Small Grants Program for Sri Lanka

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.

Funding Opportunity Title:  U.S. Embassy Colombo 

Funding Opportunity Number:  PAS-COL-010

CFDA Number:  Public Diplomacy Programs for Sri Lanka – 19.040 

Funding Instrument Type:  Grant or Cooperative Agreement

Floor of Individual Award Amounts:  $5,000 USD

Ceiling of Individual Award Amounts:  $25,000 USD 

Email:  ColomboPDGrants@state.gov

Grants are 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:  

  1. Promote reconciliation, through programs which promote social integration among all segments of society; encourage participatory processes between citizens and government; strengthen partnerships to give communities a greater voice in government and society. 
  1. Improve respect for human rights, through programs which strengthen democratic values; enhance awareness and protection of religious freedom and human rights principles; and encourage gender equality. 
  1. Improve respect for and application of freedom of expression, through programs that promote a free and open media; strengthen understanding of social media; empower journalists through training (including ethics, investigative techniques, and English language). 

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

  • Youth engagement, leadership, and education programs;
  • Programs that promote gender equality and the rights of girls and women;
  • Programs that build the capacity of civil society;
  • New media concepts aimed at reaching wide audiences;
  • Media training programs;
  • Cultural programs;
  • Radio, television, social media, and film programming in support of the above three goals. 

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

  • Projects that do not have a plan for sustaining the activity or monitoring results;
  • Social welfare or development projects;
  • Projects that are 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);
  • Costs to complete activities begun with other funding;
  • 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;
  • Political party activities;
  • Projects that support specific religious activities. 

B. FEDERAL AWARD INFORMATION

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 be completed in one year or less.  Applicants should consider their budgets carefully and submit a budget commensurate with their project goals.

C. ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION

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 encourages 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.

D. APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION

Address to Request Application Package:

Applicants must submit application template, detailed budget template, and other documentation listed below.  Applicants can contact ColomboPDGrants@state.gov with any questions.

Content and Form of Application Submission:

Individuals

Individuals must submit the following documentation –

  • Completed application;
  • Detailed budget;
  • Federal Assistance Application Standard Form 424 Individual;
  • Assurance for Non-Construction programs SF424B;
  • Bio-data of Key Personnel: CVs or biographies of any personnel cited in budget, including trainers, implementing partners, or sub-contractors;
  • If applicable, W9 form (only for American Citizens or Green Card Holders);
  • 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; 

Guide to complete above forms.

Organizations

Organizations must submit the following documentation –

  • Completed application;
  • Detailed budget;
  • Federal Assistance Application Standard Form SF424_2_
  • Budget for Non-Construction programs SF424A;
  • Assurances for Non-Construction programs SF424B;
  • 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;

Guide to complete above forms.

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. grants.  Guideline template.

Submission Dates and Times: 

The deadline for submission is June 16, 2017.  To receive consideration for funding, applicants must forward electronic copies of all required documentation to ColomboPDGrants@state.gov on or before June 16, 2017.

Funding Restrictions:

The following activities and costs are 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 will not be reimbursed.

Other Submission Requirements:

Applicants must submit materials to ColomboPDGrants@state.gov with “PAS FY17 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 automatic confirmation of receipt of proposals.  Proposals will not be considered until all information is received.

Applicants may only submit one proposal.   All documentation must be in English, and all budgets must be in U.S. dollars.

Budget: Applicants must submit a detailed budget using the template provided in the attachments.  Explanations of budget categories are 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.  These costs may be derived from historical costs or calculated as a percentage of salaries and wages.  If the costs are calculated as a percentage of salaries and wages, this percentage will need to be justified by the entity’s written internal policy or documented 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 air fare (or other mode of transportation), accommodations, meals and incidental expenses, and other costs such as conference fees, visa expenses, and inoculations.
  1. Equipment: Equipment is 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 may be 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 that are directly linked to the award but not included as an indirect cost.

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

E. APPLICATION REVIEW PROCESS 

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

Criteria:

  • 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 are 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.  This is 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 will be 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 above 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 on the basis of their fullness, coherence, clarity, and attention to detail.  The selection committee seeks proposals for geographically and demographically diverse audiences.

F. FEDERAL AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION

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 the Federal Assistance Agreement is signed by both parties there is no guarantee an award will be made.

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. 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

http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?tpl=/ecfrbrowse/Title02/2cfr200_main_02.tpl

Office of the Procurement Executive

https://www.statebuy.state.gov

Reporting:

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 will be 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.

Applications that do not meet the above criteria will not be accepted.

G. FEDERAL AWARDING AGENCY CONTACT 

Please contact ColomboPDGrants@state.gov with any questions.