Funding Opportunity Title: Vulnerable Communities Engagement Program
Funding Opportunity Number: DOS-GEO-FY23-010
Deadline for Applications: 11:59 p.m. Georgia Standard Time on June 16, 2023
Assistance Listing Number: 19.900
Total Amount Available: $150,000
The U.S. Embassy Tbilisi Public Diplomacy Section of the U.S. Department of State announces an open competition for organizations to submit applications and carry out programs to support vulnerable communities, protection of human rights and promotion of tolerance; enhance ethnic/religious minority and gender equality and women empowerment. Please follow all instructions below.
The United States Embassy is pleased to announce The Vulnerable Communities Engagement Program for FY 2023. The program supports initiatives that support the inclusion of ethnic and religious minorities and other vulnerable communities, protection of human rights and promotion of tolerance and equality. However, the priority program objectives for 2023 are:
All projects should explain how the proposed activities impact Georgia’s democratic development and describe specific objectives and expected outcomes. Collaborative projects between partnering NGOs are encouraged.
Participants and Audiences:
Proposals that engage and benefit women, and marginalized groups as a key audience will be given priority. Please be specific when mentioning the target audience(s) of your proposed project, including demographic information and the approximate number of beneficiaries to be directly and indirectly impacted by project activities.
FEDERAL AWARD INFORMATION
Length of performance period: up to 18 months
Number of awards anticipated: six awards (dependent on amounts)
Award amounts: Initial awards may range from a minimum of $25,000 to a maximum of $75,000. Organizations are also welcome to submit an addendum explaining what they would do with additional funding of up to $25,000 if additional funds become available.
Total available funding: $150,000
Type of Funding: FY22/23 Economic Support Funds under the Foreign Assistance Act
Anticipated program start date: September 1, 2023
This notice is subject to availability of funding.
Funding Instrument Type: Grants and Cooperative agreements. Cooperative agreements are different from grants in that bureau/embassy staff are more actively involved in the grant implementation (“Substantial Involvement”).
Program Performance Period: Proposed programs should be completed in 18 months or less.
The Department of State 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.
The following organizations are eligible to apply:
For-profit or commercial entities are not eligible to apply.
Cost sharing or matching is not required.
In order to be eligible to receive an award, all 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 see Section D.3 for more information. Individuals are not required to have a UEI or be registered in SAM.gov.
NOTE: sam.gov is not a State Department website and the U.S. Embassy Tbilisi is not involved in its operations. Please forward all questions related to registration process to sam.gov helpdesk. Instructions and FAQs are available on Embassy web site under Program Announcement Additional Resources. PDS will not be answering questions related to registration on sam.gov
Applicants are only allowed to submit one proposal per organization. If more than one proposal is submitted from an organization, all proposals from that institution will be considered ineligible for funding.
APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION
Address to Request Application Package
Application forms required below are available at U.S. Embassy Tbilisi web site and grants.gov
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
The following documents are required:
Mandatory application forms
Budget Justification Narrative: After filling out the SF-424A Budget (above), use a separate file to describe each of the budget expenses in detail. See section H. Other Information: Guidelines for Budget Submissionsbelow for further information.
Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM.gov)
All organizations, whether based in the United States or in another country, must have a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) and an active registration with the SAM.gov. A UEI is one of the data elements mandated by Public Law 109-282, the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA), for all Federal awards.
Note: As of April 2022, a DUNS number is no longer required for federal assistance applications.
The 2 CFR 200 requires that sub-grantees obtain a UEI number. Please note the UEI for sub-grantees is not required at the time of application but will be required before an award is processed and/or directed to a sub-grantee.
Note: The process of obtaining or renewing a SAM.gov registration may take anywhere from 4-8 weeks. Please begin your registration as early as possible.
Organizations based outside of the United States and that DO NOT plan to do business with the DoD should follow the below instructions:
Step 1: Proceed to SAM.gov to obtain a UEI and complete the SAM.gov registration process. SAM.gov registration must be renewed annually.
Organizations based outside of the United States and that DO plan to do business with the DoD in addition to Department of State should follow the below instructions:
Step 1: Apply for an NCAGE code by following the instructions on the NSPA NATO website linked below:
NCAGE Code Request Tool (NCRT):
An exemption from the UEI and sam.gov registration requirements may be permitted on a case-by-case basis if:
Organizations requesting exemption from UEI or SAM.gov requirements must email the point of contact listed in the NOFO at least two weeks prior to the deadline in the NOFO providing a justification of their request. Approval for a SAM.gov exemption must come from the warranted Grants Officer before the application can be deemed eligible for review.
Applications are due no later than 11:59 p.m. Georgia Standard Time on June 16, 2023
Please include the funding opportunity title in the subject line.
The following types of programs are not eligible for funding:
Grant funds cannot be used on Alcoholic beverages.
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 – 20 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 and Record on Previous Grants – 20 points: 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 – 15 points: Goals and objectives are clearly stated and program approach is likely to provide maximum impact in achieving the proposed results.
Budget – 10 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 evaluation plan – 15 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.
Sustainability – 10 points: Program activities will continue to have positive impact after the end of the program.
Support of Equity and Underserved Communities – 10 points: Proposals should clearly demonstrate how the program will support and advance equity and engage underserved communities in program administration, design, and implementation.
Review and Selection Process
A review committee will evaluate all eligible applications
Responsibility/Qualification Information in SAM.gov (formerly, FAPIIS)
iii. 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.
FEDERAL AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION
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. 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: SF-270 will be used to request payments. The frequency of payments will be determined by GOR and included in the award provisions.
Administrative and National Policy Requirements
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.
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:
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.
Foreign Assistance Data Review: As required by Congress, the Department of State must make progress in its efforts to improve tracking and reporting of foreign assistance data through the Foreign Assistance Data Review (FADR). The FADR requires tracking of foreign assistance activity data from budgeting, planning, and allocation through obligation and disbursement. Successful applicants will be required to report and draw down federal funding based on the appropriate FADR Data Elements, indicated within their award documentation. In cases of more than one FADR Data Element, typically program or sector and/or regions or country, the successful applicant will be required to maintain separate accounting records.
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.
FEDERAL AWARDING AGENCY CONTACTS
If you have any questions about the grant application process, please contact: TbilisiGrants@state.gov
Please include the funding opportunity title in the subject line.
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 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.