Grant Opportunities


The U.S. Embassy Public Affairs section annually awards a limited number of grants of $15,000 and above through our formal Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) process.  We anticipate to publish our next NOFO in May 2019. It will be opened for 60 days and will be closing in July 2019. Application review will be in August 2019 and, we anticipate awarding to successful applicants in September 2019.

Small & Mighty

Small & Mighty is administered by Sarvodaya to promote funding opportunities to smaller organizations and individuals with the capacity to lead and develop programs that may not have the infrastructure to compete in U. S. Embassy Colombo formal NOFO. We encourage applications with program goals which promote reconciliation, improve respect for human rights, promote accountability and freedom of expression, and encourage economic growth with more equitable distribution of benefits and greater sustainability.

Submission Guidelines: Proposals must be submitted electronically through the Sarvodaya Online Platform  in one of the three languages: English, Sinhala or Tamil.

Deadline for Applications: Proposals are accepted on a rolling basis, reviewed and awarded every two months through April of 2019.

Funding type and amount: Most projects are anticipated to be under US$ 5,000.00 but can range from $1,000 to $15,000.

Public Affairs Section Grants Program 2019 

Funding Opportunity Title:  U.S. Embassy Colombo 

Funding Opportunity Number:  PAS-COL-FY19-01 

CFDA Number:  Public Diplomacy Programs for Sri Lanka – 19.040 

Funding Instrument Type:  Grant or Cooperative Agreement

Floor of Individual Award Amounts:  $15,000 USD

Average Award Amounts:  $24,000 USD 



The U.S. Embassy Public Affairs Section (PAS) is pleased to announce that funding is available through the Embassy’s Public Diplomacy grants program for awards.

Grants intended for local representatives of civil society including non-governmental organizations, cultural institutions, universities, schools, and individuals.  To receive funding, grants must support one of the following goals:  

  • Promoting peace, democracy, reconciliation and human rights. 
  • Promoting economic empowerment, good governance and rule of law. 
  • Programs promoting Sri Lanka as a free, open and secure partner.

 Programs typically funded include, but not limited to 

  1. Youth engagement;
  2. Leadership skills;
  3. Empowerment;
  4. Gender equality and the rights of girls and women;
  5. Integrity of free press;
  6. Capacity building of civil society;
  7. Interfaith dialogue.

Activities not typically funded include, but are not limited to

  1. Projects that do not have a plan for sustaining the activity or monitoring results;
  2. Social welfare or development projects;
  3. Projects primarily designed to cover organizational salaries or to cover only an organization’s logistical costs (e.g. rent/mortgage payments, room rental, coffee breaks, etc.);
  4. Costs to complete activities begun with other funding;
  5. Citizen exchange programs with foreign countries;
  6. Political party, military activities or construction;
  7. Projects that support specific religious activities.


The U.S. Embassy Public Affairs Section reserves the right to award less or more than the funds described under such circumstances as it may deem in the best interest of the U.S. government.  

Project and Budget Periods:  Local grants projects generally must complete in one year or less.  Applicants should consider their budgets carefully and submit a budget commensurate with their project goals.


Eligible applicants:
The U.S. Embassy encourages applications from all sectors:  committed and organized civil-society organizations, local representatives of civil society, think tanks, non-governmental organizations, academic institutions, and individuals.  All grantees must have a non-profit status.  

Cost sharing or Matching:
Applicants are encouraged to provide cost sharing from additional sources in support of their projects.  The U.S. Embassy also encourage projects that use highly skilled volunteers as an element of cost sharing.  Applications should explain clearly other likely sources of funding and role of volunteers. 


Address to Request Application Package:
Applicants must submit application template (MS Word, 27 KB)), detailed budget template (MS Excel 32 KB)), and other documentation listed below.  Applicants can contact with any questions.

Content and Form of Application Submission:


Individuals must submit the following documentation –

 Guideline to complete forms (PDF, 97 KB)


Organizations must submit the following documentation –

  • Completed application:
  • Detailed budget:
  • Federal Assistance Application Standard Form SF424:
  • Budget for Non-Construction programs SF424A;
  • Valid DUNS number, NCAGE and SAM registration;
  • Registration Certificate: proof of registration under the appropriate government agencies;
  • Bio-data of Key Personnel: CVs or biographies of any personnel cited in budget, including trainers, implementing partners, or sub-contractors;
  • If applicable, official Permission Letters: Official permission letters from the relevant authorities to carry out the project must be obtained if needed for project activities;
  • If applicable, MOUs/Agreements: with any sub-contractors, implementing partners, etc. involved in the project;
  • If applicable, Letters of Support: from any partners, sub-contractors, etc. involved in the project;

Guideline to complete forms (PDF, 140 KB)

Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management:
Organizations must successfully obtain a Unique Entity Identifier (DUNS), should register in NATO Commercial and Governmental Entity Code (NCAGE), and System for Award Management (SAM) in order to receive funding from U.S. grantsGuideline to obtain DUNS/SAMS.

Individuals exempted from obtaining DUNS.

Submission Dates and Times:
The deadline for submission is August 1, 2019.  To receive consideration for funding, applicants must forward electronic copies of all required documentation to on or before August 1, 2019.

Funding Restrictions:

The following activities and costs not covered under this announcement:

  • Construction is not an allowable activity under this award;
  • Activities that appear partisan or that support individual or party electoral campaigns;
  • Military assistance of any kind;
  • Duplication of services immediately available through municipal, provincial, or national government;
  • Expenses made prior to the approval of a proposal or unreasonable expenditures not reimbursed.

Other Submission Requirements:

Applicants must submit materials to with “PAS FY19 NOFO: Your Organization’s Name” in the subject line of the email, addressed to the Grant Applications Manager, U.S. Embassy, Colombo. 

All applicants will receive confirmation of receipt of proposals.  Proposals not considered until all information received.  Applicants may only submit one proposal.   All documentation must be in English, and all budgets must be in U.S. dollars.

Budget categories:
Applicants must submit a detailed budget using the template provided in the attachments.  Explanations of budget categories given below.  Please use budget template:

  1. Personnel: This category includes the salaries and wages for all personnel who will work on the project.  The budget narrative should indicate the base salary and time each person will spend on the project.  The narrative should also include any method used to arrive at the requested amount.
  1. Fringe Benefits: Fringe benefits are allowances and services provided by employers to their employees as compensation in addition to regular salaries and wages.  Fringe benefits include, but are not limited to, the costs of leave (vacation, family-related, sick or military), employee insurance, pensions, and unemployment benefit plans May be derived from historical costs or calculated as a percentage of salaries and wages.  If the costs calculated as a percentage of salaries and wages, this percentage will need to be justified by the entity’s written internal policy or documentation on their Federally Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate Agreement.
  1. Travel: This category includes both domestic and international travel costs.  The budget narrative should indicate who will travel, where, and why, and should include estimated airfare (or other mode of transportation), accommodations, meals and incidental expenses, and other costs such as conference fees, visa expenses, and inoculations.
  1. Equipment: Equipment defined as property with a purchase price of $5,000 or more and has a useful life of more than one year.  If equipment is on the proposed budget, it is important to determine if it is necessary to the project, if it is reasonable to purchase instead of rent the equipment, and if the entity has adequate internal property standards.
  1. Supplies: This category includes all tangible personal property other than those described as equipment.  A computing device is a supply if the acquisition cost is less than $5,000, regardless of the length of its useful life.  It is important to confirm that the proposed supplies are necessary to the project and if the entity has adequate internal property standards.
  1. Contractual: This category includes both contracts and sub-awards.  It is necessary to determine that the contracts or sub-awards are necessary for the award and if the entity has adequate capability and internal policies to manage sub-agreements.

Contract means a legal instrument by which a non-Federal entity purchases property or services needed to carry out the project or program under a Federal award.

Sub-award means an award provided by a pass-through entity to a sub-recipient for the sub-recipient to carry out part of a Federal.  A sub-award provided through any form of legal agreement, including an agreement that the pass-through entity considers a contract.

  1. Construction: Department Policy restricts the use of Federal assistance for construction purposes.
  1. Other Direct Costs: Other directs costs are any costs not included in the other categories.

This category may include the entity’s operating expenses directly linked to the award but not included as an indirect cost.

  1. Indirect Costs: Reflects provisional pre-determined rate and allocation base.


The review and selection process may take up to two months.

Criteria for selection:

  • Organizational Capacity: The organization has expertise in its stated field, and the Embassy is confident of its technical capacity to undertake the project.
  • Goals and Objectives: Goals and objectives are clearly stated and project approach is likely to provide maximum impact in achieving the proposed results.
  • Embassy Priority: Applicant has clearly described how stated goals related to and support U.S. Embassy priority areas.
  • Sustainability: Project activities will continue to have positive impact after the end of the project.
  • Feasibility: Analysis of the project’s economic, organizational and technical feasibility, related to the project approach, budget items requested and technical/human resource capacity of the organization.
  • Budget: The budget justification is both reasonable and realistic in relation to the proposed activities and anticipated results.  Grants awarded to programs with the highest impact per dollar spent.
  • Monitoring and Evaluation Plan: Applicant demonstrates ability to measure program success against key indicators and provide milestones to indicate progress toward goals outlined in the proposal.  The project includes a systematic recording and periodic analysis of selected information on the project activities.

Review and Selection Process:

The U.S. Embassy will evaluate and rate applications on a basis that includes the following evaluation criteria.  The criteria will assess the quality of the proposed project, and determine the likelihood of its success.  The U.S. Embassy will review applications based on their fullness, coherence, clarity and attention to detail. The selection committee seeks proposals for geographically and demographically diverse audiences.


Federal Award Notices:  The Grants Officer will write, sign, award, and administrate the grant award or cooperative agreement.  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.  Grantees will receive an assistance award agreement, which is the authorizing document.  Organizations whose applications do not receive funding will also receive written notification.  Until both parties sign the Federal Assistance Agreement, make no guarantee an award.

If a proposal receives selection for funding, the Department of State has no obligation to provide any additional future funding in connection with the award, depending on the availability of funds.  Renewal of an award to increase funding or extend the period of performance is at the total discretion of the Department of State. 

Administrative and National Policy Requirements:

For information on administrative and national policy requirements, please review the A/OPE/FA website:

Uniform Guidance (2 CFR 200) – Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

Office of the Procurement Executive

All awards issued under this announcement will require both program and financial reports on a frequency specified in the award agreement.  The Embassy may tie disbursement of funds to submission of these reports in a timely manner.  All other details related to award administration specified in award agreement as well.  Final programmatic and financial reports are due 90 days after the close of the project period.  Grantees should submit progress reports at a minimum through electronic mail to the address provided in the award.

We will not accept applications that do not meet the above criteria.


Please contact with any questions.

INL/EA seeks to fund a project to bolster the capacity of the Forensic Science Division of Sri Lanka’s Government Analyst’s Department (GAD).  The GAD analyzes the evidence collected by police at crime scenes including narcotics and DNA.  It is a critical part of Sri Lanka’s criminal justice system as its analysis reports can help the prosecution prove its case or exonerate the innocent.  While other criminal justice systems increasingly prioritize evidence-based convictions, Sri Lankan officials often heavily rely on confessions.  Many prosecutors, defense counsels, and judges are unaware of the utility of the GAD’s reports and how they could be utilized to either exonerate or convict a suspect.  The GAD also suffers from delays in the analysis of certain types of evidence.  The approved project will identify gaps in the GAD’s forensic capacities, determine strategies to address those gaps, and provide capacity building training and technical assistance.

INL will give preference to those organizations with strong expertise in law enforcement forensic analysis and experience in providing relating trainings to international laboratories with basic to more advanced capacities.

More details: