Small Grants Program

 

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
U.S. EMBASSY LITHUANIA, PUBLIC AFFAIRS SECTION

Notice of Funding Opportunity

Funding Opportunity Title:             U.S. Embassy Lithuania PAS Small Grants Program
Funding Opportunity Number:       PAS-LH500-FY20-01
Deadline for Applications:              July 15, 2020
CFDA Number:                                 19.040 – Public Diplomacy Programs
Total Amount Available:                  Variable
Maximum for Each Award:             $15,000

GRANT APPLICATIONS NO LONGER ACCEPTED FOR FISCAL YEAR 2020

We received a large quantity and diversity of grant requests this year. Thank you to everyone who applied.

We are currently not accepting applications.  Please continue to monitor this website for updated information.

  1. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

The Public Affairs Section (PAS) of the U.S. Embassy in Vilnius, Lithuania, is pleased to announce that funding is available through its Small Grants Program. This Annual Program Statement outlines our funding priorities and the procedures for submitting requests for funding. Please carefully follow all instructions below.

Purpose of Small Grants: PAS invites proposals for programs that strengthen ties between the United States and Lithuania, highlight our shared values, and promote bilateral cooperation in pursuit of our common goals. All programs must include an American cultural element or connections with American experts, organizations or institutions that will promote increased understanding of U.S. policy and perspectives.

Priority Program Areas: PAS is currently accepting proposals that support the following Embassy goals and priorities:

  • Commemorating significant observances and historical events in ways that demonstrate their relevance and importance to modern audiences, including:
    • The Year of Vilna Gaon and Lithuanian Jewish History
    • The 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
    • The 80th anniversary of the Sumner Welles declaration
    • The 50th anniversary of the Environmental Protection Agency
  • Promoting democratic values, human rights, tolerance and an inclusive society
  • Supporting independent media and civil society in countering disinformation and developing media literacy and critical thinking
  • Encouraging entrepreneurship and economic growth in under-served areas

All programs must have an American element and must reach a Lithuanian audience. Preference will be given to proposals that are part of long-term initiatives, reach audiences of strategic importance, and/or can demonstrate a sustained positive impact in the community.

The following types of programs, activities and expenses are not eligible for funding:

  • Paying to complete activities already begun;
  • Ongoing salary costs;
  • Office equipment;
  • Programs that promote particular political parties, religious beliefs or companies;
  • Requests by organizations and individuals who are neither Lithuanian nor American;
  • Fundraising campaigns and charity projects that give away money or property;
  • Construction projects;
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Projects aimed only at primary institutional development or capacity building of the organization; and
  • Projects that duplicate existing efforts.

 Authorizing legislation, type and year of funding:

Authorizing statutes for the funding opportunity are:

1) Fulbright-Hays Act, which allows the U.S. 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
2) Smith-Mundt Act, which specifies the terms under which the U.S. government can engage global audiences: http://www.state.gov/pdcommission/library/177362.htm

The source of funding is FY2020 Public Diplomacy Funding.

Length of performance period: 2 days to 12 months*
Number of awards anticipated: 20-40 awards (dependent on amount and availability of funding throughout the year)
Award amounts: awards may range from a minimum of $1,000 to a maximum of $15,000*
Total available funding: variable
Type of Funding: Fiscal Year 2020 Public Diplomacy Funding
Anticipated program start date: 2020

This notice is subject to availability of funding.

*The U.S. Embassy reserves the right to award more or less than the funds described and for a longer or shorter period than 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.

 Funding Instrument Type: Grant, Fixed Amount Award, or Cooperative Agreement. Cooperative agreements are different from grants in that PAS staff are more actively involved in the grant implementation.

 Program Performance Period: Proposed programs generally should be completed in 12 months or less.

Eligible Applicants: The Public Affairs Section encourages applications from U.S. and Lithuanian:

  • Registered not-for-profit organizations, including think tanks and civil society/nongovernmental organizations with programming experience
  • Individuals
  • Nonprofit or governmental educational institutions
  • Governmental institutions

In deciding which proposals to support, the Embassy will give consideration to the full range and diversity of Lithuanian nonprofit organizations – cultural, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and educational – and will seek to target geographically and demographically diverse audiences in Lithuania. Lithuanian and U.S. citizens may apply as individuals, but preference is generally given to projects proposed by organizations.

For-profit or commercial entities are not eligible to apply.

Cost Sharing or Matching: 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. Cost sharing is not required but will make a proposal considerably more competitive.

 

In order to be eligible to receive an award, all organizations must have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number from Dun & Bradstreet, as well as a valid registration on www.SAM.gov. Please see Section D for information on how to obtain these registrations. Individuals are not required to have a DUNS number or be registered in SAM.gov.

The Public Affairs Section will accept proposals throughout the year and will review proposals every 4-6 weeks. We recommend submitting proposals at least three months in advance of the start of a project.

Organizations or individuals wishing to submit proposals should complete the forms listed below and submit one application package to the Public Affairs Section at the following email address: VilniusGrants@state.gov. Include “PAS FY20 NOFO” and the organization’s name in the subject line.

The Embassy will confirm the receipt of the application by email. Applicants are typically informed about the decision regarding their application within 4-8 weeks from the submission of the documents.

Please follow all instructions below carefully. 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:

  • The proposal clearly addresses the goals and objectives of this funding opportunity
  • All documents are in English
  • All budgets are in U.S. dollars

The following documents are required:

  1. Mandatory application forms: 
    – SF-424 (Application for Federal Assistance – organizations) or SF-424-I (Application for Federal Assistance- individuals)
    – SF424A (Budget Information for Non-Construction programs)
    – SF424B (Assurances for Non-Construction programs)
  2. Summary Coversheet:Cover sheet stating the applicant name and organization, proposal date, program title, proposed start and end dates, program locations, requested amount and brief purpose of the program.
  3. Proposal: The proposal should contain sufficient information that anyone not familiar with it would understand exactly what the applicant wants to do. You may use the provided Embassy proposal format or your own proposal format, but it must include all the items below.
  • Proposal Summary: Short narrative that outlines the proposed program, including program objectives and anticipated impact.
  • Introduction to the Organization or Individual applying: A description of past and present operations, showing ability to carry out the 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. 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.
  • Key Personnel: Names, titles, roles and experience/qualifications of key personnel involved in the program. What proportion of their time will be used in support of this program?
  • Program Partners: List the names and type of involvement of key partner organizations and sub-awardees.
  • Program Monitoring and Evaluation Plan:This is an important part of successful grants. Throughout the time-frame of the grant, how will the activities be monitored to ensure they are happening in a timely manner, and how will the program be evaluated to make sure it is meeting the goals of the grant?
  • Future Funding or Sustainability:Applicant’s plan for continuing the program beyond the grant period, or the availability of other resources, if applicable.4. 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 for further information.
    5. Attachments (suggested examples):
  • One-page CV or resume of key program personnel
  • Letters of support from program partners describing the roles and responsibilities of each partner
  • Official permission letters, if required for program activities

Required Registrations: All organizations applying for grants (except individuals) must obtain these registrations. All are free of charge:

  • Unique Identifier Number from Dun & Bradstreet (DUNS number)
  • NCAGE/CAGE code
  • SAM.gov registration

Lithuanian organizations may request registration instructions for DUNS, NCAGE and SAM.gov in Lithuanian by sending a request to VilniusGrants@state.gov.

Step 1: Apply for a DUNS number and an NCAGE number (these can be completed simultaneously).

DUNS application: Organizations must have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number from Dun & Bradstreet. If your organization does not have one already, you may obtain one by calling 1-866-705-5711 or visiting http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform/displayHomePage.do;jsessionid=81407B1F03F2BDB123DD47D19158B75F. http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform

NCAGE application: You will find the application page here: https://eportal.nspa.nato.int/AC135Public/scage/CageList.aspx

Instructions for the NCAGE application process are located here: https://eportal.nspa.nato.int/AC135Public/Docs/US%20Instructions%20for%20NSPA%20NCAGE.pdf

For help from within the United States, call 1-888-227-2423.

For help from outside the United States, call 1-269-961-7766.

Email NCAGE@dlis.dla.mil for any problems in getting an NCAGE code.

Step 2: After receiving the NCAGE Code, proceed to register in SAM by logging onto: https://sam.gov/SAM/ SAM registration must be renewed annually.

A Grants Review Committee will evaluate and rate all eligible applications based on the criteria outlined below. The criteria listed are closely related and are considered as a whole in judging the overall quality of an application. All applicants will be notified of the committee’s final decision on their proposal.

Embassy priorities: Applicant has clearly described how stated goals are related to and support U.S. Embassy priorities and target audiences.

Goals and objectives: Goals and objectives are clearly stated and program approach is likely to provide maximum impact in achieving the proposed results.

Organizational capacity and record on previous grants: The organization has expertise in its stated field and PAS is confident of its ability to undertake the program. This includes a financial management system and a bank account.

Quality and feasibility of the program idea: The program idea is well developed, with details about how program activities will be carried out. The proposal includes a reasonable implementation timeline.

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: Applicant demonstrates ability to 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.

Sustainability: Program activities will continue to have positive impact after the end of the program.

The grant award or cooperative agreement 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 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.

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, Certifications and Assurances, and the Department of State Standard Terms and Conditions, all of which are available at: https://www.state.gov/about-us-office-of-the-procurement-executive/.

Note the U.S flag branding requirements in the Standard Terms and Conditions.

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.

If you have any questions about the grant application process, please contact PAS at: VilniusGrants@state.gov.

Note: We do not provide any pre-consultation 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.

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.

Supplies: List and describe all items and materials needed for the program.

Contractual: Describe goods and services that the applicant plans to acquire through a contract with a vendor. Also describe any sub-awards to nonprofit partners that will help carry out the program activities.

Other Direct Costs: Describe other costs that are directly associated with the program but 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 percent of the modified total direct costs as defined in 2 CFR 200.68.