Embassy of the United States of America in Chisinau
Opportunity Title: ALUMNI SMALL GRANTS PROGRAM
Opportunity Number: PAS-CHISINAU-FY20-03-OUTREACH
CFDA Number: 19.900
CFDA Title: AEECA PD Programs
Program: Alumni Program (AEECA)
Announcement Type: Open Competition
Announcement Date: January 14, 2020
Submission Deadline: February 26, 2020, 23:59 (Moldova Time)
Anticipated Award Date: Friday, July 10, 2020
Agency Contact: Andrei Cusnir, CusnirAM@state.gov
1. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION
The Alumni Small Grants program supports alumni of U.S. government-sponsored exchange programs in and promoting ideas, implementing best practices, and sharing the experiences gained during their U.S. exchange program. Grants support a wide range of programs, including professional and community development, with the ultimate goal of increasing mutual understanding between U.S. and Moldovan citizens. Alumni small grants generally range from $5,000-$25,000.
Projects submitted for funding should address a tangible need in a community and have measurable outcomes. Extra consideration will be given to projects where alumni from the diaspora will implement a project in Moldova and address the current needs of their home communities.
We are seeking proposals that advance one or more of the following priorities:
- Fostering Innovation and Supporting Entrepreneurship
- Combatting corruption
- Enhancing Moldova’s Cyber Security posture
- Promoting Moldova’s energy diversification efforts
- Supporting free and fair elections
- Encouraging Good Governance
The U.S. Embassy is also soliciting applications for the Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund (AEIF) 2020, a global competition for USG alumni. The themes for this opportunity are:
- Strengthening the role of women in peace, security, and governance
- Engaging women as partners in preventing terrorism and countering radicalization and recruitment
- Promoting protection of women and girls from violence, abuse, and exploitation
- Supporting women’s political, economic, and civic participation
For both funding opportunities, applicants are encouraged to develop partnerships with relevant stakeholders, including the public and/or private sector as well as local organizations, where applicable. All proposals must include an evidence-based description of: (i) the problem the applicant seeks to address; (ii) the implementation context, including any relevant details and the target beneficiaries of the project; and (iii) the project’s theory of change, i.e., how the proposed project will achieve the program objectives.
Strong proposals will also define how their programs are innovative, which could include one or more of the following elements:
- Demonstrates strong potential for sustainability and positive impact regardless of future funding or lack thereof.
- Presents a new model or a creative way of scaling and building upon successful approaches;
- Responds to a current challenge;
- Organizes alumni in a novel way that allows them to make a measurable change;
- Involves people from underserved communities or groups in activities that relate to American values.
In identifying the specific target populations, proposals must demonstrate a commitment towards the support and inclusion of marginalized communities (including disability status, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, whether they live in a rural or urban setting, etc.).
It is encouraged to plan at least one activity from your project at the America House from Chisinau or at an American Corner in Balti, Tiraspol or Ungheni. These spaces offer excellent resources for alumni to engage with their own audiences. For more information visit the America House website at www.americahouse.md
2. FEDERAL AWARD INFORMATION
Funding Instrument Type: Grants or Fixed Amount Awards
Funding per grant: $5,000 to $25,000
Expected number of awards: 5-10
Expected award date is July 10, 2020.
The Department also reserves the right to award more or less funding as deemed in the best interest of the U.S. Government. The performance period for funded projects will generally be for up to 24 months. Recipients of funding under this announcement will be subject to the Department of State terms and conditions and the terms set forth in this announcement. Additional terms and conditions may apply as warranted. Quarterly or Semi-annual technical and financial reports may be required during the term of the project. A final assessment at the end of the project is mandatory for all grants.
Award recipients must comply with Executive Order 13224, Blocking Property and Prohibiting Transactions with Persons who Commit, Threaten to commit, or Support Terrorism. Information about this Executive Order can be found at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2001-09-25/pdf/01-24205.pdf.
Applicants are not required to include funding from other donors. However, applications that include additional in-kind and/or cash contributions from non-U.S. Government sources will be given extra consideration, as cost-sharing demonstrates a strong commitment to the planned activities and greater cost effectiveness.
Cost sharing may be in a certain percentage or amount or may take the form of contributions of specified items or activities (e.g., provision of equipment).
3. ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION
Eligibility is limited to Moldovan non-profit organizations where at least two alumni of U.S. government-sponsored exchange programs, who are citizens or residents of the Republic of Moldova play a leading role in project implementation. This applies also to Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund (AEIF) 2020 grants competition. Please mention the organization in the project application.
Organizations without Moldovan registration can apply only as partners through an eligible organization.
Other general criteria:
Organizations should have, or demonstrate the capacity to develop, active partnerships with in-country entities and relevant stakeholders, including the public sector, private sector, and civil society, as relevant to the proposed program objectives.
Organizations may form consortia and submit a combined proposal. However, one organization should be designated as the lead applicant.
Organizations should not submit multiple grant proposals unless the scope, goal, and substance of the proposals vary significantly.
The U.S. Embassy’s Public Affairs Section reserves the right to request additional background information on applicants that do not have previous experience administering federal grant awards, and these applicants may be subject to limited funding on a pilot basis.
Please note: The Department of State prohibits profit under its assistance awards to for- profit or commercial organizations. No funds will be paid as profit to any recipient. Profit is defined as any amount in excess of allowable direct and indirect costs. The permissibility of costs incurred by commercial organizations is determined in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) at 48 CFR Part 31, Cost Accounting Standards, and Part 31 Contract Cost Principles and Procedures. Program income earned by the recipient must be deducted from the total project or program allowable cost in determining the net allowable costs on which the federal share of costs is based.
Please note: No entity listed on the Excluded Parties List System in the System for Award Management (SAM) is eligible for any assistance or can participate in any activities under an award in accordance with the OMB guidelines at 2 CFR 180 that implement Executive Orders 12549 (3 CFR Part 1986 Comp., p. 189) and 12689 (3 CFR Part 1989 Comp., p. 235), “Debarment and Suspension.” All applicants are strongly
encouraged to review the Excluded Parties List System in SAM (www.sam.gov) to ensure that no ineligible entity is included.
The Program cannot fund:
- Large items of durable equipment or construction programs;
- Organizations with affiliation to elected officials, political parties, or religious groups;
- Humanitarian or charitable activities, including direct social services to populations;
- Fundraising campaigns;
- Career development activities;
- Political or partisan activities;
- Activities that take place in the United States and its territories;
- Scientific research;
- Costs for meals and refreshments above 10% of the total funding;
- Staff salaries above 15% of the total funding (including fringe benefits);
- Transatlantic travel;
- Purchase or lease of land and/or buildings;
- Programs that support specific religious activities;
- Programs intended primarily for the growth or institutional development of the organization;
- Venture capital, for-profit endeavors, or charging a fee for participation in the project;
- Individual scholarships;
- Personal development;
- Social travel/visits;
- Gifts or prizes;
- Programs that duplicate existing programs;
4. APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION
A complete application must contain the following mandatory elements:
- Application Format in MS Word format
- Detailed Budget in MS Excel format
- Budget Narrative (free form)
- CVs of the paid staff and experts
For the Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund (AEIF) 2020 grants competition please submit the following documents:
- AEIF 2020 Application Form
- AEIF 2020 Budget Form
- CVs of the paid staff and experts
Unsolicited attachments will not be read and should not be submitted for this award. Do not archive documents and do not send links to external storages such as Google
Drive or Dropbox. The documents must be attached as individual files and sent in one email before the deadline. Do not send the application package more than one time.
Please send the application electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org including the Funding opportunity Number and Name of the Organization in the subject of your email.
Example: PAS-CHISINAU-FY20-03-OUTREACH Asociatia Moldova or PAS-CHISINAU-FY20-03-OUTREACH-AEIF 2020 Asociatia Moldova
It is the responsibility of all applicants to ensure that proposals have been submitted on time the emails specified. The U.S. Embassy bears no responsibility for data errors during the transmission or conversion processes.
We encourage the applicants to use the downloadable forms. If Internet access is limited, please contact us to arrange an alternative way of receiving the application package.
Please use only Microsoft Word to fill out the project form. If you do not have Microsoft Office software, feel free to use the computers at the America House (find address on the Embassy’s website) or any other public access center (e.g., Novateca’s nationwide library network, Internet cafés, etc.).
Please contact us at CusnirAM@state.gov if you experience technical problems or are unable to submit an electronic version of the application.
Successful applicants may be required to register in SAM.GOV (System for Award Management) before an award can be made.
Each proposal submission should clearly demonstrate the relationship to Alumni Small Grants Program and address at least one of the program objectives described in this announcement.
5. APPLICATION REVIEW INFORMATION
The Alumni Small Grants Program will fund the proposals that best address a tangible need in a community and reflect the values of the United States and the mandate of the Embassy and the Speaker Program. Successful proposals will contain accurate and well- developed implementation plans and clear explanations of how the project goals will be achieved.
Project selection is competitive. Proposals are judged on the following criteria:
1) Quality of Program Idea
Proposals should be responsive to the solicitation and exhibit originality, substance,
precision, and relevance to Embassy’s strategic priorities.
2) Program Planning/Ability to Achieve Long and Short Term Goals
A relevant work plan should demonstrate substantive undertakings and logistical
capacity. The work plan should adhere to the program overview and guidelines described above. Objectives should be ambitious, yet measurable and achievable. For complete proposals, applicants should provide a monthly timeline of project activities.
3) Multiplier Effect/Sustainability
Proposed programs should address long-term institution building with an emphasis on moving towards sustainability, garnering other donor support, or demonstrating capacity- building results.
4) Applicant’s Record and Capacity
The Embassy will consider the past performance of prior recipients and the demonstrated potential of new applicants. Proposals from organizations should demonstrate an institutional record of successful program administration, including responsible fiscal management and full compliance with all reporting requirements for past grants. Roles and responsibilities of primary staff should be provided.
5) Cost Effectiveness
The overhead and administrative components of the proposal should be kept as low as possible. All other items should be necessary and appropriate.
6. FEDERAL AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION
Applicants will be notified electronically about selection results. An email message will be sent to the email account included in the application form. Grants Program Staff may
also contact the applicants to request additional information or clarify certain aspects of the application documents; therefore it is important to provide accurate contact information.
Successful program applicants will have to sign a Notice of Award (grant agreement) before receiving the funds. No costs should be incurred by the applicant prior to signing a Notice of Award. The notice of Federal award signed by the grants officer is the authorizing document.
Unsuccessful program applicants will receive an email notification. The grants program may provide a signed rejection letter upon request; however, the Grants Program will not provide reasons for rejection. The Alumni Small Grants program is highly competitive and may not be able to fund all good applications.
During the grant implementation the recipient will have to inform the Embassy about the events and activities carried out under the grant.
The recipient will have to provide a final financial and performance report (narrative)
submitted in electronic format in English via email at the end of the project, however, often the Embassy may choose to request semiannual or quarterly reporting.
The U.S. Embassy reserves the right to request other proofs such as photos from events, participants’ lists, copies of publications, etc., as well as request access to financial documents.
The U.S. Embassy reserves the right to contract certified auditors to conduct program and financial audits of the projects funded under this Notice of Funding Opportunity.
7. FEDERAL AWARDING AGENCY CONTACT(S)
Alumni and Speakers Program Specialist CusnirAM@state.gov
+373 22 851704; +37369227731
8. OTHER INFORMATION
Organizations that submit applications in response to this announcement acknowledge and accept all of the requirements contained herein. This announcement serves as notice to select interested parties to have equal opportunity to submit project proposals for funding consideration. All submissions in response to this announcement are voluntary and do not obligate the Department of State to fund any proposal or proposal preparation costs.
Issuance of this Request for Proposals does not constitute an award commitment on the part of the Government, nor does it commit the Government to pay for costs incurred in the preparation and submission of proposals. Further, the Government reserves the right to reject any or all proposals received. If a proposal is selected for funding, the Department of State has no obligation to provide any additional future funding in connection with the award. Renewal of an award to increase funding or extend the period of performance is at the total discretion of the Department of State.