U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
U.S. EMBASSY TBILISI
NOTICE OF FUNDING OPPORTUNITY
Funding Opportunity Title: Georgian Regional and Online Media Support Program
Funding Opportunity Number: DOSGEO-23-GR-015-GEO-07142023
Deadline for Applications: 08/18/2023
Assistance Listing Number: 19.900 — AEECA/ESF PD Programs
Program Performance Period: Proposed programs may start in October 2023. The grant period should not exceed 18 months.
A. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION
The Public Diplomacy Section (PDS) of the U.S. Embassy Tbilisi announces an open competition for investigative journalism support through a grants program. The goal of the Georgian Regional and Online Media Support Program is to empower regional and online media through content development and the production of a series of investigative stories. Media collaboration between national online and regional outlets is encouraged and will be given priority by the selection panel.
The Program aims to support investigative journalism to empower regional media organizations and nationwide digital multimedia outlets. Grants will be awarded to these organizations to produce a series of stories serving the high public interest. Media collaboration between national online and regional outlets is encouraged and will be given priority by the Selection Panel.
The maximum amount of a grant award is $50,000 per project. In case of media collaborations between national online and regional outlets, the amount will increase up to $70,000.
The topics of stories may include, but are not limited to:
B. ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION
The following organizations are eligible to apply:
Other Eligibility Requirements:
In order to be eligible to receive an award, the applicant organizations must have a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) number issued via www.SAM.gov as well as a valid registration on www.SAM.gov. Please note that process of registration on the SAM.gov portal can take a substantial amount of time, so we recommend starting the process as early as possible.
Cost Sharing or Matching: This program does not require cost sharing; however in-kind contributions will be favorably considered.
C. APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION
Address to Request Application Package
Application forms required below are available at grants.gov https://www.grants.gov/forms/sf-424-family.html
Completed application and required supporting documents must be submitted electronically to: TbilisiGrants@state.gov Please include the program name – Georgian Regional and Online Media Support Program in the subject line.
Please, be advised that the application package must be archived only in the ZIP archive. Email attachments exceeding 6MB in size and RAR files will not be accepted.
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 Package:
The following documents are required:
Mandatory application forms:
SF-424 (Application for Federal Assistance – organizations)
SF-424A (Budget Information for Non-Construction programs)
SF-424B (Assurances for Non-Construction programs)
The application form see at the bottom of this document.
Copy of registration on SAM.gov
Copy of organization registration certificate
Proposal: The proposal should contain sufficient information that anyone not familiar with it would understand exactly what the applicant wants to do. See the grant application form on page 8. The formatted proposal should include the following:
Guidelines for Budget Justification
After filling out the SF-424A Budget form, use a separate sheet of paper to describe each of the budget expenses in detail. The budget narrative should follow the actual budget presentation itself and describe in some detail the costs presented in the budget. In other words, the narrative explains, line by line, what the numbers mean and how they were determined.
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. Fees are paid to the people who will spend the majority of their time on the project and have signed contracts. The fees should be calculated on the total number of hours worked for the duration of the project. Fee levels should be reasonable and no higher than other local salaries and should include all local taxes.
Travel: Estimate the costs of travel and per diem for this program, for program staff, consultants or speakers, and participants/beneficiaries. Funds may not be used to pay for travel to the United States or for travel grants.
Equipment: Describe any piece of equipment 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).
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 a partnering organization that will help carry out the program activities in case of media collaboration.
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 other than the U.S. Embassy.
Alcoholic Beverages: Please note that award funds cannot be used for alcoholic beverages. Funds may not be used to pay for travel to the United States.
Funds may not be used to provide direct social services to populations, such as health care, childcare, food subsidies, etc.
D. SUBMISSION DATE:
Application submission dates: August 18, 2023.
E. APPLICATION REVIEW INFORMATION:
Each application will be evaluated and rated on the basis of the evaluation criteria outlined below.
Quality and Feasibility of the Program Idea – 30 points: The program idea is well developed, with detail about how program activities will be carried out. The proposal includes a reasonable implementation timeline.
Organizational Capacity – 20 points: The organization has expertise in its stated field and has internal controls in place to manage federal funds. This includes a financial management system and a bank account.
Program Planning/Ability to Achieve Objectives – 25 points: Goals and objectives are clearly stated and the program approach is likely to provide maximum impact in achieving the proposed results.
Budget – 15 points: 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 risk assessment plan – 10 points: 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.
Federal Awardee Performance & Integrity Information System (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 §200.206 Federal awarding agency review of risk posed by applicants.
F. FEDERAL AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION
Federal Award Notices
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.
Payments will be made in bank tranches. An initial segment will be authorized to initiate the project.
Recipients will be required to submit financial reports and program reports. The award document will specify how often these reports must be submitted. All recipients must submit a formal report to the Grants Officer upon completion of the project. The report should discuss what was done, whether the project was successful from the applicant’s perspective, and how it might be improved in the future. 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.
Administrative and National Policy Requirements
Before submitting an application, applicants should review all the terms and conditions and required certifications that will apply to this award, to ensure that they will be able to comply.
In accordance with the Office of Management and Budget’s guidance located at 2 CFR part 200, all applicable Federal laws, and relevant Executive guidance, the Department of State will review and consider applications for funding, as applicable to specific programs, pursuant to this notice of funding opportunity in accordance with the following: NOTE:
G. FEDERAL AWARDING AGENCY CONTACTS
If you have any questions about the grant application process, please contact: TbilisiGrants@state.gov