Agreement in which the Federal Government provides funding or a thing of value to support a public purpose authorized by public statute. The Government is not the recipient of the good or service and does not play a substantial role.
U.S. Embassy Skopje PAS Annual Program Statement
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
U.S. EMBASSY SKOPJE, PUBLIC AFFAIRS SECTION
Notice of Funding Opportunity
Funding Opportunity Title: U.S. Embassy Skopje PAS Annual Program Statement
Funding Opportunity Number: PAS-800-FY23-03
Deadline for Applications: August 15, 2023
CFDA Number: 19.040 – Public Diplomacy Programs
Total Amount Available: $100,000.00
Maximum for Each Award: $20,000.00
A. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION
The U.S. Embassy Skopje Public Affairs Section (PAS) of the U.S. Department of State is pleased to announce that funding is available through its Public Diplomacy Small Grants Program. This is an Annual Program Statement, outlining our funding priorities, the strategic themes we focus on, and the procedures for submitting requests for funding. Please carefully follow all instructions below.
Purpose of Small Grants: PAS Skopje invites proposals for programs that strengthen cultural ties between the U.S. and North Macedonia through cultural and exchange programming that highlights shared values and promotes bilateral cooperation. All programs must include an American cultural element, or 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.
Examples of PAS Small Grants Program programs include, but are not limited to:
- Academic and professional lectures, seminars and speaker programs;
- Programs that support culture and the arts, including mutual appreciation of artistic work from both countries;
- Artistic and cultural workshops, joint performances and exhibitions;
- Cultural heritage conservation and preservation programs;
- Professional and academic exchanges and programs;
- Programs focused on entrepreneurship and innovation;
- Programs focused on diversity and empowerment of youth and underserved communities;
- Programs focused on democratic processes and values;
- Programs focused on gender issues;
- Programs focused on human and equal rights;
- Programs focused on media literacy;
- Programs focused on strengthening resiliency against disinformation; and malign influence;
- Programs focused on environment protection; and
- Programs that support North Macedonia’s Euro-Atlantic integration process.
Priority Program Areas:
The objectives of the Public Diplomacy Grant Program are to promote positive relations between North Macedonia and the United States; to reinforce shared values; and to connect North Macedonia’s emerging leaders to the American people. We fund projects that:
- Help North Macedonia’s youth build and develop skills to improve their potential through innovative science (especially environmental and health awareness), technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) programs, as well as through entrepreneurship programs and vocational training.
- Focus on educating youth and publics about current environmental issues, including crafting creative solutions to environmental challenges, green energy initiatives and energy conservation, climate change adaptation strategies, as well as action plans to deal with water scarcity exacerbated by climate change and urbanization.
- Encourage North Macedonia’s youth to participate in civic life through social entrepreneurship, volunteerism, and community engagement.
- Strengthen understanding of U.S. values and institutions; highlight US culture, including American Studies, English language teaching/learning, and study in the United States; as well as support diversity through the acceptance of minority groups, including individuals with special needs or handicapping conditions, and other areas of mutual interest.
Participants and Audiences:
US Mission North Macedonia encourages not only diverse applicants to apply to our grants programs but would also like to see diverse target audiences and trainers. Diversity can be defined by different geographic regions, ethnicities, religious orientations, gender, physical disabilities including visual, hearing, speech, and other physically handicapping conditions.
The following types of programs are not eligible for funding:
- Printing or promotion of books or manuscripts
- Travel to the United States for professional development
- Ongoing salary costs and office equipment
- Paying to complete activities that were begun with other funds
- Promotion of local arts scenes
- Projects that are inherently political in nature or that contain the appearance of partisanship/support to individual or single-party electoral campaigns
- Political party activities
- Fundraising campaigns
- Commercial or trade activities
- Individual travel to conferences and meetings
- Social welfare projects
- Projects that support religious activities
- Scientific research
- Construction projects
- Projects whose primary aim is the institutional development of the organization itself.
Authorizing legislation, type and year of funding:
Funding authority rests in the Smith-Mundt Act. The source of funding is FY2023 Public Diplomacy Funding.
B. FEDERAL AWARD INFORMATION
Length of performance period: 3 to 12 months
Number of awards anticipated: 12 awards (dependent on amounts)
Award amounts: awards may range from a minimum of $1,000 to a maximum of $20,000
Total available funding: $100,000
Type of Funding: Fiscal Year 2023 Public Diplomacy Funding
Anticipated program start date: November 23, 2022
This notice is subject to availability of funding.
Funding Instrument Type: Grant or Fixed Amount Award.
Program Performance Period: Proposed programs should be completed in 12 months or less.
PAS will entertain applications for continuation grants funded under these awards beyond the initial budget period on a non-competitive basis subject to availability of funds, satisfactory progress of the program, and a determination that continued funding would be in the best interest of the U.S. Department of State.
C. ELIGILIBITY INFORMATION
- Eligible Applicants
We encourage proposals for activities that engage geographically and demographically diverse audiences within North Macedonia. While U.S. NGOs may apply, preference is given to NGOs from North Macedonia or to partnerships that develop capacity with North Macedonia’s NGOs.
For-profit or commercial entities are not eligible to apply.
- Cost Sharing or Matching
Cost sharing is not required.
- Other Eligibility Requirements
In order to be eligible to receive an award, all organizations must have a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) number issued via www.SAM.gov as well as a valid registration on www.SAM.gov. Please see Section D.3 for more information. Individuals are not required to have a UEI or be registered in SAM.gov.
D. APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION
- Address to Request Application Package
Application forms required below are available at https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/forms/sf-424-family.html.
- Content and Form of Application Submission
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
- 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:
- Mandatory application forms
- SF-424 (Application for Federal Assistance –organizations)at https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/forms/sf-424-family.html.
- SF424A(Budget Information for Non-Construction programs) at https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/forms/sf-424-family.html.
- SF424B(Assurances for Non-Construction programs) at https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/forms/sf-424-family.html.
- Summary Coversheet: Cover sheet stating the applicant name and organization, proposal date, program title, program period proposed start and end date, and brief purpose of the program.
- 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 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 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. 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.
- 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.
PAS is providing this application form for proposals. Please note that this form is not required; however, you may use it as a template to submit the project proposal.
- 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.
- Court Registry (if registered in North Macedonia)
- 1-page CV or resume of key personnel who are proposed for the program
- Letters of support from program partners describing the roles and responsibilities of each partner
- Official permission letters, if required for program activities
- Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM.gov)
All organizations applying for grants (except individuals) must obtain these registrations. All are free of charge:
- SAM.gov registration which will generate a UEI
- NCAGE/CAGE code
Any applicant with an exclusion 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.”
The Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) is one of the data elements mandated by Public Law 109-282, the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA), for all Federal awards. SAM.gov is the Federal government’s primary database for complying with FFATA reporting requirements. OMB designated SAM.gov as the central repository to facilitate applicant and recipient use of a single public website that consolidates data on all federal financial assistance. Under the law, it is mandatory to register in SAM.gov.
Starting April 2022, the UEI will be assigned when an organization registers or renews it’s registration in SAM.gov at www.SAM.gov. To access SAM.gov an organization is required to have a Login.gov account. Organization can create an account at https://login.gov/. As a reminder, organizations need to renew its sam.gov registration annually.
US-based organizations: A CAGE code will be automatically assigned when the U.S. organizations registers in www.sam.gov. CAGE must be renewed every 5 years. Site for CAGE : https://cage.dla.mil/Home/UsageAgree. Grantees may be asked for more information to finalized and must comply.
Foreign-based organizations: Must apply for a NCAGE code before registering in SAM.gov. Go to : https://eportal.nspa.nato.int/AC135Public/CageTool/home to apply for a NCAGE code. NCAGE codes must be renewed every 5 years.
It is in the organization’s best interest to check if their CAGE/or NCAGE codes are active. Organizations are required to register/or renew their CAGE or NCAGE codes prior to registering or renewing www.sam.gov . Both registration and renewals for both CAGE and NCAGE can take up to 10 days. Organization’s legal address in NCAGE/CAGE must mirror www. sam.gov.
www.sam.gov requires all entities to renew their registration once a year in order to maintain an active registration status in SAM.gov. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure it has an active registration in SAM.gov.
If an organization plans to issue a sub-contract or sub-award, those sub-awardees must also have a unique entity identifier (UEI number). Those entities can register for a UEI only at SAM.gov.
If an organization does not have an active registration in SAM.gov prior to submitting an application, the application will be deemed ineligible. All organizations applying for grants (except individuals) must obtain these registrations, the latter are free of charge.
Note: As of April 2022, a DUNS number is no longer required.
- Submission Dates and Times
Applications may be submitted for consideration at any time before the closing date of August 15, 2023. No applications will be accepted after that date.
- Funding Restrictions
Award funds cannot be used for construction or vehicle purchases.
- Other Submission Requirements
All application materials must be submitted by email to SkopjeGrants@state.gov.
E. APPLICATION REVIEW INFORMATION
Each application will be evaluated and rated on the basis of the evaluation criteria outlined below. The criteria listed are closely related and are considered as a whole in judging the overall quality of an application.
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 detail about how program activities will be carried out. The proposal includes a reasonable implementation timeline.
Goals and objectives: Goals and objectives are clearly stated and program approach is likely to provide maximum impact in achieving the proposed results.
Embassy priorities: Applicant has clearly described how stated goals are related to and support U.S. Embassy XXX’s priority areas or target audiences.
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 it is able 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.
- Review and Selection Process
A Grants Review Committee will evaluate all eligible applications.
For any Federal award under a notice of funding opportunity, if the Federal awarding agency anticipates that the total Federal share will be greater than the simplified acquisition threshold on any Federal award under a notice of funding opportunity may include, over the period of performance (see §200.88 Simplified Acquisition Threshold), this section must also inform applicants:
i. That the Federal awarding agency, prior to making a Federal award with a total amount of Federal share greater than the simplified acquisition threshold, is required to review and consider any information about the applicant that is in the designated integrity and performance system accessible through SAM (currently FAPIIS) (see 41 U.S.C. 2313);
ii. That an applicant, at its option, may review information in the designated integrity and performance systems accessible through SAM and comment on any information about itself that a Federal awarding agency previously entered and is currently in the designated integrity and performance system accessible through SAM;
iii. That the Federal awarding agency will consider any comments by the applicant, in addition to the other information in the designated integrity and performance system, in making a judgment about the applicant’s integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under Federal awards when completing the review of risk posed by applicants as described in §200.205 Federal awarding agency review of risk posed by applicants.
- Anticipated Announcement and Federal Award Dates
The Embassy will accept proposals on a rolling basis throughout the year until August 15, 2023. The panel will review proposals, subject to the availability of funds, at the end of each month.
F. FEDERAL AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION
- Federal Award Notices
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.
Organizations whose applications will not be funded will also be notified via email.
- 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/about-us-office-of-the-procurement-executive/. Note the U.S Flag branding and marking 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.
G. FEDERAL AWARDING AGENCY CONTACTS
If you have any questions about the grant application process, please contact PAS at: SkopjeGrants@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.
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 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.
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, then put it in the budget under Equipment.
Contractual: Describe goods and services that the applicant plans to acquire through a contract with a vendor. Also describe 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, 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 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” 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 that award funds cannot be used for alcoholic beverages.
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