Alumni Grants Program 2023
IU.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
U.S. EMBASSY TBILISI
Notice of Funding Opportunity
Funding Opportunity Title: Alumni Grants Program
Funding Opportunity Number: DOS-GEO-23-004-02022023
Deadlines for Applications: 04/25/2023; 18:00
Assistance Listing Number: 19.900 — AEECA/ESF PD Programs
Total Amount Available: $125,000
Submission Dates and Times: Applications are due no later than April 25, 2023; 18:00
The U.S. Embassy Tbilisi announces an open competition for Georgian USG alumni for activities that support Georgia’s democratic development and Western integration.
Program Objectives and Description: The Program allows post to provide individual grants to Georgians who are alumni of U.S. government exchange programs.
These small grants support activities that advance Georgia’s democratic development and Western integration by:
- Promoting gender equality
- Inclusion of ethnic and religious minorities
- Independent media development
- Cybersecurity and cyber education
- Basic education
- Supporting economic growth
- Entrepreneurship education
- Skills building for women, youth, and people with disabilities;
- Supporting cultural preservation in rural areas
- Environmental protection.
Grant proposals must support projects that address a tangible need in a community and have measurable outcomes. Applicants may develop partnerships with relevant stakeholders, including the public and/or private sector as well as local organizations, where applicable.
Please note that basic education proposals should focus on strengthening public schools for grades 1-12 through teacher training and professional development or innovative programs for students including school libraries, science and language labs, and enrichment programs.
FEDERAL AWARD INFORMATION
Length of performance period: Maximum project period is one year.
Number of awards anticipated: 8 awards (dependent on amounts requested in approved proposals).
Award amounts: The maximum amount of funds per award is $20,000
Total available funding: $125,000
Type of Funding: Economic Support Funds under the Foreign Assistance Act.
Funding Instrument Type: Grant and/or Fixed Amount Award.
Program Performance Period: Proposed programs should be completed in 12 months timeframe or less. Expected start of the project should be 4 month after the program deadline.
This notice is subject to availability of funding.
- Eligible Applicants: Eligibility is limited to the alumni of U.S. government-sponsored exchange programs, who are citizens or residents of Georgia. (https://alumni.state.gov/list-exchange-programs)
- Cost Sharing or Matching: Not required/recommended.
- Other Eligibility Requirements: Applicants are only allowed to submit a maximum of two proposal per individual. If more than two proposals is submitted from an individual, all proposals from that individual will be considered ineligible for funding.
If a group of alumni cooperate to submit a joint project, the requested amount cannot exceed $20,000. The submitting applicant should be an individual alumnus/alumna or the group of alumni, but the grant can be awarded to the organization partnering in the project. If the organization will be the awardee, they need to present active SAM.gov registration prior to awarding process.
APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION
Please follow all instructions below carefully. Proposals that do not meet the requirements of this announcement or fail to comply with the stated requirements will be ineligible.
Content of Application
- The proposal clearly addresses the goals and objectives of this funding opportunity
- All documents are in English
- All budgets are in U.S. dollars
- All pages are numbered
- All documents are formatted to 8 ½ x 11 paper, and
- All Microsoft Word documents are single-spaced, 12 Times New Roman font, with a minimum of 1-inch margins.
The following documents are required:
Mandatory application forms
- SF424I (Application for Federal Assistance – Individuals)
- SF424A (Budget Information for Non-Construction programs)
- SF424B (Assurances – Non-Construction Programs)
- Completed Alumni Application Form 2023.
- CVs of applying alumni and the key personnel.
- Letters of support from project partners describing the roles and responsibilities of each partner (if applicable)
- Official permission letters, if required for project activities.
Instructions (both in English and Georgian) for mandatory forms are available to download from the website with other documents.
SF424 forms do not open in any internet browsers (chrome, internet explorer…). Please make sure to download the forms on your device, open via Adobe and click ‘enable all features’.
RAR and ZIP files will not be accepted. If the size of the email exceeds 6MB, please make sure to send the required documents into separate emails.
If two proposals are submitted, all mandatory documents need to be filled our separately for each project and be sent as separate packages.
The proposal completed in Alumni Application Form 2023 should contain sufficient information that anyone not familiar with it would understand exactly what the applicant wants to do and must include items like information on the applicant; short narrative that outlines the proposed program, including program objectives and anticipated impact; the “goals” describing what the program is intended to achieve; the “objectives” referring to the intermediate accomplishments on the way to the goals; these should be achievable and measurable; program activities and how they will help achieve the objectives; timeline for the program activities; direct and indirect beneficiaries, risk assessment, indicators and monitoring and evaluation plan; budget. The program will be evaluated by individuals familiar with Georgia and no need to provide significant background on the general country context.
Submission Dates and Times: Applications are due no later than April 25, 2023; 18:00
Funding Restrictions: Alumni Program does not support the following activities or costs, and the selection committee will deem applications involving any of these activities or costs ineligible:
- Administrative staff salaries, office space, and operational expenses exceeding 30% of total requested amount. These types of costs are allowable only as they relate to specific project activities and are in accordance with grant guidelines. Salary or honoraria should be listed according to rate of pay and percentage of time spent on program-related activities. While salary expenses are permissible for indigenous personnel, payment of honoraria and other expenses for foreign experts will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
- Construction programs
- Alcohol or entertainment (e.g. hiring DJ for closing ceremony)
- “Contingency” or “miscellaneous” costs
- Charitable or the provision of direct social services to a population
- Support or opposition of political activity
- Programs that support specific religious activities
- Fund-raising campaigns
- Venture capital, for-profit endeavors, or charging a fee for participation in the project
- Individual scholarships
- Personal development
- Programs that duplicate existing programs
- Food expenses exceeding 10% of total requested amount. When these costs cannot be supported by cost share, they should be clearly justified and limited to a maximum of 10 percent of the total award amount. This includes expenses associated with individual per diems for grant-related activities.
Other Submission Requirements: Please submit your project proposals via electronic mail at TbilisiGrants@state.gov and include the program name (Alumni Program) in the subject line.
APPLICATION REVIEW INFORMATION
Review and Selection Process: A Grants Review Committee will evaluate all eligible applications. Proposals will be evaluated according to how well they advance or support U.S. government goal of a more peaceful, more democratic, and more prosperous Georgia fully integrated with Euro-Atlantic institutions as outlined in the Integrated Country Strategy. Applicants can expect to be notified of the status of their application within 4 months of the submission deadline. The first stage results will be delivered to all applicants via e-mail.
FEDERAL AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION
Federal Award Notices
The grant award will be written, signed, awarded, and administered by the Grants Officer and Grants Officer’s Representative. 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: All payments will be made through Electronic Funds Transfer.
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, and the Department of State Standard Terms and Conditions which are available at: https://www.state.gov/about-us-office-of-the-procurement-executive/.
Note the U.S Flag branding and marking requirements in the Standard Terms and Conditions.
Reporting Requirements: Recipients will be required to submit financial reports and program reports. The award document will specify how often these reports must be submitted. Copies of video materials, CDs, and other video and audio aids generated during the implementation of the project attesting to the success of the grant activities are welcome.
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.
Materials published under these grants must be reviewed and approved by the Embassy prior to dissemination.
FEDERAL AWARDING AGENCY CONTACTS
If you have any questions about the grant application process, please contact PDS at: TbilisiGrants@state.gov
Guidelines for Budget Justification
Personnel and Fringe Benefits: Salaries and honorariums can be funded (including the applying alumni) and should include the income tax. Please describe the salaries of staff who will be working directly on the project, and the percentage of their time that will be spent on the project.
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 and Supplies: Describe any machinery, equipment, items and materials or other personal property that is required for the program.
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.
“Cost Sharing” refers to contributions from the organization or other entities outside the U.S. Embassy and it should be included in the budget. Inclusion of cost share is not a requirement of this opportunity.
In-kind contributions, such as volunteers’ time and donated venues, should be described separately from the cost sharing.
Alcoholic Beverages: Please note that award funds cannot be used for alcoholic beverages.
Monitoring and Evaluation
Proposals should include a plan to monitor the project’s success that includes outcome indicators, targets, and a baseline; a mid-point check-in (as appropriate); and an evaluation at the end of the program. Successful monitoring depends heavily on setting clear goals and outcomes at the outset of a program. Applicants’ project descriptions should include a clear description of the project’s objectives that are within the capacity of the grantee to achieve, the anticipated project outcomes, and how and when they intend to measure these outcomes (performance indicators). The more that outcomes are “SMART” (specific, measurable, attainable, results-oriented, and time bound), the easier it will be to conduct the evaluation. Overall, the quality of an applicant’s monitoring plan should be judged on how well it 1) specifies intended outcomes; 2) gives clear descriptions of how each outcome will be measured; 3) identifies when particular outcomes will be measured; and 4) provides a clear description of the data collection strategies for each outcome (i.e., surveys, interviews, or focus groups). Applicants’ monitoring plans should clearly distinguish between program outputs and outcomes. Outputs are products and services delivered, often stated as an amount. Output information is important to show the scope or size of project activities, but it cannot substitute for information about progress towards outcomes or the results achieved. Examples of outputs include the number of people trained or the number of seminars conducted. Outcomes, in contrast, represent specific results a project is intended to achieve and is usually measured as an extent of change.
Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM.gov) (NOTE: This section is required and not optional)
System for Award Management (SAM) – SAM is a U.S.-government wide registry of vendors doing business with the U.S. federal government and requires annual renewal. The system centralizes information about grant applicants/recipients and provides a central location for grant applicants/recipients to change organizational information. To keep an active SAM.gov account, applicants must renew it at least once each year. If an account expires, the organization cannot submit a grant application until it is renewed.
Any applicant listed on the Excluded Parties List System (EPLS) in the System for Award Management (SAM) is not eligible to apply for an assistance award in accordance with the OMB guidelines at 2 CFR 180 that implement Executive Orders 12549 (3 CFR, 1986 Comp., p. 189) and 12689 (3 CFR, 1989 Comp., p. 235), “Debarment and Suspension.” Additionally, no entity listed on the EPLS can participate in any activities under an award. All applicants are strongly encouraged to review the EPLS in SAM to ensure that no ineligible entity is included.
All organizations awarded the grant (except individual grantees) must register on SAM.gov and provide an active registration.
Please note that process of registration on the SAM.gov portal can take substantial amount of time, so we recommend starting the process as early as possible.