Small Grants Program

Samall-Grants-English
Small Grants Competition

Funding Opportunity Title: PAS MVD Public Diplomacy Small Grants Program
Funding Opportunity Number: PAS MVD- SOI-FY2021
CFDA Number:  19.040
Total Amount Available: $120,000.00 (full year)

A – PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

The U.S. Embassy Montevideo Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Department of State announces an open competition for organizations to submit a statement of interest (SOI) to carry out programs aligned with Embassy funding priorities, the strategic themes we focus on, and the procedures for submitting requests for funding.  Please carefully follow all instructions below.

The submission of the SOI is the first step in a two-step process.  Applicants must first submit a concise three- page statement of interest clearly communicating program ideas and objectives.  This first step is not a full proposal application.  The purpose of the SOI process is to allow applicants to submit program ideas for evaluation prior to requiring the development of a full proposal application.  Upon a merit review of eligible SOIs, selected applicants will be invited to expand on their program idea(s) by submitting a full proposal application.  Full proposals will go through a second merit review before final funding decisions are made.

Purpose of Small Grants Program: 

The U.S. Department of States provides funding for PAS Montevideo for well-conceived programs that support U.S. Embassy Montevideo’s strategic priorities in Uruguay. Proposed programs should strengthen bilateral ties between the United States and Uruguay and include a clear U.S. connection that will promote increased understanding of the United States among the Uruguayan public. All programs must include an American element or a 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.

Proposals should address one or more of the following strategic priority program areas:

  • Promoting science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education
  • Creating innovative STEM focused entrepreneurship programs
  • Creating programs to raise awareness of illegal, unregulated, and underreported fishing and human rights issues
  • Promoting cybersecurity and 5G awareness
  • Promoting empowerment opportunities for women, disadvantaged youth, first responders, and other groups in rural areas.

SOI – Initial Proposal
Applications will be reviewed monthly. Initial proposals must be submitted via e-mail to MontevideoGrants@state.gov before the 10th of each month, through May 2021.  The e-mail must contain the following information:

  • Subject/Title:  PAS MVD SOI 2021 and title of the Program (in English)
    • Message body:
      • Presentation of the proposal and detail of attached documents
      • Legal Name of the Organization
      • Name of the organization’s signing authority, title, telephone, address, e-mail
      • Name and contact info o person submitting the proposal on behalf of the organization
    • Attachments:
      • A concise proposal, in English, in no more than 3 pages with:
        1. A brief introduction of the organization (1 paragraph)
        2. Description of the program proposed (who, why, what, what for, when)
        3. Summarize goals, objectives, outcomes, performance indicators, beneficiaries, and proposed timeline
        4. A clear statement of the applicant’s organizational capacity to carry out the proposed activity and manage U.S. Government funds
        5. The anticipated total budget amount (in U.S. dollars)
      • A spreadsheet with the estimated total amount in U.S. dollars under each budget category (see budget guidelines at the end on #H. Other information)

The Public Affairs Section (PAS) at U.S. Embassy Montevideo will then announce once Statement of Interest (SOI) proposals have been reviewed, and those selected will be notified and invited to submit a full proposal application expanding your program idea.  Full proposals will go through a second merit review by the Small Grants Competition Committee before final funding decisions are made.

The deadline for submitting completed full proposals will be within 3 weeks of being notified that the initial proposal was selected. Grants funding will be decided through a competitive application process. Each proposal is reviewed by an internal embassy committee to determine the project’s potential to advance U.S. policy priorities.

B – FEDERAL AWARD INFORMATION

Length of Performance Period: December 31, 2021
Number of Awards Anticipated: 6 to 25 awards (dependent on amounts)
Award Amounts: Awards may range from a minimum of $3,000 to a maximum of $20,000
Total Available Funding: $120,000.00 (throughout FY2021)
Type of Funding:  FY2021 Public Diplomacy funding, U.S. Embassy Montevideo,
Funding Authority: Fulbright Hays or Smith-Mundt Acts
Anticipated Program Start Date:  Flexible, within 2 weeks of being notified proposal is approved
Funding Instrument Type:  Grant, Cooperative Agreement or Fixed Amount Award
Program Performance Period: Proposed programs should be completed by December 31, 2021

This notice is subject to availability of funding.

C – ELIGILIBITY INFORMATION
  1. Eligible Applicants
    The following registered U.S. or Uruguayan organizations are eligible to apply:

    • Registered not-for-profit organizations, including think tanks, civil society, and cultural and/or educational association
    • Government and non-governmental organizations
    • Public and Non-profit educational institutions

For-profit or commercial entities are NOT eligible to apply

  1. Cost Sharing or Matching
    Cost sharing is not required and therefore will not be included in the criteria for evaluation.
    However, if a project requires cost sharing, please detail whether the cost-share is through in-cash or in-kind contribution and approximate dollar amounts.
  2. Other Eligibility Requirements
    To be eligible to receive a grant from U.S. Embassy Montevideo, organizations whose Statements of Interest have been selected must attend a mandatory presentation on grant applications, supporting forms and documents, and required registration process.  The presentation will be given by members of the embassy’s Public Affairs Section as a virtual e-meeting.In order to be eligible to receive an award, all organizations must have a unique entity identifier (Data Universal Numbering System/DUNS number from Dun & Bradstreet), as well as a valid registration on SAM.gov . Please see Section D.3 Required Registrations for information on how to obtain these registrations.

    Note:
    Organizations that have not successfully completed registration in the System for Award Management (SAM) when submitting full application, will not be considered for final selection.  Before registering in SAM, organizations must first obtain a unique entity identifier (Data Universal Numbering System/DUNS number) and a NATO Commercial and Government Entity Code (NCAGE).
D – APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION
  1. Address to Request Application Package
    Application forms and documents required are detailed below and must be completed in English.
    OMB approved Forms are available at www.grants.gov.
  2. Content and Form of Application Submission:
    Full applications must be submitted via e-mail to MontevideoGrants@state.gov within 3 weeks of being notified, specific dates will be informed upon review of each round.

Please carefully follow ALL instructions below. 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 that:

  • The proposal clearly addresses the goals and objectives of this funding opportunity
  • The proposal includes the Funding opportunity number and title
  • All documents are in English
  • Do NOT translate the organization’s legal name
  • All mandatory forms are completed and signed
  • 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, or Adobe PDF documents are single-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font, with a minimum of 1-inch margins.

Full proposal must include ALL the below required information and supporting documents, in same order and format.

    1. Mandatory Application Forms (www.grants.gov)
    2. Summary Page: Cover sheet stating:
      • Organization’s legal name and
      • Organization’s common name (Doing Business As) if different from legal name
      • Organization’s address, telephone, and website
      • Organization type (See Section C.1)
      • Applicant’s name and role in the organization
      • Applicant’s contact info
      • Proposal date
      • Program title
      • Program period proposed starting and ending dates; and
      • Brief purpose of the program.
    3. 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 follow and include all the items below:
      1. Introduction to the Organization: A description of past and present operations, demonstrating the ability to carry out the program, including information on all previous grants from the U.S. Embassy and/or other U.S. government agencies.
      2. Proposal Summary: A short narrative that outlines background and justification for the proposed project, including relevant experience, program objectives, and the anticipated impact.
      3. Program Statement:  A clear, concise and well-supported statement of the program to be developed.
      4. Program Goals and Objectives:  The “goals” describe what the program is intended to achieve.  The “objectives” refer to the intermediate accomplishments on the way to the goals. These should be achievable and measurable.
      5. Program Activities: Detail program activities and describe how they will help to achieve the objectives.
      6. Program Methods and Design: A description of how the program is expected to work and what the project is expected to achieve in terms of effects on the intended audience.
      7. Proposed Program Schedule and Timeline:  A proposed timeline for the program activities that includes the dates, times, and locations of planned activities and events. Since federal assistance awards are contingent on the availability of funds from the U.S. Department of State, applicants are encouraged to submit proposals with flexible start dates.
      8. Key ContactsIf already known, please include:  names, titles, roles, and experience/qualifications of key personnel involved in the program, including what proportion of their time will be used in support of this program.
      9. Program Partners:  A list of the names of key partner organizations and sub-awardees and how they will be involved in the project.
      10. Program Monitoring and Evaluation Plan: This is an important part of successful grants. Throughout the timeframe of the grant, the grant application should indicate what results do they expect of the program, how the activities will be monitored to ensure they are occurring in a timely manner and that the activities are meeting the goals of the grant.  Incorporating a well-designed monitoring and evaluation component into a project is one of the most efficient methods of documenting the progress and potential success of a program.  Successful monitoring and evaluation depend on the following:
        1. Setting SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, results-focused, and placed in a reasonable time frame) objectives;
        2. Linking project activities to stated objectives; and
        3. Developing key performance indicators that measure realistic progress towards the objectives.
        4. Risk Assessment:  This section should identify any possible risk that would keep the organization from concluding the project as described, as well as a plan for mitigating and addressing those risks.
        5. Sustainability:  Applicant’s plan for continuing the program beyond the grant period, if applicable.
    4. Budget Justification Narrative:  After filling out the SF-424 A budget form, applicants must use a separate Excel spreadsheet to describe each of the budget expenses in detail.
      See Section H. Other Information: Guidelines for Budget Submissions below for further information.
    5. Attachments (suggested examples):
      • 1-page CV or resume, including the relevant experience and capabilities of the project manager
      • 1-page CV or resume of each key personnel who are proposed for the program (if already identified)
      • Letters of support from program partners describing the roles and responsibilities of each partner
      • Official permission letters, if required for program activities; and
      • A brief description of the organization’s procurement procedures and financial policies.  The description should include the institution’s standard accounting procedures and any relevant information regarding its financial situation.
  1. Required Registrations:
    All organizations applying for grants (except individuals) must register in the System for Award Management (SAM), an official website of the U.S. government, before an award may be issued. Organizations that have not successfully registered in the System for Award Management (SAM) will not be considered for final selection. A quick guide can be found at: https://www.sam.gov/SAM/pages/public/help/samQUserGuides.jsf
    A full guide can be found at: https://www.sam.gov/SAM/pages/public/help/samUserGuides.jsfIn order to register in SAM.gov, an organization first needs to obtain a Unique Entity Identification  number (UEI, also known as a DUNS number) and a Commercial and Government Entity Code (CAGE) for domestic organizations, or a NATO Commercial and Government Entity Code (NCAGE) for foreign organizations. Both the UEI/DUNS number and NCAGE code must be obtained before registering in the System for Awards Management (SAM).  These databases interface with each other, so the information in DUNS must match exactly with the NCAGE application and SAM registration.
    NOTE: There are no charges for obtaining a DUNS Number, an NCAGE code, or for registering in in SAM.gov to apply for Federal Assistance.
    Step 1: Apply for a DUNS number in http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform/searchAction.do
    Step 2: Apply for an NCAGE code in https://eportal.nspa.nato.int/AC135Public/CageTool/home
    Step 3: After receiving the DUNS number and NCAGE Code, proceed to register in SAM.gov by logging onto https://www.sam.gov.  SAM registration must be renewed annually. Any applicant listed on the Excluded Parties List System (EPLS) in the System for Award Management (SAM) is not eligible to apply for an assistance award in accordance with the OMB guidelines at 2 CFR 180 that implement Executive Orders 12549 (3 CFR, 1986 Comp., p. 189) and 12689 (3 CFR, 1989 Comp., p. 235), “Debarment and Suspension.” Additionally, no entity listed on the EPLS can participate in any activities under an award.  All applicants are strongly encouraged to review the EPLS in SAM to ensure that no ineligible entity is included.
  2. Funding Restrictions
    Funds cannot be used for:

    • Food or alcohol for social events or entertainment purposes
    • Infrastructure/construction
    • Individual’s scholarships
    • International travel, unless specifically justified within the project
    • Personal development
    • Gifts or prizes
    • Citizen exchange programs with foreign countries
    • Social welfare projects
    • Funds to complete activities begun with other funds
    • Projects that are inherently political in nature or that contain the appearance of partisanship or support of individual or single party electoral campaigns
    • Projects that support specific religious activities
    • For profit endeavors; or
    • Investigation or research projects.
  3. Other Submission Requirements
    All application materials must be submitted in English, via email to MontevideoGrants@state.gov no later than date specified on invitation to submit full application.

See Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) with full application instructions and requirements.

E – APPLICATION REVIEW INFORMATION
  1. Criteria
    Each application under this announcement will be evaluated and rated on the basis of the evaluation criteria outlined below:
    Embassy Priorities:  Applicant has clearly described how stated goals are related to and support the priority program areas outlined in section A.
    Quality and Feasibility of the Program Idea:  The program idea is well-developed and includes details on how program activities will be carried out.  The proposal includes a reasonable implementation timeline.
    Program Planning/Ability to Achieve Objectives:  The capacity of the organization to successfully implement the program.  Goals and objectives are clearly stated, and the program approach is likely to provide maximum impact in achieving the proposed results.
    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: The organization demonstrates that it can measure program success against key indicators and to 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.
    Sustainability: Long-term sustainability of program, including whether it is a repeatable or scalable initiative after receiving embassy support.   Program activities will continue to have a positive impact after the end of the program. The project will help build the capacity of Uruguayan civil society. Applications will be reviewed based on their completeness, coherence, clarity, and attention to detail.
    The Grants Committee will only review application materials submitted as directed in this program announcement.
    Note: Unqualified or incomplete applications will NOT be reviewed by the evaluation panel.
  2. Review and Selection Process
    An impartial evaluation panel composed of embassy personnel will review all applications received under this SOI/NOFO within 15 days following the closing date. All successful applicants will be notified in writing within the following 5 days and once a Grants Officer Representative is designated.
    All unsuccessful applicants will be notified within 45 days of the application deadline. Ineligible or unqualified applicants will be informed once the initial screening has been completed.
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 SOI/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.
    Payments will be disbursed in US dollars, via EFT (electronic funds transfer) to the recipient’s bank account. Requests for advance and/or reimbursement payments must be submitted in form SF-270 with sufficient time to allow at least ten (10) working days for processing.  Advance payments are to cover immediate cash needs in order to commence the program but will not exceed the quarterly estimates nor the 80% of total amount. In all cases, subsequent and final payments must be previously approved by the Grants Officer after reconciliation of advances and review of all reporting requirements according to the terms and conditions of the award (e.g., financial and performance reports).All other details related to award administration will be specified in the award agreement as well.
  2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements
    Terms and Conditions: 
    Before submitting an application, applicants should review all the terms and conditions and required certifications that will apply to this award to ensure that they will be able to comply.  These include: 2 CFR 200, 2 CFR 600, and the US Department of State Standard Terms and Conditions for Federal Awards. Please note the U.S. flag branding and marking requirements in the Standard Terms and Conditions and the use of the Department of State seal. (N. Branding and Marking, page 6)
  3. Reporting Requirements
    Reporting Requirements:  Recipients will be required to submit financial reports and program reports signed and certified by an authorized representative of the recipient organization. The award document will specify required forms, formats, and how often these reports must be submitted.
G – FEDERAL AWARDING AGENCY CONTACTS

If you have any questions about the grant application process, please contact MVDCultural@state.gov

H – OTHER INFORMATION:

Guidelines for Budget Justification

  • Personnel and Fringe Benefits:  Describe the wages, salaries, and benefits of temporary or permanent staff who will work directly for the applicant, 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, for program staff, consultants or speakers, and participants/beneficiaries.  If the program involves international travel, include a brief statement of justification explaining how the project’s goals cannot be met without the proposed international 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, include it in the budget under Equipment.
  • Contractual:  Describe goods and services that the applicant plans to acquire through a contract with a vendor, and 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 that do not fit in the other categories, such as 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”:  This refers to contributions from the organization or entities other than the U.S. Embassy.  It also includes in-kind contributions such as volunteers’ time and donated venues.