Notice of Funding Opportunity – Closing Date: May 28, 2021

Funding Opportunity Title: Public Diplomacy Small Grants Program  
Funding Opportunity Number: DOS-USEU-PD-2021-001 
Deadline for Applications: 05/28/2021  
Total Amount Available: $250,000.00  
Maximum for Each Award: $50,000.00 

  A:  PROGRAM DESCRIPTION 

 The U.S. Mission to the European Union’s Office of Public Affairs (USEU PA) is pleased to announce the availably of funding through its Public Diplomacy Small Grants Program. This program statement outlines our funding priorities, strategic focus themes, and the procedures for submitting funding requests. Please carefully follow all instructions below.  

Purpose of Small Grants: USEU PA invites proposals that strengthen ties between the U.S. and the EU through programming which highlights shared values and promotes greater transatlantic cooperation. All programs must include an American cultural element or connection with American expert(s), organization(s), or institution(s)in a specific field to promote increased understanding of U.S. policy and perspectives. 

SummaryUSEU PA is soliciting proposals for projects designed for EU audiences that:  

  • Reaffirm the Transatlantic alliance remains the foundation of U.S./EU security, prosperity, and values through programs that build and sustain strong relationships between the United States and Europe across government, the private sector, civil society, and the next generation of leaders on both side of the Atlantic. 
  • Emphasize the importance of a free and fair transatlantic economy as a driver for growth, innovation, and economic recovery by addressing non-tariff barriers, facilitating market access, supporting transatlantic data transfers, improving supply chain resiliency, and addressing actors who do not adhere to the international rules-based system;  
  • Re-imagine solutions to the climate crisis and promote clean energy, as we work toward meeting carbon reduction targets; develop more ambitious goals to address climate change; and increase energy security for Europe;   
  • Encourage cutting-edge innovations in digital technologies while stimulating U.S.EU partnership to set the norms and standards that will govern emerging technologies; 
  • Align U.S. and EU foreign policy and security goals to promote and protect democratic governments; support multilateral institutions; and strengthen the rulesbased system;  
  • Counter malign influence from state and non-state actors, to include disinformation, corruption and economic manipulation, hybrid and cyber warfare, the undermining of democratic institutions, intellectual property theft, and challenges to global security.  

USEU PA seeks projects engaging EU policymakers, opinion shapers, and publics.  Proposals may include but are not limited to: conferences, workshops, exchanges, events, and training seminars featuring U.S. Government (USG) officials or non-USG individuals (please note travel costs for USG officials cannot be covered by the grant).  USEU PA encourages innovative and creative approaches to meeting the goals of the project 

 Applicants must be legally recognized non-profit, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), think tanks, or academic institutions that comply with U.S. and EU requirements and have a proven track record of developing and implementing programs in the EU environment.  Projects should be carried out in Brussels and in EU Member States and may include a U.S. component. 

This notice of funding opportunity is subject to funds availability.   

B:  FEDERAL AWARD INFORMATION  

Application Opening Date: April 28, 2021
Application End Date:  May 28, 2021 (11:59 p.m.) European Central Time (Brussels time, UTC +1)
Estimated Total Program Funding:  $250,000
Minimum Award Amount:  $10,000
Maximum Award Amount: $50,000
Contact:  Questions and proposals should be addressed to useupa@state.gov.
Notification:  Applicants will be notified of the Funding Decision on a rolling basis and by no later than September 3, 2021.  

C:  ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA 

  1. Applicants must be legally recognized non-profit, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), think tanks, or academic institutions that comply with U.S. and EU requirements.  
  2. EU-based applicants must be listed in the EU Transparency Register.   https://ec.europa.eu/transparencyregister/public/ri/registering.do?locale=en 
  3. Cost sharing or matching is not required for this funding opportunity, but it is encouraged. Any cost sharing must be clearly laid out in the proposal and budget estimate. 
  4. All applicants must have a Data Universal Number System (DUNS) number from Dun and Bradstreet and an active SAM registration before award is granted.   

  D:  APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION 

Applicants must submit a detailed proposal in English and a budget estimate electronically to useupa@state.gov by May 28, 2021, 11:59 p.m. European Central Time (Brussels time, UTC +1 hour).  Late or incomplete applications will not be considered for this competition. Costs incurred before the grant period begins and a grant award is approved will not be reimbursed. 

  1. To Request Application Package: Required application forms are available on www.grants.gov. 
  2. Content and Form of Application Submission: Please follow all instructions below carefully. Proposals which do not meet the requirements of this announcement or fail to comply with the stated requirements will be ineligible for consideration.  

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  
  • All pages are numbered  
  • All documents are formatted to 8 ½ x 11 paper, and  
  • All Microsoft Word documents are single-spaced, 12 point Times New Roman font, with a minimum of 1-inch margins.  

 The following documents are required 

  1. Mandatory application forms:

 SF-424 (Application for Federal Assistance – organizations) https://apply07.grants.gov/apply/forms/sample/SF424_2_1-V2.1.pdf 

 SF424A (Budget Information for Non-Construction programs);  

  1. Summary Coversheet: A cover sheet stating the applicant’s name and organization, proposal date, program title, program period proposed start and end date, and a brief description of the program’s purpose. 
  1. Proposal (Six-page maximum): The proposal should contain sufficient information and detailed in a manner for those not familiar with the subject matter. You may use your own proposal format, but it must include all the items below. 
  • Proposal Summary: Short narrative outlining the proposed program, including program objectives and anticipated results 
  • Introduction to the Organization: A description of past and present operations, showing ability to carry out the proposed program, including information on all previous grants from the U.S. Embassy and/or U.S. government agencies.  
  • Problem Statement: Clear, concise and well-supported statement of the problem to be addressed and why the proposed program is needed.  
  • Program Goals and Objectives: The “goals” describe what the program is intended to achieve and the grantee will be expected to measure in its monitoring and evaluating plan. What aspect of the relationship between the U.S. and XXX will be improved? The “objectives” refer to the intermediate accomplishments on the way to the goals. These should be achievable and measurable.  
  • Program Activities: Describe the program activities and how they will help achieve the objectives.  
  • Program Methods and Design: A description of how the program is expected to work to solve the stated problem and achieve the goal.  
  • Proposed Program Schedule: The proposed timeline for the program activities. Include the dates, times, and locations of planned activities and events.  
  • Program Partners: List the names and type of involvement of key partner organizations and sub-awardees.  
  • Program Monitoring and Evaluation Plan:   Successful grant application must include a clear data-driven description of how the proposal will be evaluated and monitored, and how the baseline was established.    For example:  How will the partner capture the outputs from the program?  How will the partner measure the program effectiveness   What sort of data will be compiled before, during, and after this program? 
  • Future Funding or Sustainability Applicant’s plan for continuing the program beyond the grant period, or the availability of other resources, if applicable.  
  1. Budget Justification Narrative: After filling out the SF-424A Budget (above), use a separate sheet of paper to describe each of the budget expenses in detail. See section H. Other Information: Guidelines for Budget Submissions below for further information. 

 Required Registrations:  

All organizations applying for grants must obtain these registrations. All are free of charge:  

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

    E:   APPLICATION REVIEW INFORMATION 

Evaluation CriteriaApplicants should note the following criteria 

(1) Serve as a standard against which all proposals will be evaluated, and  

(2) Serve to identify the significant matters which should be addressed in all proposals.  

The USG will award grants to the applicant whose offers represent the best value to the USG on the basis of technical merit, past performance, and cost.  

Each application will be evaluated by a peer review committee of USEU PA representatives and other experts, as deemed appropriate. The evaluation criteria have been tailored to the requirements of this NOFO.  

Project Goals/Implementation Plan (45 points): Applicants should describe what they propose to do and how they will do it. The proposed activities must directly relate to meeting the goals and objectives, and applicants should include information on how they will measure activities’ effectiveness and provide milestones to indicate progress toward NOFO-stipulated goals. The review panel will review the implementation plan in terms of how well it addresses the goals and objectives, the feasibility of the proposed activities and their timeline for completion, and the extent to which the impact of the project will continue beyond the conclusion of the funding period.  

Budget (20 points): Costs shall be evaluated for realism, control practices, and efficiency. USEU PA must determine that the costs paid for this award are reasonable, allowable, and allocable to the proposed project activities. This will consist of a review of the Budget to determine if the overall costs are realistic for the work to be performed, if the costs reflect the applicant’s understanding of the allowable cost principles established by OMB Circular A-122, and if the costs are consistent with the program narrative. Applicants must submit SF 424A – “Budget Information – Non-Construction Program” along with a comprehensive budget for the entire program. There must be a summary budget as well as breakdowns reflecting both administrative and program budgets. Applicants may provide separate sub-budgets for each program phase, location or activity to provide clarification.  

Organizational Capability (20 points): Proposals should demonstrate the ability to develop and implement programs in the areas covered by the NOFO. Applicants must demonstrate how their resources, capabilities, and experience will enable them to achieve the stated goals and objectives.   

Monitoring and evaluation plan (15 points):  Applicants must demonstrate their ability to measure program success against key indicators and provide milestones to indicate progress toward goals outlined in the proposal. The monitoring and evaluation plan should include output and outcome indicators and show how and when those will be measured.  Proposals should answer the questions:  How will the partner establish a baseline at the outset of the project? How will the partner capture the outputs from the program?  How will the partner measure the impact the of the program?  What sort of data will be compiled before, during, and after this program? 

   F:  FEDERAL AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION 

  1. Federal Award Notices 

The grant award 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 program statement 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.  

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

  1. Administrative and National Policy Requirements 

Terms and Conditions: Before submitting an application, 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/m/a/ope/index.htm.  

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.  

    G:   FEDERAL AWARDING AGENCY CONTACTS 

If you have any questions about the grant application process, please contact USEU PA at: useupa@state.gov 

Note: We do not provide any pre-consultations 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.  

    H.  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 dedicated to 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 travel.  

Equipment: Describe any machinery, furniture, or other personal property 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, 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 the applicant plans to acquire through a contract with a vendor. Also describe any sub-awards to non-profit partners who 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 which 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 award funds cannot be used for alcoholic beverages.