Grants

Grant Opportunities

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.

Summary: The U.S. Embassy in Skopje and the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State are pleased to announce the 2021 call for proposals for the Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation.

The Fund was established to help countries preserve their cultural heritage and to demonstrate U.S. respect for other cultures.  Since its inception in 2001, the Fund has helped preserve cultural sites, practices, and objects that are historically or culturally significant in North Macedonia and around the world.  Project proposals are due on November 15, 2020.

FUNDING AREAS:  Through the AFCP Program, the Department of State supports the preservation of archaeological sites, historic building and monument, museum collections, and forms of traditional cultural expression, such as indigenous languages and crafts.  Appropriate project activities may include:

  1. Anastylosis (reassembling a site from its original parts)
  2. Conservation (addressing damage or deterioration to an object or site)
  3. Consolidation (connecting or reconnecting elements of an object or site)
  4. Documentation (recording in analog or digital format the condition and salient features of an object, site, or tradition)
  5. Inventory (listing of objects, sites, or traditions by location, feature, age, or other unifying characteristic or state)
  6. Preventive Conservation (addressing conditions that threaten or damage a site, object, collection, or tradition)
  7. Restoration (replacing missing elements to recreate the original appearance of an object r site, usually appropriate only with fine arts, decorative arts, and historic buildings)
  8. Stabilization (reducing the physical disturbance of an object or site)

Sites and Objects Having a Religious Connection:  The establishment clause of the U.S. Constitution permits the government to include religious objects and sites within an aid program under certain conditions.  For example, an item with a religious connection (including a place of worship) may be the subject of a cultural preservation grant if the item derives its primary significance and is nominated solely on the basis of architectural, artistic, historical, or other cultural (not religious) criteria.

Eligible Project Implementers:  The eligible project implementers are defined as reputable and accountable non-commercial entities that are able to demonstrate they have the requisite capacity to manage projects to preserve cultural heritage.  Eligible implementers may include non-governmental organizations, museums, educational institutions, ministries of culture or similar institutions and organizations, including U.S.-based educational institutions and organizations subject to Section 501(c)(3) of the tax code.  Grants will not be awarded to individuals, commercial entities, or past award recipients that have not fulfilled the objectives or reporting requirements of previous awards.

The Fund can NOT be used to support the following: 

  1. Preservation or purchase of privately or commercially owned cultural objects, collections, or real property, including those whose transfer from private or commercial to public ownership is envisioned, planned, or in process but not complete at the time of proposal submission;
  2. Preservation of natural heritage (physical, biological, and geological formations, paleontological collections, habitats of threatened species of animals and plants, fossils);
  3. Preservation of hominid or human remains;
  4. Preservation of news media (newspaper, newsreels, radio and TV programs, etc.);
  5. Preservation of published materials available elsewhere (books, periodicals, etc.);
  6. Development of curricula or educational materials for classroom use;
  7. Archaeological excavations or surveys for research purposes;
  8. Historical research, except in cases where historical research is justifiable and integral to the success of the proposed project;
  9. Acquisition or creation of new exhibits, objects, or collections for new or existing museums;
  10. Construction of new buildings, building additions, or permanent coverings (over archaeological sites, for example);
  11. Commissions of new works of art or architecture for commemorative or economic development purposes;
  12. Creation of new or the modern adaptation of existing traditional dances, songs, chants, musical compositions, plays, or other performances;
  13. Creation of replicas or conjectural reconstructions of cultural objects or sites that no longer exist;
  14. Relocation of cultural sites from one physical location to another;
  15. Removal of cultural objects or elements of cultural sites from the country for any reason;
  16. Digitalization of cultural objects or collections, unless part of a larger clearly defined conservation or documentation effort;
  17. Conservation plans or other studies, unless they are one component of a larger project to implement the results of those studies;
  18. Cash reserves, endowments or revolving funds; funds must be expended within the grant period (up to five years) and may not be used to create an endowment or revolving fund;
  19. Costs of fund-raising campaigns;
  20. Contingency, unforeseen, or miscellaneous fees;
  21. Costs of work performed prior to announcement of the award unless allowable per 2 CFR 200.458 and approved by the Grants Officer;
  22. International travel, except in cases where travel is justifiable and integral to the success of the proposed project or to provide project leaders with learning and exchange opportunities with cultural heritage experts;
  23. Individual project costing less than US$10,000 or more than $500,000; or
  24. Independent U.S. projects overseas that do not have a local partner or a pre-existing formal agreement with the national cultural authority in the specified country to conduct cultural heritage preservation activities.

AWARD INFORMATION: Funding Instrument Type: Grant (Program Authority: Fulbright Hays Section 102(b)(5), as amended).  Floor on Amount of Individual Awards: US $10,000 per project. Ceiling on Amount of Individual Awards: $500,000 per project.

HOW TO APPLY:  Guidelines for proposal preparation and information to be provided are here.

Each project proposal must be in English and should be emailed to TaneskaB@state.gov.

APPLICATION RATING CRITERIA: Using a point-based system, the Embassy will rate all applications based on the program funding priorities; the quality, soundness, and comprehensiveness of the proposed project and budget; the urgency of the proposed project; and the quality and quantity of supporting materials, such as resumes of the key project participants, images of the resource, and notices of official permission from the responsible resource steward, such as a ministry of culture.

PERFORMANCE AND DELIVERABLES: AFCP 2021 award recipients must submit performance progress, federal financial status reports, and final reports on time as specified in the Notice of Award.

DUNS NUMBER AND SAM REGISTRATION: Applicants requesting $25,000 or more in federal assistance must have a Dun & Bradstreet Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number, a NATO Commercial and Government Entity (NCAGE) code, and be registered in the System for Award Management (SAM) prior to submitting an application.  NOTE:  This process can take weeks/months, especially for non-U.S. applicants.

Applicants may acquire DUNS numbers at no cost by calling the dedicated toll-free DUNs number request line at 1-866-705-5711 or by requesting a number online at http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform.  Non-U.S. based applicants may request a NCAGE code at https://eportal.nspa.nato.int/AC135Public/scage/CageList.aspx.  SAM is the official, free on-line registration database for the U.S. Government. Registration in SAM is free: https://sam.gov/SAM/.

COST SHARING AND OTHER FORMS OF COST PARTICIPATION: There is no minimum or maximum percentage of cost participation required for this competition.  When cost sharing is offered, it is understood and agreed that the applicant must provide the amount of cost sharing as stipulated in its proposal and later included in an approved agreement.  The applicant will be responsible for tracking and reporting on any cost share or outside funding, which is subject to audit per 2 CFR 200.  Cost sharing may be in the form of allowable direct or indirect costs.

DISCLAIMER: Explanatory information provided by the U.S. Embassy that contradicts published language is not binding.  Issuance of this Notice of Funding Opportunity does not constitute an award commitment on the part of the U.S. Government.  The U.S. Embassy reserves the right to waive program formalities and to reduce, revise, or increase proposal budgets in accordance with the needs of the program and the availability of funds.  Awards made will be subject to periodic reporting and evaluation requirements as specified above and in the Notice of Award.

For more information, please contact Ms. Borka Taneska, Experiential Learning Coordinator, U.S. Embassy, at tel. 02-310-2121 or TaneskaB@state.gov.

The U.S. Embassy in Skopje is pleased to announce a funding opportunity for the administration of two (2) legal clinics in law schools in North Macedonia.  The legal clinics will provide an opportunity for law school students to obtain trial and case practice before they graduate and take the bar exam.    The Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), U.S. Department of State, is overseeing this grant opportunity.  The full text of the Notice of Funding Opportunity and supporting documents can be found here:  https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=311960

Notice of Funding Opportunity

The U.S. Embassy Skopje Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Department of State is pleased to announce that funding is available through the Embassy’s public diplomacy grants program for creative new ideas and projects that increase mutual understanding between the U.S. and North Macedonia and promote the bilateral relationship. Topic areas eligible for funding include:

  • entrepreneurship and innovation
  • programs that support culture and the arts, including mutual appreciation of artistic work from both countries
  • diversity and empowerment of youth and underserved communities
  • democratic processes and values
  • strengthening resiliency against disinformation
  • environment protection and
  • programs that support North Macedonia’s Euro-Atlantic integration process.

Funding Opportunity Title: Public Diplomacy Grants Program 2021

Funding Opportunity Number: SMK800-21-PAS-002

Activities that are appropriate for funding through the Annual Program Statement include, but are not limited to:

  • Youth engagement, leadership, and education programs, including initiatives that establish exchanges between the youth of North Macedonia and the United States.
  • Bringing an American expert and/or performer to North Macedonia
  • Conferences, workshops, forums, panel discussions, and master classes on American themes or issues of mutual interest.
  • Exhibitions of works by Americans or on American themes.
  • Cultural programs, particularly those that target youth and underserved communities.
  • Television and social media programming in support of the above objectives.
  • Programs that promote democratic processes and values.
  • Creative programs focused on Identifying and countering the use of disinformation.

All programs must include an American element: either a cultural connection, utilization of American expert/s, organization/s or institution/s that will promote good and/or innovative practices in a specific field, etc.

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

  • Printing or promotion of books or manuscripts
  • Travel to the United States for professional development
  • Ongoing salary costs
  • Office equipment
  • Paying to complete activities 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

Additional Guidelines

The most competitive proposals each:

  • Express clear objectives and activities
  • Clearly identify a target audience
  • Include a significant commitment to sharing of costs by other organizations through other funding sources and/or in-kind contributions of time, equipment, or supplies
  • Limit expenses for staff time to include only reasonable direct and indirect staff expenses associated with the planned project activities.

Funding Instrument Type

Cooperative Agreement or Grant.  Cooperative agreements differ from grants in that Public Affairs staff are more actively involved in proposal execution and anticipate having moderate to substantial involvement once the award has been made.

Award Amounts

Most awards are expected to be around $10,000, with a minimum of $1,000 and a maximum of $20,000.  The U.S. Embassy reserves the right to award less or more than the funds 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.

Project and Budget Periods

Projects generally must be completed in one year or less.  The Public Affairs Section will entertain applications for continuation grants funded under these awards, beyond the initial budget period, on a noncompetitive basis, subject to availability of funds, satisfactory progress of the applicants, and a determination that continued funding would be in the best interest of the Department of State.

Eligibility Information

The U.S. Embassy encourages applications from local non-governmental organizations. U.S. NGOs may apply, but preference is given to partnerships that develop the capacity of NGOs in North Macedonia and include plans to transfer programs to sustainable local management.

Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM)

In order to be eligible to receive an award, all organizations whose proposals were selected must have a Dun & Bradstreet Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number, a NATO Commercial and Government Entity (NCAGE) code, and be registered in the System for Award Management (SAM) prior to submitting an application.  NOTE:  This process can take weeks/months, especially for non-U.S. applicants.

Applicants may acquire DUNS numbers at no cost by calling the dedicated toll-free DUNs number request line at 1-866-705-5711 or by requesting a number online at http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform.  Non-U.S. based applicants may request a NCAGE code at https://eportal.nspa.nato.int/AC135Public/scage/CageList.aspx.   SAM is the official, free on-line registration database for the U.S. Government. Registration in SAM is free: https://sam.gov/SAM/.

Required Documents

Applicants must include the following in the proposal submission. All submissions must be in English.

Submission Dates and Times

The Embassy will accept proposals on a rolling basis throughout the year until August 1, 2021. The panel will review proposals, subject to the availability of funds, on a monthly basis at the end of each month.

Public Affairs will notify you upon receiving your application.  Proposals (in English only) will not be considered until all information is received.  Questions should be addressed to SkopjeGrants@state.gov.

For assistance with the requirements of this solicitation, contact +389 2 310-2121 or SkopjeGrants@state.gov.

 

U.S. Department of State
U.S. Embassy Skopje, Public Affairs Section
Notice of Funding Opportunity

 

Funding Opportunity Title:          Annual Program Statement for Democracy Commission Small Grants Program 2021

Funding Opportunity number:   SMK800-21-PAS001

Deadline for Applications:          June 1, 2021

CFDA Number:                               19.900 – Assistance to Eastern Europe and Central Asia

Total Available Funding:             $385,000

Type of Funding:                           FY20/21 Assistance to Europe, Eurasia, and Central Asia (AEECA) under the Foreign Assistance Act

Anticipated Award Date:              May/September 2021

Funding Instrument Type:          Grant, Fixed Amount Award, Cooperative Agreement

Length of Performance Period: 12 months

Number of Awards Anticipated: At least 15 depending on amount of each grant

Award Amounts:                            Awards may range from $1,000 to $24,000

THIS NOTICE IS SUBJECT TO AVAILABILITY OF FUNDING.

  1. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

The U.S. Embassy Skopje Public Affairs Section (PAS) of the U.S. Department of State is pleased to announce the funding opportunity through its Democracy Commission 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.  Abstracts/executive summaries may be submitted at any time for consideration before the closing date of this annual program statement on June 1, 2021.  Awards will be made on a rolling basis, pending the availability of funds.  Applicants are encouraged to apply early.  Please carefully follow all instructions below.

Background

The U.S. Embassy Public Affairs Section (PAS) in Skopje is soliciting proposals for grants from non-for-profit, non-governmental organizations and independent media in North Macedonia that focus on one of the priority areas specified below.

Grant Priority Areas

Funding will be available for projects that address the priority areas below:

Rule of Law and Government Accountability – These projects should address improving the rule of law, judicial independence, good governance, and the fight against corruption.  By addressing these issues, projects should contribute to a more robust citizen-responsive government with strong democratic institutions.

Citizen Participation – These projects should support strengthening of democratic institutions in North Macedonia, including increasing the participation and representation of citizens from all different backgrounds in civic life.

Cybersecurity and Disinformation – These projects should promote cybersecurity, media literacy, and countering propaganda and disinformation efforts.

Youth Development and Women Empowerment – These projects should support activities aiming to prepare young people and especially women to start their own businesses, combat youth emigration, and promote greater minority participation in North Macedonia’s economy.  By addressing these issues, projects should contribute to improved business climate and economic policies, promote private sector growth and entrepreneurship, attract foreign investors, and create jobs.

Environment Protection – These projects should promote solutions to environmental issues through join efforts by individuals (youth), community organizations, association of citizens, and local governments.

The abstracts/executive summaries will be reviewed in several rounds: received by February 15, 2021, received by April 1, 2021; received by May 1, 2021; and received by June 1, 2021.

What projects are not funded?
The Democracy Commission Grants Program cannot fund:

  • Projects supporting partisan political activity
  • Humanitarian/social aid and charities or charitable activities
  • Professional development for individuals, including conferences and trips abroad
  • Commercial or trade activities
  • Fundraising campaigns
  • Scientific research
  • Institutional development or support of an organization
  • Activities that duplicate existing projects and
  • Individuals or organizations from outside of North Macedonia.

Evaluation criteria
The Democracy Commission will evaluate proposals according to the following criteria:

  • Relevance of topic
  • Clarity in goals, activities, and target group
  • Please explain how you will measure success.  What are the expected outcomes of your project?
  • Sensible budgeting
  • Longer-term sustainability, where applicable
  • The ability of the applying organization to successfully carry out the project aims.

What is the maximum amount of a grant?
The maximum Democracy Commission grant is $24,000.

How do organizations apply for grants?

Pre-application phase,
All interested organizations must send an abstract/executive summary and a simple budget by the due date listed above.  The summary must be no longer than 400 words and should contain basic information on the project audience, locations, activities, and expected outcomes.

Herewith is a sample of a pre-application submission:

  1. Name of the organization:
  2. Point of contact:
  3. Contact information:
  4. Summary of the project (400 words or less):

Description of the project activities:

  1. Period of implementation:
  2. Potential partners:
  3. Budget:
Type of cost Description of the cost Amount in $
1 Personnel
2 Supplies and equipment
3 Contractual
4 Other
Total

The successful applicant will be informed by email and invited to send full application. Full instructions will be given at that stage of application. The applicant will have three weeks to prepare a full application.

Please email one (1) copy of your abstract electronically to: DemComSkopje@state.gov;
Subject: Democracy Commission Application/ The topic of the project

Phone: +389 2 310-2082 POC Nadica Zakula

e-mail: Public Affairs Section

What happens when the project is completed?

Upon completion of the project, all grantee organizations must submit progress reports as well as a final narrative with a complete accounting of all grant funds. The grantee will be asked to send narratives about the outcomes of the project over the course of three years after the implementation is completed. If required, the grantee is obligated the conduct surveys, focus groups and forms of after-action reporting.

U.S. Department of State
U.S. Embassy in Skopje
Notice of Funding Opportunity for USG Alumni only
Number SMK800-21-PAS006

The Embassy of the United States in Skopje announces a limited competition for past participants (“alumni”) of U.S. government-funded and U.S. government-sponsored exchange programs to submit applications to the 2021 Alumni Engagement Disinformation Fund (AEDF 2021).   We seek proposals from teams of at least two alumni that meet all program eligibility requirements below.  Exchange alumni interested in participating in AEDF 2021 should submit proposals with subject title “Alumni Engagement Disinformation Project Proposal” to IlaziG@state.gov by April 30, 2021, 14:00 local time.

  1. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

The Alumni Engagement Disinformation Fund provides alumni of U.S. sponsored and facilitated exchange programs with funding to design and implement engagement projects that support the following themes:

  • Combatting Disinformation
  • Promoting Media Literacy
  • Supporting Democratic Values
  • Access to Information
  1. FEDERAL AWARD INFORMATION

Announcement posted:  April 7, 2021
Closing date for applications:  April 30, 2021

Funding type:  Small grant awards
Decision date: no later than July 2021.

Expected size of individual awards:  Between $10,000 to $25,000.

Program Performance Period: Proposed programs should be completed in the period July 2021 – August 2022 with a possibility for a no-cost extension if justified.

 

  1. ELIGILIBITY INFORMATION
  2. Eligible Applicants:

The following individuals are eligible to apply:

  • Applicants must be alumni of a S. government-funded exchange program (https://alumni.state.gov/list-exchange-programs) or a U.S. government-sponsored exchange program (https://j1visa.state.gov/).
  • Projects teams must include teams of at least two (2) alumni.
  • Alumni who are U.S. citizens may not submit proposals, but U.S. citizen alumni may participate as team members in a project.
  • Alumni teams may be comprised of alumni from different exchange programs and different countries.
  • Applications must be submitted by exchange alumni. Not-for-profit, non-governmental organizations, think tanks, and academic institutions are not eligible to apply in the name of the organization but can serve as partners for implementing project activities.
  1. Cost Sharing

Inclusion of cost share is not a requirement of this opportunity.

  1. Grant Program Area:

Proposals must address combatting disinformation, promoting media literacy, supporting democratic values, and access to information.  Proposals that do not address the theme as outlined in the program objectives will be deemed ineligible. All project activities must take place outside of the United States and its territories

  1. Other Eligibility Requirements

If the grant will be processed with an individual, that individual is not required to have a DUNS number or be registered in SAM.gov.  However, should the grant be processed with an organization that is a partner in the project, that organization must have a unique entity identifier (Data Universal Numbering System/DUNS number from Dun & Bradstreet), as well as a valid registration on www.SAM.gov. Organizations must have a commitment to equal opportunity employment practices and to non-discrimination practices with regard to beneficiaries, without regard to race, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or political affiliation.

 

  1. APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION
  2. Address to Request Application Package

Application and budget templates are available on the provided links below.

  1. Content and Form of Application Submission

Applications and budgets must be submitted using the official AEDF 2021 proposal and budget forms.

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.

Please ensure:

  • The proposal clearly addresses the goals and objectives of this funding opportunity;
  • The proposal addresses all questions in the official AEDF 2021 proposal form;
  • All documents are in English
  • The budget is in U.S. dollars and is submitted using the designated AEDF budget form;
  • All pages are numbered.

The following documents are required:

  1. Mandatory application forms

Proposal Form

AEIF Budget Form

Application for Federal Assistance SF-424 

Application for Federal Assistance for Individuals DF-424I

Budget Information for Non-Construction Programs (SF-424A) 

SF424B-V1.1_Assurances 

  1. Proposal: The proposal should contain enough information that anyone not familiar with it would understand exactly what the alumni team wants to do. Proposals include the following.

Proposal Summary: Short narrative that outlines the proposed project, including project objectives and anticipated impact.

Project Team Information: There must be at least two exchange alumni team members for a project to be considered for funding.  Along with the name and contact information, describe the role each team member will have in the project and their experience, qualifications, and ability to carry out that role.  Indicate what proportion of their time will be used in support of the project.

Problem Statement: Clear, concise and well-supported statement of the problem to be addressed and why the proposed project is needed.

Project Goals and Objectives:  The “goals” describe what the project is intended to achieve.  How will the project impact the community and what changes (in people, institutions, attitudes, or practices) will you see?  The “objectives” refer to the intermediate accomplishments on the way to the goals. These should be achievable and measurable.

Local Project Partners:  List partners who will support your project.  Please note if you have an existing relationship with your partner organization(s) or individual(s) and describe their role in the project. If you do not have an existing relationship, explain how you anticipate establishing a partnership with the organization(s).

Project Methods, Design, and Timeline: A description of how the project is expected to work to solve the stated problem and achieve the goal.  This should include description of your direct and indirect beneficiaries.  The proposed timeline for the project activities.  Include the dates, times, and locations of planned activities and events.

Project 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?

Sustainability: Explain how you plan to continue the program beyond the grant period, or the availability of other resources, if applicable.

Communication Plan:  Explain how you will promote your project.  Include social media, websites, print news, or other forms of media you intend to use to share information about your project to beneficiaries and the public.  Communications should include AEDF 2021 and U.S. Embassy branding.  These include training materials, materials for recipients or materials to communicate or promote with foreign audiences a program, event, project, or some other activity under an agreement.  Note: Exceptions to the branding requirement are allowable under certain conditions. If an applicant is notified that their award has been chosen for funding, the Grants Officer will determine, in consultation with the applicant, if an exception is applicable especially in the case where branding would adversely affect the safety and security of the beneficiaries.

 

  1. Budget Justification Narrative: Applicants must submit a detailed budget and budget narrative justification utilizing the template provided. Line-item expenditures should be listed in the greatest possible detail. Budgets shall be submitted in U.S. dollars and final grant agreements will be conducted in U.S. dollars.

Budget Restrictions: AEDF 2021 does not support the following activities or costs, and the selection committee will deem applications involving any of these activities or costs ineligible:

  • Any airfare to/from the United States and its territories
  • Activities that take place in the United States and its territories
  • Staff salaries, office space, and overhead/operational expenses
  • Large items of durable equipment or construction programs
  • Alcohol, excessive meals, refreshments, or entertainment
  • Academic or scientific research
  • Charitable or development activities
  • Provision of direct social services to a population
  • Individual scholarships
  • Social travel/visits
  • Gifts or prizes
  • Duplication of existing programs
  • Institutional development of an organization
  • Venture capital, for-profit endeavors, or charging a fee for participation in project
  • Support for specific religious activities
  • Fund-raising campaigns
  • Support or opposition of partisan political activity or lobbying for specific legislation

 

  1. REVIEW AND SELECTION PROCESS

Evaluation Criteria:  The U.S. embassy or consulate Public Affairs Sections will use the criteria outlined below to evaluate all applications. The proposals will be reviewed by a Selection Committee made up of regional and exchange program experts located at the Department of State in Washington, DC. Panelists will use the criteria below to review and evaluate applications.

Relevance to Application Theme

The proposal provides sufficient information on how the activities will support the theme(s) of the competition. The narrative explains any relevant local context the D.C. Selection Committee may not be aware of in relation to this project. Proposed project ideas must be public diplomacy in nature (i.e. not development or military).

Purpose and Summary, Description, and Implementation Plan

When developing the purpose, summary, description, and implementation plan, applicants should aim to make all descriptions clear, concise, and compelling. Reviewers will judge the proposals based on the likelihood for the project to exert a sustained, powerful influence on the community where it is undertaken. Does the project address an important gap of understanding or need? If the aim of the project is achieved, how will existing knowledge or practice be improved? What audience do the applicants hope to reach with this project?  How many will participate? How will they be selected?

Degree of Alumni Involvement

Projects must include the involvement of at least two (2) exchange alumni. They may be the project team leaders or collaborate directly with PAS in formulating the project. More than two alumni may comprise the team, however, the minimum is two. As the team leaders, the alumni must be closely involved in project planning, implementation, etc. Applicants should ensure that the proposal includes the following information for each alumni team member: first name, last name, e-mail address, exchange program, country of citizenship, and roles and responsibilities.

Participation and Support from Local Partners

The proposal demonstrates buy-in and support from the community where the project will take place. Local partner involvement is a strong sign that there is community support and that the project will engage a broad array of experts, such as subject matter experts, community centers, academic institutions, businesses, local/national government, non-governmental organizations, American Spaces, etc.

Evaluation and Impact of the Project 

Applicant demonstrates it is able to measure program success against key indicators and provides 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

Have the applicants considered how the project will continue to have positive impact after the end of the project.

Communication, Media, and Outreach Plan

The project should include a clear plan and timeline for how and when the team will share information about the project. It is important to ensure that the U.S. Embassy gets recognition throughout the process, if circumstances permit.

Budget and Budget Narrative

The budget and narrative justification are sufficiently 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. The results and proposed outcomes justify the total cost of the project. Budget items are reasonable, allowable, and allocable. 

Disclaimer: This notice is subject to availability of funding. U.S. Embassy North Macedonia does not guarantee availability of funding by receiving applications under this announcement. Only successful applicants will be contacted.

  1. FEDERAL AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION

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 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: The Recipient must request payment under the award by completing form SF-270—Request for Advance or Reimbursement and submitting the form to the Grants Officer.  Unless otherwise stipulated in the award, the Recipient may request payments on a reimbursement or advance basis.  Advance payments must be limited to the minimum amounts needed and be timed to be in accordance with the actual, immediate cash requirements of the Recipient in carrying out the purpose of this award.  The timing and amount of advance payments must be as close as is administratively feasible to the actual disbursements by the Recipient for direct program or project costs and the proportionate share of any allowable indirect costs.

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.  All reports must be signed and certified by an authorized representative of the Recipient organization.  All financial reports must be submitted using form SF-425–Federal Financial Report.  As appropriate, performance reports must contain: a comparison of actual accomplishments to the objectives of the federal award established for the period; the reasons why established goals were not met; and additional pertinent information including an analysis and explanation of cost overruns or high unit costs.  The award document will specify additional reporting requirements. 

 

  1. FEDERAL AWARDING AGENCY CONTACTS

Questions about the grant application process should be directed to: Gazmend Ilazi at IlaziG@state.gov.

 

U.S. Department of State
U.S. Embassy in Skopje
Notice of Funding Opportunity for USG Alumni only
Number SMK800-21-PAS004

The Embassy of the United States in Skopje announces a limited competition for past participants (“alumni”) of U.S. government-funded and U.S. government-sponsored exchange programs to submit applications to the 2021 Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund (AEIF 2021).   We seek proposals from teams of at least two alumni that meet all program eligibility requirements below. Exchange alumni interested in participating in AEIF 2021 should submit proposals with subject title “AEIF Project Proposal” to IlaziG@state.gov by March 30, 2021, 14:00 local time.

  • PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

AEIF provides alumni of U.S. sponsored and facilitated exchange programs with funding to expand on skills gained during their exchange experience to design and implement innovative solutions to global challenges facing their community. Since its inception in 2011, AEIF has funded nearly 500 alumni-led projects around the world through a competitive global competition.

The U.S. Embassy North Macedonia will accept public service projects proposed and managed by teams of at least two (2) alumni that support themes such as:

  • Rule of Law and Government Accountability
  • Citizen Participation
  • Cybersecurity and Disinformation
  • Youth Development and Women Empowerment
  • Environment Protection

 

  • FEDERAL AWARD INFORMATION

Announcement posted:  February 19, 2021
Closing date for applications:  March 30, 2021

Funding type:  Small grant awards
Decision date: no later than July 2021.

Expected size of individual awards:  Between $10,000 to $50,000.

Program Performance Period: Proposed programs should be completed in the period August 2021 – August 2022 with a possibility for a no-cost extension if justified.

  • ELIGILIBITY INFORMATION
  • Eligible Applicants: 

The following individuals are eligible to apply:

  • Applicants must be alumni of a U.S. government-funded exchange program (https://alumni.state.gov/list-exchange-programs) or a U.S. government-sponsored exchange program (https://j1visa.state.gov/).
  • Projects teams must include teams of at least two (2) alumni.
  • Alumni who are U.S. citizens may not submit proposals, but U.S. citizen alumni may participate as team members in a project.
  • Alumni teams may be comprised of alumni from different exchange programs and different countries.
  • Applications must be submitted by exchange alumni. Not-for-profit, non-governmental organizations, think tanks, and academic institutions are not eligible to apply in the name of the organization but can serve as partners for implementing project activities.
  • Cost Sharing

Inclusion of cost share is not a requirement of this opportunity.

  • Grant Program Area:  

Proposals must address women in peace, security, and governance. Proposals that do not address the theme as outlined in the program objectives will be deemed ineligible. All project activities must take place outside of the United States and its territories

  • Other Eligibility Requirements

If the grant will be processed with an individual, that individual is not required to have a DUNS number or be registered in SAM.gov.  However, should the grant be processed with an organization that is a partner in the project, that organization must have a unique entity identifier (Data Universal Numbering System/DUNS number from Dun & Bradstreet), as well as a valid registration on www.SAM.gov. Organizations must have a commitment to equal opportunity employment practices and to non-discrimination practices with regard to beneficiaries, without regard to race, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or political affiliation.

  • APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION
  • Address to Request Application Package 

Application and budget templates are available on the provided links below.

  • Content and Form of Application Submission

Applications and budgets must be submitted using the official AEIF 2021 proposal and budget forms.

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.

Please ensure:

  • The proposal clearly addresses the goals and objectives of this funding opportunity;
  • The proposal addresses all questions in the official AEIF 2021 proposal form;
  • All documents are in English
  • The budget is in U.S. dollars and is submitted using the designated AEIF budget form;
  • All pages are numbered.

The following documents are required:

  1. Mandatory application forms

AEIF 2021 Application Form (attachment 1)

AEIF 2021 Budget Form (attachment 2) 

Application for Federal Assistance SF-424 

Budget Information for Non-Construction Programs (SF-424A) 

SF424B-V1.1_Assurances 

  • Proposal: The proposal should contain enough information that anyone not familiar with it would understand exactly what the alumni team wants to do.  Proposals include the following.

Proposal Summary: Short narrative that outlines the proposed project, including project objectives and anticipated impact.

Project Team Information: There must be at least two exchange alumni team members for a project to be considered for funding.  Along with the name and contact information, describe the role each team member will have in the project and their experience, qualifications, and ability to carry out that role.  Indicate what proportion of their time will be used in support of the project.

Problem Statement: Clear, concise and well-supported statement of the problem to be addressed and why the proposed project is needed.

Project Goals and Objectives:  The “goals” describe what the project is intended to achieve.  How will the project impact the community and what changes (in people, institutions, attitudes, or practices) will you see?  The “objectives” refer to the intermediate accomplishments on the way to the goals. These should be achievable and measurable.

 

Local Project Partners:  List partners who will support your project.  Please note if you have an existing relationship with your partner organization(s) or individual(s) and describe their role in the project. If you do not have an existing relationship, explain how you anticipate establishing a partnership with the organization(s).

Project Methods, Design, and Timeline: A description of how the project is expected to work to solve the stated problem and achieve the goal.  This should include description of your direct and indirect beneficiaries.  The proposed timeline for the project activities.  Include the dates, times, and locations of planned activities and events.

Project Monitoring and Evaluation Plan: The Monitoring and Evaluation component of the proposal will outline in detail how the proposal’s activities will advance the program’s goals and objectives (listed above). A strong proposal will include:

  • Any outcomes the grantee expects to occur because of their program.  Outcomes could include: change in knowledge, awareness, and attitudes; improved quality of services; increased capacity at a school, group; etc.  Proposals should also include how the grantee will know those outcomes are occurring (surveys, interviews, observations, etc.)
  • For example:  If the program expects that a teacher-training program will improve the skills of a teacher, a proposal may explain the skills the teacher would gain and plan to perform a survey before the program and a survey following the program that would show a change in understanding due to the program.
  • A plan to include the grantee’s reflection of how their program contributed to the program’s goals.  As applicable, a strong final report would include success stories, behaviors changed, lessons learned, and results obtained.

Sustainability: Explain how you plan to continue the program beyond the grant period, or the availability of other resources, if applicable.

Communication Plan:  Explain how you will promote your project.  Include social media, websites, print news, or other forms of media you intend to use to share information about your project to beneficiaries and the public.  Communications should include AEIF 2021 and U.S. Embassy branding.  These include training materials, materials for recipients or materials to communicate or promote with foreign audiences a program, event, project, or some other activity under an agreement.  Note: Exceptions to the branding requirement are allowable under certain conditions. If an applicant is notified that their award has been chosen for funding, the Grants Officer will determine, in consultation with the applicant, if an exception is applicable especially in the case where branding would adversely affect the safety and security of the beneficiaries.

  • Budget Justification Narrative:  Applicants must submit a detailed budget and budget narrative justification utilizing the template provided. Line-item expenditures should be listed in the greatest possible detail. Budgets shall be submitted in U.S. dollars and final grant agreements will be conducted in U.S. dollars.

Budget Restrictions: AEIF 2021 does not support the following activities or costs, and the selection committee will deem applications involving any of these activities or costs ineligible:

  • Any airfare to/from the United States and its territories
  • Activities that take place in the United States and its territories
  • Staff salaries, office space, and overhead/operational expenses
  • Large items of durable equipment or construction programs
  • Alcohol, excessive meals, refreshments, or entertainment
  • Academic or scientific research
  • Charitable or development activities
  • Provision of direct social services to a population
  • Individual scholarships
  • Social travel/visits
  • Gifts or prizes
  • Duplication of existing programs
  • Institutional development of an organization
  • Venture capital, for-profit endeavors, or charging a fee for participation in project
  • Support for specific religious activities
  • Fund-raising campaigns
  • Support or opposition of partisan political activity or lobbying for specific legislation

 

  1. REVIEW AND SELECTION PROCESS

Evaluation Criteria:  The U.S. embassy or consulate Public Affairs Sections will use the criteria outlined below to evaluate all applications. The proposals will be reviewed by a Selection Committee made up of regional and exchange program experts located at the Department of State in Washington, DC. Panelists will use the criteria below to review and evaluate applications.

Relevance to Application Theme

The proposal provides sufficient information on how the activities will support the theme(s) of the competition. The narrative explains any relevant local context the D.C. Selection Committee may not be aware of in relation to this project. Proposed project ideas must be public diplomacy in nature (i.e. not development or military).

Purpose and Summary, Description, and Implementation Plan

When developing the purpose, summary, description, and implementation plan, applicants should aim to make all descriptions clear, concise, and compelling. Reviewers will judge the proposals based on the likelihood for the project to exert a sustained, powerful influence on the community where it is undertaken. Does the project address an important gap of understanding or need? If the aim of the project is achieved, how will existing knowledge or practice be improved? What audience do the applicants hope to reach with this project? How many will participate? How will they be selected?

Degree of Alumni Involvement

Projects must include the involvement of at least two (2) exchange alumni. They may be the project team leaders or collaborate directly with PAS in formulating the project. More than two alumni may comprise the team, however, the minimum is two.  As the team leaders, the alumni must be closely involved in project planning, implementation, etc. Applicants should ensure that the proposal includes the following information for each alumni team member: first name, last name, e-mail address, exchange program, country of citizenship, and roles and responsibilities.

Participation and Support from Local Partners

The proposal demonstrates buy-in and support from the community where the project will take place. Local partner involvement is a strong sign that there is community support and that the project will engage a broad array of experts, such as subject matter experts, community centers, academic institutions, businesses, local/national government, non-governmental organizations, American Spaces, etc.

Evaluation and Impact of the Project 

A monitoring & evaluation (M&E) plan is pivotal to project implementation and important tracking progress towards the project’s objectives and goals. An M&E plan should consider the data needed to effectively monitor progress toward specific outputs and outcomes as well as how that data collection will be accomplished. Well-crafted indicators should be used to understand a program’s progress toward the desired results. An M&E plan should be reviewed for the following:

  • Completion
  • Applicability and logic of objectives and indicators
  • Clear approach to monitoring
  • Adherence to SMART criteria
  • Feasibility of baselines and targets
  • Data quality plan
  • Capacity to implement plan

Sustainability

Have the applicants considered how the project will continue to have positive impact after the end of the project.

Communication, Media, and Outreach Plan

The project should include a clear plan and timeline for how and when the team will share information about the project. It is important to ensure that the U.S. Embassy gets recognition throughout the process, if circumstances permit.

Budget and Budget Narrative

The budget and narrative justification are sufficiently 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. The results and proposed outcomes justify the total cost of the project. Budget items are reasonable, allowable, and allocable.

Disclaimer: This notice is subject to availability of funding. U.S. Embassy North Macedonia does not guarantee availability of funding by receiving applications under this announcement. Only successful applicants will be contacted.

  • FEDERAL AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION

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 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: The Recipient must request payment under the award by completing form SF-270—Request for Advance or Reimbursement and submitting the form to the Grants Officer.  Unless otherwise stipulated in the award, the Recipient may request payments on a reimbursement or advance basis.  Advance payments must be limited to the minimum amounts needed and be timed to be in accordance with the actual, immediate cash requirements of the Recipient in carrying out the purpose of this award.  The timing and amount of advance payments must be as close as is administratively feasible to the actual disbursements by the Recipient for direct program or project costs and the proportionate share of any allowable indirect costs.

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.  All reports must be signed and certified by an authorized representative of the Recipient organization.  All financial reports must be submitted using form SF-425–Federal Financial Report.  As appropriate, performance reports must contain: a comparison of actual accomplishments to the objectives of the federal award established for the period; the reasons why established goals were not met; and additional pertinent information including an analysis and explanation of cost overruns or high unit costs.  The award document will specify additional reporting requirements.  

  • FEDERAL AWARDING AGENCY CONTACTS

Questions about the grant application process should be directed to: Gazmend Ilazi at IlaziG@state.gov.