- Proposal and project description
- Detailed Budget plus budget narrative
All Organizations applying for grants must obtain these registrations which are free of charge:
- NCAGE/CAGE code: https://eportal.nspa.nato.int/AC135Public/scage/CageList.aspx
- www.SAM.gov registration which will generate a UEI
And also submit these forms:
- Federal Assistance Application Standard Form 424 which is available here:
- Proposal and project description
- Monitoring and Evaluation Plan
- Detailed Budget and budget narrative
- Key Personnel
- Project Partners (if applicable)
PDS will not consider proposals which do not include all of the above components.
Proposals should be submitted via email to the U.S. Embassy at the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org Applications are accepted in English only, and final grant agreements will be concluded in English.
- Review and Selection Process
U. S. Embassy Yerevan PDS will accept proposals on a rolling basis throughout the year, and will review proposals on a quarterly basis subject to the availability of funds, on/around:
Each application submitted under this announcement will be evaluated by a grants committee and rated on the basis of the following evaluation criteria. The criteria are designed to assess the quality of the proposed project, and to determine the likelihood of its success. The criteria are closely related and are considered as a whole in judging the overall quality of an application. Applications will be reviewed on the basis of their fullness, coherence, clarity, and attention to detail:
Mission priorities: Applicant has clearly described how stated goals are related to and support U.S. Embassy Yerevan’s priority areas or target audiences. Goals and objectives are clearly stated and program approach is likely to provide maximum impact in achieving the proposed results.
Quality and Feasibility of the Program Idea: The program idea is well developed, with detail about how program activities will be carried out. The proposal includes a reasonable implementation timeline and will continue to have positive impact after the end of the program.
Monitoring and evaluation plan: Applicant demonstrates it can measure program success against key indicators and provide milestones to indicate progress toward goals outlined in the proposal. The program includes output and outcome indicators and shows how and when those will be measured.
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. The U.S. Embassy Yerevan encourages applicants to provide cost-sharing from additional sources in support of this project
Organizational capacity and record on previous grants: The organization has expertise in its stated field and PDS is confident of its ability to undertake the program. This includes past performance with U.S. government funds
Applicants must submit a full project description in accordance with the following instructions and the specified evaluation criteria. The instructions give a broad overview of what the project description should include, while the evaluation criteria provide details of more program-specific information that is needed.
Project Description: Outline a plan of action that describes the scope and detail of how the proposed work will be accomplished. Account for all functions or activities identified in the application. Cite factors that might accelerate or decelerate the work and state reasons for taking the proposed approach rather than alternatives. Describe any unusual features of the project, such as design or technological innovations, reductions in cost or time, or extraordinary social and community involvement. Provide quantitative monthly or quarterly projections of the accomplishments to be achieved for each function or activity in such terms as the number of people to be served and the number of activities accomplished. When accomplishments cannot be quantified by activity or function, list them in chronological order to show the schedule of accomplishments and their target dates. List those organizations, cooperating entities, consultants, or other key individuals who will work on the project, along with a short description of the nature of their effort or contribution.
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.
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.
- Award Administration
Award Notices: The grant award or cooperative agreement shall be written, signed, awarded, and administered by the Grants Officer. The Grants Officer is the U.S. government official delegated the authority by the U.S. Department of State Procurement Executive to write, award, and administer grants and cooperative agreements. The assistance award agreement is the authorizing document and it will be provided to the recipient. Organizations whose applications will not be funded will also be notified in writing.
If a proposal is selected for funding, the Department of State has no obligation to provide any additional future funding in connection with the award. Renewal of an award to increase funding or extend the period of performance is at the total discretion of the Department of State.
Reporting Requirements: All awards issued under this announcement will require both program and financial reports on a frequency specified in the award agreement. The disbursement of funds may be tied to submission of these reports in a timely manner. All other details related to award administration will be specified in award agreement as well. Final programmatic and financial reports are due 90 days after the close of the project period. Progress reports at a minimum should be submitted via electronic mail to an address to be provided in the award.
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 Diplomacy Section.