Call for Grant Applications: “Remembering 1989 and Strengthening the Transatlantic Relationship”

Photo: Fortepan

A. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

The U.S. Embassy Budapest Public Affairs Section (PAS Budapest) of the U.S. Department of State is pleased to announce an open competition for organizations and individuals to submit applications to carry out a program (or project) with funding through its Public Diplomacy Small Grants Program that highlights the 30th anniversary of regime change in Hungary.

PAS Budapest invites proposals for programs that renew conversations within Hungary about the benefits that flowed from the events of 1989, such as the strengthened Transatlantic relationship, increased trade with the West, unrestricted travel, the road to NATO accession in 1999, and guaranteed democratic rights for Hungarian citizens, and how the events of 1989 can inspire civic engagement in Hungary today. All programs should underline the importance and value of the Transatlantic community, and can include an American element, or connection with American expert/s, organization/s, or institution/s in a specific field that will promote increased understanding of Western democratic principles.

Activities that would typically be funded include, but are not limited to:
• Dynamic, innovative programs related to the benefits that flowed from the events of 1989, particularly those engaging youth and communities outside Budapest;
• Storytelling projects or historical research projects that personalize the events and the benefits of 1989;
• Civic and youth engagement, leadership, entrepreneurial, and education programs;
• Art programs, including public art projects or art exhibits, directly related to the anniversary of 1989;
• Engaging conferences, workshops, forums, or panel discussions directly related to the anniversary of 1989;
• Recording, producing and distributing audio/video footage or short films.

Participants and Audiences: Including, but not limited to:
• Audiences born around or after the year 1985;
• Hungarian communities outside Budapest;
• Community leaders;
• Cultural institutions;
• Business leaders and entrepreneurs;
• Youth;
• Underserved communities;
• U.S. and Hungarian thought leaders; and
• Social and new media users.

The following types of projects are typically not eligible for funding through the small grants mechanism:
• Programs that are inherently political in nature or that contain the appearance of partisanship/support to individual or single party electoral campaigns;
• Political party activities;
• Charitable or development activities;
• Lobbying for specific legislation or projects;
• Programs that support specific religious activities;
• Comprehensive exchange programs;
• Trade activities and commercial projects;
• Fundraising campaigns;
• Construction programs;
• Scientific research;
• Projects intended primarily for the growth or institutional development of the organization itself; and
• Programs that duplicate existing programs.

Authorizing legislation, type and year of funding: Funding authority rests primarily in the Smith-Mundt Act. The source of funding is FY2019 Public Diplomacy Funding.

B. FEDERAL AWARD INFORMATION

Length of performance period: Three to twelve months, typically
Number of awards anticipated: Dependent on final budget
Award amounts: Although the maximum amount of an individual grant award is $25,000, selected grant proposals typically range from $5,000-$10,000, and programs with local cost-sharing will be given preference.
Total available funding: To be determined
Type of Funding: Fiscal Year 2019 Public Diplomacy Funding
Anticipated program start date: No later than September 30, 2019

This notice is subject to availability of funding.

Funding Instrument Types: Grant, Fixed Amount Award, or Cooperative agreement. Cooperative agreements are different from grants in that PAS Budapest staff are more actively involved in the grant implementation. Examples of the substantial involvement by PAS Budapest staff include the development of the grant program, final approval of grant activities, and participation in selection panels for program participants.
Project Performance Period: Proposed projects should ideally be planned for a period of no more than 12 months. In rare cases, depending on the nature of the program, project of more than 12 months may be considered. Since federal assistance awards are contingent on the availability of funds from the U.S. Department of State, applicants are encouraged to submit proposals that possess flexible start dates. As mentioned above, proposals that are selected for funding must be initiated, however, no later than September 30, 2019 and generally be completed within one year of its commencement.

PAS Budapest will entertain applications for continuation grants funded under these awards beyond the initial budget period on a non-competitive basis subject to availability of funds, satisfactory progress of the program, and a determination that continued funding would be in the best interest of the U.S. Department of State.

 

C. ELIGILIBITY INFORMATION

1. Eligible Applicants
PAS Budapest encourages applications from U.S. and Hungarian:
• Registered not-for-profit organizations, including think tanks and civil society/nongovernmental organizations with programming experience
• Individuals
• Non-profit or governmental educational institutions
• Governmental institutions.
For-profit or commercial entities are not eligible to apply.

2. Cost Sharing or Matching
Cost sharing is not required, however preference will be given to programs with local costsharing arrangements.

3. Other Eligibility Requirements
PAS Budapest encourages applications from all sectors, including civil-society organizations, local representatives of civil society, think tanks, non-governmental organizations, academic institutions, media, and individuals. All grantees must have a non-profit status.

PAS Budapest seeks proposals for geographically and demographically diverse audiences within Hungary, as well as proposals that involve cross-border cooperation between Hungary and neighboring countries. U.S. NGOs and individuals may apply, but preference is given to Hungarian NGOs or to partnerships that develop capacity with Hungarian NGOs or employees and include plans to transfer programs to sustainable local management in Hungary.

In order to be eligible to receive an award, all organizations must have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number from Dun & Bradstreet, as well as a valid registration on www.SAM.gov. Please see Section D.3 for information on how to obtain these registrations.
Individuals are NOT required to have a DUNS number or be registered in www.SAM.gov.

 

D. APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION

1. Address to Request Application Package

Application forms required below are available at: www.grants.gov
Proposal template >>

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

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

Content of Application
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 Microsoft Word documents are single-spaced, 12 point Times New Roman font, with a minimum of 1-inch margins.

The following documents are required for approved proposals:
1. Mandatory application forms
• SF-424 (Application for Federal Assistance – organizations) or SF-424I (Application for Federal Assistance –individuals)
• SF424A (Budget Information for Non-Construction programs)
• SF424B (Assurances for Non-Construction programs)

2. Summary Coversheet: Cover sheet stating the applicant name and organization, proposal date, program title, program period proposed start and end date, and brief purpose of the program.

3. Proposal (3 pages maximum): The proposal should contain sufficient information that anyone not familiar with it would understand exactly what the applicant wants to do. You may use your own proposal format, but it must include all the items below.

• Proposal Summary: Short narrative that outlines the proposed program, including program objectives and anticipated impact.
• Introduction to the Organization or Individual applying: A description of past and present operations, showing ability to carry out the program, including information on all previous grants from the U.S. Embassy and/or U.S. government agencies.
• Problem Statement: Clear, concise and well-supported statement of the problem to be addressed and why the proposed program is needed
• Project Goals and Objectives: The “goals” describe what the program is intended to achieve. What aspect of the relationship between the U.S. and Hungary will be improved? The “objectives” refer to the intermediate accomplishments on the way to the goals. These should be achievable and measurable.
• Program Activities: Describe the program activities and how they will help achieve the objectives. In case of visual programs (e.g. videos, short films, public art) at least one example of previous work(s) should be submitted.
• Program Methods and Design: A description of how the program is expected to work to solve the stated problem and achieve the goal.
• Proposed Program Schedule: The proposed timeline for the program activities.
Include the dates, times, and locations of planned activities and events.
• Key Personnel: Names, titles, roles and experience/qualifications of key personnel involved in the program. What proportion of their time will be used in support of this program?
• Project Partners: List the names and type of involvement of key partner organizations and sub-awardees.
• 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?
• Future Funding or Sustainability Applicant’s plan for continuing the program beyond the grant period, or the availability of other resources, if applicable.

4. Budget Justification Narrative: After filling out the SF-424A Budget (above), use a separate sheet of paper to describe each of the budget expenses in detail. See section H.
Other Information: Guidelines for Budget Submissions below for further information.

5. Attachments:
• 1-page CV or resume of key personnel who are proposed for the program
• Letters of support from program partners describing the roles and responsibilities of each partner
• Official permission letters, if required for program activities

3. Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM.gov)

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

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

The full registration process may take from several days up to several weeks, so applicants are advised to start early.

Please note that your information in DUNS and NCAGE registrations must match exactly or else you will encounter errors registering at www.SAM.gov.
If your organization has got a DUNS and/or NCAGE number and/or had registration in www.SAM.gov earlier, please check and make sure first that they are updated and valid and the registered data are correct.

STEP 1:
Apply for a DUNS number:
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 1866-705-5711 or visiting:
– http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform/displayHomePage.do;jsessionid=81407B1F03 F2BDB123DD47D19158B75F
– http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform/

STEP 2:
Apply for an NCAGE code (CAGE for domestic, NCAGE for overseas organizations):
Application page >>

Instructions for the NCAGE application process: https://eportal.nspa.nato.int/AC135Public/Docs/US%20Instructions%20for%2 0NSPA%20NCAGE.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 3:
After receiving the NCAGE Code, proceed to register in SAM by logging onto: https://www.sam.gov.
System for Award Management Non-Federal User Guide >>

PLEASE NOTE: SAM registration must be renewed annually.

To finalize your registration or if you need further assistance in connection with the registration in www.SAM.gov , you may contact the Federal Service Desk at https://www.fsd.gov/fsd-gov/home.do .
Please note that no fee or payment is required to register in www.SAM.gov or obtain DUNS and NCAGE numbers. Any information to the contrary is false.
Important Note to Individual Applicants: Applicants who submit proposals as individuals are NOT required to register with SAM and obtain numbers from DUNS or NCAGE.

4. Submission Dates and Times

PAS Budapest Small Grants Program for 2019 is being administered on a rolling basis. Submitted proposals will be reviewed after the following interim submission deadlines:
– March 31, 2019
– May 31, 2019
– July 31, 2019

5. Funding Restrictions

The following types of funding requests are typically not supported:

• Fees and travel cost to attend conferences in the United States
• Ongoing salary costs
• Office equipment
• Paying to complete activities begun with other funds
• Refreshments (exceptions: expenses for coffee breaks and working lunches which are essential part of the realization of a program might be funded)
• Costs of alcoholic beverages are unallowable.

Furthermore award funds cannot be used for construction projects, vehicle purchases, real estate purchases or other similar purposes or for costs which are determined as unallowable in 2 CFR 200 (https://www.ecfr.gov/cgibin/retrieveECFR?gp=6&SID=aa39cfaeaded5dd0198723210fe38c8f&ty=HTML&h=L&r=P ART&n=pt2.1.200).

6. Other Submission Requirements

All questions about PAS Budapest’s Small Grants Program should be addressed to BudapestGrants@state.gov.

 

E. APPLICATION REVIEW INFORMATION

1. Criteria
Each application will be evaluated and rated on the basis of the evaluation criteria outlined below. The criteria listed are closely related and are considered as a whole in judging the overall quality of an application.
Organizational capacity and record on previous grants: The organization has expertise in its stated field and PAS Budapest is confident of its ability to undertake the project. This includes a financial management system and a bank account.
Quality and Feasibility of the Program Idea – The program idea is well developed, with detail about how project activities will be carried out. The proposal includes a reasonable implementation timeline.
Goals and objectives: Goals and objectives are clearly stated and program approach is likely to provide maximum impact in achieving the proposed results.

Embassy priorities: Applicant has clearly described how stated goals are related to and support U.S. Embassy PAS Budapest’s priority areas or target audiences.
Budget: The budget justification is detailed. Costs are reasonable in relation to the proposed activities and anticipated results. The budget is realistic, accounting for all necessary expenses to achieve proposed activities.
Monitoring and evaluation plan: Applicant demonstrates it is able to measure program success against key indicators and provide milestones to indicate progress toward goals outlined in the proposal. The project includes output and outcome indicators, and shows how and when those will be measured.
Sustainability: Project activities will continue to have positive impact after the end of the project.

2. Review and Selection Process
A Grants Review Committee will evaluate all eligible applications.

3. FAPIIS
For any Federal award under a notice of funding opportunity, if the Federal awarding agency anticipates that the total Federal share will be greater than the simplified acquisition threshold on any Federal award under a notice of funding opportunity may include, over the period of performance (see §200.88 Simplified Acquisition Threshold), this section must also inform applicants:

i. That the Federal awarding agency, prior to making a Federal award with a total amount of Federal share greater than the simplified acquisition threshold, is required to review and consider any information about the applicant that is in the designated integrity and performance system accessible through SAM (currently FAPIIS) (see 41 U.S.C. 2313);

ii. That an applicant, at its option, may review information in the designated integrity and performance systems accessible through SAM and comment on any information about itself that a Federal awarding agency previously entered and is currently in the designated integrity and performance system accessible through SAM;

iii. That the Federal awarding agency will consider any comments by the applicant, in addition to the other information in the designated integrity and performance system, in making a judgment about the applicant’s integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under Federal awards when completing the review of risk posed by applicants as described in §200.205 Federal awarding agency review of risk posed by applicants.

 

F. FEDERAL AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION

1. Federal Award Notices
The grant award or cooperative agreement will be written, signed, awarded, and administered by the Grants Officer. The assistance award agreement is the authorizing document and it will be provided to the recipient for review and signature by email. The recipient may only start incurring program expenses beginning on the start date shown on the grant award document signed by the Grants Officer.

If a proposal is selected for funding, the Department of State has no obligation to provide any additional future funding. The U.S. government reserves the right to reduce, revise, or increase proposal budgets in accordance with the needs of the project evaluation requirements. Renewal of an award to increase funding or extend the period of performance is at the discretion of the Department of State.

Issuance of this NOFO does not constitute an award commitment on the part of the U.S. government, nor does it commit the U.S. government to pay for costs incurred in the preparation and submission of proposals. Further, the U.S. government reserves the right to reject any or all proposals received.
Payment Method: Payments will be made in at least two installments, as needed to carry out the program activities.
Organizations whose applications will not be funded will also be notified via email.

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements
Terms and Conditions: Before submitting an application, applicants should review all the terms and conditions and required certifications which will apply to this award, to ensure that they will be able to comply. These include:
2 CFR 200, 2 CFR 600, Certifications and Assurances, and the Department of State Standard Terms and Conditions, all of which are available at: https://www.state.gov/m/a/ope/index.htm
Note the U.S Flag branding and marking requirements in the Standard Terms and Conditions.

3. Reporting
Reporting Requirements: Recipients will be required to submit financial reports and program reports. The award document will specify how often these reports must be submitted.

G. FEDERAL AWARDING AGENCY CONTACTS

If you have any questions about the PAS Budapest’s Small Grants Program, please contact PAS Budapest at: BudapestGrants@state.gov.
Note: PAS Budapest does not provide any pre-consultation for application related questions that are addressed in the NOFO. Once an application has been submitted, State Department officials and staff — both in the Department and at embassies overseas — may not discuss this competition with applicants until the entire proposal review process is completed.

 

H. OTHER INFORMATION

Guidelines for Budget Justification

Personnel: Describe the wages, salaries, and benefits of temporary or permanent staff who will be working directly for the applicant on the program, and the percentage of their time that will be spent on the program.

Travel: Estimate the costs of travel and per diem for this program. If the program involves international travel, include a brief statement of justification for that travel.

Equipment: Describe any machinery, furniture, or other personal property that is required for the program, which has a useful life of more than one year (or a life longer than the duration of the program), and costs at least $5,000 per unit.

Supplies: List and describe all the items and materials, including any computer devices, that are needed for the project. If an item costs more than $5,000 per unit, then put it in the budget under Equipment.

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

Other Direct Costs: Describe other costs directly associated with the program, which do not fit in the other categories. For example, shipping costs for materials and equipment or applicable taxes. All “Other” or “Miscellaneous” expenses must be itemized and explained.

Indirect Costs: These are costs that cannot be linked directly to the program activities, such as overhead costs needed to help keep the organization operating. If your organization has a Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate (NICRA) and includes NICRA charges in the budget, attach a copy of your latest NICRA. Organizations that have never had a NICRA may request indirect costs of 10% of the modified total direct costs as defined in 2 CFR 200.68.

“Cost Sharing” refers to contributions from the organization or other entities other than the U.S. Embassy. It also includes in-kind contributions such as volunteers’ time and donated venues.

Alcoholic Beverages: Please note that award funds cannot be used for alcoholic beverages.

 

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