Notice of Funding Opportunity

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

Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO)

 Call for Statements of Interest is now:  OPEN

 Funding Opportunity Title: U.S. Embassy Prague PAS Annual Program Statement

Funding Opportunity Number: PAS-001-FY2021

Deadline for Applications: June 30, 2021

CFDA Number – Name: 19.040 – Public Diplomacy Programs 

SUMMARY:

The U.S. Embassy Prague Public Affairs Section (PAS) is interested in funding projects that strengthen societal and cultural ties between the United States and Czech Republic and support our Strategic Goals.  Projects should specifically target Czech audiences living within the Czech Republic.  If you are an eligible organization or individual, we encourage you to please apply for grant funding – many of you will succeed!

To begin, submit a brief Statement of Interest for evaluation by the Embassy grants review committee any time between October 20, 2020 and June 30, 2021Statements of Interest are evaluated monthly, and if yours is selected for further review, you will be invited to submit a full grant application.

This Annual Program Statement provides the details on the Embassy’s grant selection process, including our Strategic Goals, the elements that should be included in your Statement of Interest and full grant application, and how submitted documents are evaluated.  In addition, there is information on the post-selection process, reporting and Embassy grant monitoring requirements, and contact information for questions.

  1. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION:

The U.S. Embassy Prague Public Affairs Section (PAS) of the U.S. Department of State is pleased to announce available funding for civil society projects advancing key strategic goals through its Public Diplomacy Small Grants Program.  This document outlines our funding priorities and application process. 

Purpose: Funding eligible programs that strengthen societal and cultural ties between the United States and Czech Republic by highlighting our shared values and promoting bilateral cooperation.  All programs should include a clear American component for consideration.  This could, but need not, include direct collaboration with American subject matter expert/s, organization/s, and or institution/s.  Project proposals must also support at least one Embassy Strategic Goal.

Strategic Goals:

  • Promote economic prosperity, entrepreneurship, and innovation during COVID.
  • Strengthen civil society.
  • Encourage philanthropy and community development.
  • Promote energy security, cyber security, and/or our NATO security alliance.
  • Strengthen the rule of law, government accountability, and anti-corruption efforts.
  • Strengthen independent media, journalism, and/or counter disinformation.
  • Promote human rights, support marginalized groups, and foster a culture of integration.
  • Encourage greater gender equality and the empowerment of women.

We encourage innovative proposals that promote American art and culture or support English language learning in the Czech Republic in order to help advance the above objectives.

Examples of successful PAS Small Grants Program programs include, but are not limited to:

  • Academic and professional lectures, seminars, and speaker programs.
  • Youth leadership and skills development programs.
  • Artistic and cultural workshops, joint performances, and exhibitions.
  • Programs and outreach activities that highlight our shared democratic values.

Deadlines

Statements of Interest are welcome until June 30, 2021.   For organizations or individuals selected to submit a full grant application, the following deadlines may apply:

Statement of Interest Submissions Full Grant Applications Submission Deadline Funding Decisions
Announced (approximately)
In October, November December 18 January 15
In December, January, February March 19 April 15
In March, April, May, June July 16 August 15

 

Participants and Audiences:

We seek geographically and demographically diverse audiences within the Czech Republic and prioritize proposals with a significant programming component outside of Prague.  Projects focused on Ustecky kraj and Moravskoslezsky kraj are strongly encouraged.

The following types of programs are not eligible for funding:

  • Programs relating to partisan political activity
  • Charitable or development activities without an Embassy strategic goal priority
  • Construction programs
  • Fund-raising campaigns
  1. FEDERAL AWARD INFORMATION

Award amounts: awards may range from a minimum of $3,000.00 to a maximum of $20,000.00

Type of Funding: Fiscal Year 2021 Smith Mundt Public Diplomacy Funding

Length of performance period: up to 24 months (12 months is preferred)

Number of awards anticipated: 60 awarded grants (depending on funding)

This notice is subject to availability of funding.

  1. ELIGILIBITY INFORMATION 

Eligible Applicants

The following organizations are eligible to apply:

  • Not-for-profit organizations, including think tanks and civil society/non-governmental organizations (NGOs) with a connection to the Czech Republic
  • Public and private educational institutions with a connection to the Czech Republic
  • Czech governmental institutions and international organizations
  • Individuals with a connection to the Czech Republic

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

Please note that Embassy grants CANNOT be used to fund religious or partisan political activities; trade activities; fundraising campaigns; charitable activities; humanitarian aid; commercial projects; scientific research; or projects whose primary aim is the institutional development and operational costs of the organization.

  1. Cost Sharing or Matching

Cost sharing is not required, but welcome.

  1. Other Eligibility Requirements

All organizations selected to receive Embassy funding must have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number from Dun & Bradstreet, as well as a valid registration on www.SAM.gov to be eligible.  Please see Section F in this announcement for information on how to obtain these registrations.  Individuals are not required to have a DUNS number or be registered in SAM.gov.

  1. APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION 

Statement of Interest

The Statement of Interest form is available at https://cz.usembassy.gov/education-culture/small-grants-program/

  1. Content and Form of Statement of Interest Submission

Please follow all instructions below carefully.  Proposals that do not meet or fail to comply with the requirements of this announcement will be ineligible for consideration.

Content of Statement of Interest

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.
  • All pages are numbered.
  • All documents are formatted to A4 paper. All Microsoft Word documents are preferably single-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font, with a minimum of 1-inch margins.

The Statement of Interest should contain sufficient information that anyone not familiar with the proposal would understand exactly what the applicant wants to accomplish.  Attachments to the Statement of Interest are discouraged.  Your proposal, as described in the Statement of Interest, must include all the items below, not to exceed two (2) pages:

  • Project Name, Legal Name and Status of Applicant: title of the proposed project, the legal name of the individual or organization applying, and the type of organization (either NGO, educational institution, Czech government institution, or individual)
  • Contact Name and Email Address: the name of the contact person and their email address for any follow-up questions.
  • Project Summary Information: dates & locations of project; expected number of beneficiaries, total project budget, total U.S. Embassy funding requested and Percentage (%) of project budget, and other partners/co-partners helping with the project.
  • Problem Statement and Program Aim/Justification: Clear, concise statement of the problem to be addressed and why the proposed program is needed, with a statement of the overall aim of the program, including which Embassy strategic goal(s) the proposal supports.
  • Program Audience/Beneficiaries: A statement about the target audience(s) or group(s) addressed or benefitted by the proposal.
  • Proposal Summary/Design & Methods/Goals & Objectives: Brief narrative that outlines the proposed program, including program objectives and anticipated impact, and how events/ activities achieve objectives. [Note: projects without a public outreach component, e.g., stand-alone reports/surveys, etc., are not appropriate for Embassy PAS small grant funding.]
  • Proposed Program Activities/Schedule and Timeline: Describe the program activities and the proposed timeline. Include the dates, times, and locations of planned events.
  • Funding / Budget Justification Narrative: explanation of any large or unusual budget expenses for the proposed program and why they are necessary.

The Embassy grants review committee will evaluate submitted Statements of Interest monthly.  If your proposal is selected for further review, you will be contacted to submit a full grant application for evaluation by the Embassy grant selection committee.  NOTE: applicants do not need to prepare the following documents with your Statement of Interest submission; they are only required if the Embassy contacts you and requests them.

Full Grant Application: Mandatory & Recommended 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) The SF-424B is required only for those applicants who have not registered in SAM.gov or recertified their registration in SAM.gov since February 2, 2019 and completed the online representations and certifications.
  • Grants Request Form (highly recommended). This form summarizes the SF-424 application information and includes detailed questions about the proposal for further evaluation by the Embassy grants selection committee.

The SF-424 and Grants Request form are available at https://cz.usembassy.gov/education-culture/small-grants-program/

Content of Grants Request Form

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.
  • All pages are numbered.
  • All documents are formatted to A4 paper. All Microsoft Word documents are preferably single-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font, with a minimum of 1-inch margins.

The Grant Request Form should contain all of the Statement of Interest information as well as additional background to help the Embassy grants selection committee evaluate the proposal for potential funding.  Attachments to the Grant Request Form are not required.  Your proposal, as described in the Grant Request Form, must include all the items below, not to exceed six (6) pages including the budget:

 

  • Previous USG Funding: Information about your organization’s previous projects/programs funded by the U.S. Embassy in the past five years.
  • Problem Statement: Clear, concise, and well-supported statement of the problem to be addressed and why the proposed program is needed.
  • Program Aim/Justification: A clear and concise statement of the overall aim of the program and how it supports the Embassy’s priority themes and initiatives listed previously.
  • Program Audience: A statement about the target audience or group addressed by the proposal.
  • Proposal Summary: Short narrative that outlines the proposed program, including program objectives and anticipated impact.
  • Program Methods and Design: A description of how the program is expected to work to solve the stated problem and achieve the goal. Include a logic model as appropriate.
  • 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.
  • Proposed Program Schedule and Timeline: The proposed timeline for the program activities.  Include the dates, times, and locations of planned activities and events.
  • 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.
  • Introduction to the organization or individual applying: A description of past and present operations, demonstrating ability to carry out the program, including information on all previous grants from the U.S. Embassy and/or U.S. government agencies.
  • 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?

 

Guidelines for Budget Justification

 

  • Personnel and Fringe Benefits: 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, for program staff, consultants or speakers, and participants/beneficiaries. 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.

 

  1. Submission Dates and Times

 

All Statement of Interest proposals must be submitted electronically to grantsprague@state.gov any time between October 20, 2020 and the deadline of June 30, 2021 (midnight, local time in Prague)Statement of Interest proposals received after the deadline will not be considered.

 

Each applicant will receive a confirmation email acknowledging receipt within two business days.  If applicants do not receive a confirmation email, then their Statement of Interest proposal was not received.  In this event, applicants are invited to contact the Office of Public Affairs at grantsprague@state.gov  or +420 257 022 002

 

Statements of Interest are evaluated monthly by the Embassy grants review committee.  If yours is selected for further review, you will be invited to submit a full grant application due midnight, local time in Prague on either December 18, 2020, March 19, or July 16, 2021.

 

Full grant applications include all mandatory & recommended application forms (SF-424, Grant Request Form, etc.) must be submitted electronically to grantsprague@state.gov.  If applicants do not receive a confirmation email of receipt within two business days, they should follow-up with the Public Affairs at grantsprague@state.gov  or +420 257 022 002

 

  1. Funding Restrictions

 

Award funds cannot be used for construction, vehicle purchases and similar investment costs. Also, award funds cannot be used to finance the standard operation of the applicant.

 

 

  1. APPLICATION REVIEW INFORMATION

 

  1. Criteria

 

Each proposal selected for funding will be evaluated according to the criteria outlined below.

 

Quality and Feasibility of the Program Idea:  The program idea supports at least one of the Embassy’s strategic goals, and is well developed, detailing how program activities will be carried out.  The proposal includes a reasonable implementation timeline.  The organization has expertise in its stated field and has the internal controls in place to manage federal funds – this includes a financial management system and a bank account.

 

Program Planning/Ability to Achieve Objectives: Goals and objectives are clearly stated and program approach is likely to provide maximum impact in achieving the proposed results with the target audience(s) and includes public outreach components/activities.

 

Monitoring & Evaluation Plan and Sustainability: Applicant demonstrates it can 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.  Program activities will continue to have positive impact after the end of the program.

 

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.

 

 

  1. Review and Selection Process

 

A review committee comprised of U.S. Embassy Prague staff and partners will evaluate all Statement of Interest forms submitted monthly.  A Statement of Interest that does not comply with the requirements of this announcement will be ineligible for further consideration.  Statement of Interest proposals that closely meet U.S. Embassy Strategic Goals, incorporate an American component, and are recommended for further review, must submit additional required documents (full grant application) described above in section D of this announcement.

 

A selection committee comprised of U.S. Embassy Prague staff will evaluate all the full grant applications which include the SF-424 (or SF-424I, if an individual), SF-424A (budget) and Grant Request Form on a quarterly basis.  When deciding which projects to support, the Embassy will consider the full range and diversity of Czech organizations and will seek to target geographically and demographically diverse audiences in the Czech Republic.  Proposals linked to U.S. Embassy Strategic Goals and incorporate an American speaker, artist, performer, author, etc., are given preference.

 

Selection committee results will be announced via email quarterly on or before January 15, April 15, and August 15, 2021.  Organizations or individuals whose full grant applications will not be funded will also be notified via email.

 

 

  1. OTHER REQUIREMENTS

 

Organizations must obtain a Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) DUNS number and register in SAM (System for Award Management) prior to being eligible to receive federal assistance funding.  Individuals are not required to have a unique entity identifier or be registered in SAM.gov.

 

If your proposal is selected for Embassy funding the following criteria must be met to receive an award:

 

All organizations applying for Embassy grants (except individuals) must obtain these three (3) registrations.  All are free of charge.

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

 

As this can be a somewhat lengthy process, we advise that organizations initiate the registration as soon as a project proposal has been approved.  Funding will be contingent upon successful completion of registration of the organization with SAM:

 

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://www.bisnode.cz/produkt/duns-cislo/   (for local NGOs) or if you are a U.S.-based organization, go to: http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform/index.jsp

 

NCAGE application: Application page here https://eportal.nspa.nato.int/AC135Public/scage/CageList.aspx

Instructions for the NCAGE application process:

https://eportal.nspa.nato.int/AC135Public/Docs/US%20Instructions%20for%20NSPA%20NCA GE.pdf

 

For help from within the U.S., call 1-888-227-2423

For help from outside the U.S., 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://www.sam.gov.  SAM registration must be renewed annually.

 

 

  • Applicants should use the same official information (organization official name, address, phone number, etc.) to obtain a DUNS number and register with SAM.
  • Obtaining a DUNS number and registering in SAM is free of charge. Any additional services offered during or after the registration process are not required, and the applicant is under no obligation to sign up for them.

 

 

  1. FEDERAL AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION

 

The grant award or cooperative agreement will be written, signed, awarded, and administered by the U.S. Embassy 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 Notice of Funding Opportunity 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 (generally 80% advance; 20% reimbursement).

 

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/u-s-department-of-state-standard-terms-and-conditions-2/

 

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

 

Reporting Requirements

 

As a condition of Embassy funding, the U.S. Embassy Grants Officer, or a Grants Officer Representative (GOR) will propose an appropriate grant monitoring plan to observe the funded activity, event, or project contemplated in the proposal.  In addition, all Embassy grant recipients are required to submit financial reports and program reports within 90 calendar days of the end of the period of performance delineated in the award.  The award document will specify how often these reports must be submitted.   We highly recommend using U.S. Embassy Prague’s FINAL REPORT template as a program report.

 

Financial records, supporting documents, and all other records pertinent to an award shall be retained for a period of three years from the date of submission of the Final Report.

Applicants should be aware of the post award reporting requirements reflected in 2 CFR 200 Appendix XII—Award Term and Condition for Recipient Integrity and Performance Matters.

 

Failure to comply with the reporting requirements may jeopardize eligibility for future awards or will result in suspension of any future payments under this award until such time as this deficiency has been corrected.

 

 

  1. FEDERAL AWARDING AGENCY CONTACTS

 

If you have any questions about the grant application process, please contact PAS at: grantsprague@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