Notice of Funding Opportunity for Alumni – Covid19

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE U.S. EMBASSY QUITO

Notice of Funding Opportunity for Alumni

 

Funding Opportunity Title:        Alumni Funding 2020

Funding Opportunity Number:  PAS-SEC-FY20-02

CFDA Number:                            19.040- Public Diplomacy Programs

Deadline for Applications:         Rolling deadline

Maximum for Each Award:        $10,000 USD

Minimum for Each Award:         $5,000 USD

 

  1. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

The U.S. Embassy Quito and U.S. Consulate Guayaquil Public Affairs Sections (PAS) of the U.S. Department of State are pleased to announce an open competition for funding, as part of the Inspira Ecuador network. This Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) specifically targets alumni of U.S. Embassy and U.S. government programs who fall under the Inspira Ecuador network. 

Inspira Ecuador is a network of Ecuadorian alumni. An alumni is a person who has participated in an U.S. Department of State funded exchange program, a program funded by the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in Ecuador, or a person who has received a grant for Public Diplomacy funds.

For 2020, Inspira Ecuador aims to create satellite alumni communities in Quito, Guayaquil and Cuenca to engage our alumni audience in community service projects and alumni-led events. Inspira´s mission is best captured by the words of U.S. President John Quincy Adams: If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.

Alumni may apply as individuals or through their organizations (if educational or non-profit) for projects that will support entrepreneurship, promote civil society and inclusion, and combat disinformation. 

Special consideration will be given to:

  • Projects that clearly demonstrate alumni leadership and community engagement
  • Alumni applying in teams
  • Projects implemented in or around Quito, Guayaquil and Cuenca 

If you have any questions on whether you qualify as an alumni, please contact the Public Affairs Section at: contactocultural@state.gov

Purpose of Grants:  Funding is available for alumni proposals to reactivate the Ecuadorian economy, or/and support their communities during and post COVID-19 through projects that highlight shared values between the United States and Ecuador. All programs must align with one U.S. Mission Priority and/or one U.S. foreign policy theme. We are particularly interested in proposals that fall into one of the following Program Priority Areas:

  1. PROGRAM PRIORITY AREAS:
  • Economy: Projects that revive the economy during and after the global pandemic, improve the business climate, entrepreneurship, innovation, and corporate social responsibility.
  • Civil Society: Projects that promote civil society and inclusion by supporting human rights, racial / ethnic equality, gender equality and the empowerment of women, diversity and social inclusion and that can improve the lives of at-risk youth, women, or marginalized communities during or after COVID-19.
  • Information: Projects that combat disinformation, by promoting press freedom that improves the quality of investigative journalism and transparency during or after COVID-19.

The following types of programs are not eligible for funding:

  • Activities that do not contain a distinctly U.S. component
  • Programs relating to partisan political activity
  • Development projects/programs
  • Infrastructure/construction programs
  • Individual scholarships
  • Personal development
  • Programs that support specific religious activities
  • Fund-raising campaigns
  • Lobbying for specific legislation or programs
  • Scientific research
  • Programs intended primarily for the growth or institutional development of the organization
  • Programs that duplicate existing programs
  • Social travel/visits
  • Venture capital
  • For-profit endeavors

Anticipated program start date: All programs must start before September 30, 2020.

This notice is subject to availability of funding.

Funding Instrument Type: Grant, Fixed Amount Award, or Awards to Individuals

Program Performance Period: Proposed programs should be completed in 24 months or less.

  1. ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION
  2. Eligible Applicants

This call for proposals is exclusive to alumni of U.S. Mission Ecuador.  An alumni is a person who has participated in an U.S. Department of State funded exchange program, a program funded by the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in Ecuador, or a person who has received a grant for Public Diplomacy funds.

If you have any doubts as to whether you qualify as alumni, please contact the Public Diplomacy Department at: contactocultural@state.gov

The Public Affairs Section encourages applications from alumni through their:

  • Registered not-for-profit organizations, including think tanks and civil society/non-governmental organizations with programming experience
  • Individuals
  • Non-profit or governmental educational institutions
  • Governmental institutions

For-profit or commercial entities are not eligible to apply.

  1. REQUIRED REGISTRATION AND MANDATORY FORMS

If your proposal is selected as a finalist, in order to be eligible to receive an award, all organizations must obtain an unique entity identifier (Data Universal Numbering System/DUNS number from Dun & Bradstreet), as well as a valid registration on www.SAM.gov. If submitting as an individual, this requirement is not needed. The Public Affairs section will notify you in writing if your proposal was selected as a finalist, and you will need to submit this documentation and other mandatory documents. 

  1. HOW TO APPLY:

All applications must be in English and must be submitted to contactocultural@state.gov using the following 2 forms: 

  1. Project Proposal: Use this Proposal Application Alumni to describe your proposal in detail. 
  2. Budget: Use this NOFO Budget to describe each of the budget expenses in detail. 

 

  1. APPLICATION REVIEW INFORMATION

 

  1. Criteria:  A grants review panel will review and evaluate each application based on the criteria outlined below:

U.S. Component:  The project has a clear U.S. component that incorporates U.S. expertise, processes, or personnel.

Organizational capacity and record on previous grants:  The organization has expertise in its stated field and PAS is confident of its ability to undertake the program.  This includes a financial management system and a bank account.

Quality and feasibility of the program idea:  The program idea is well developed, with details about how program 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 priority areas and target audiences outlined in section A.

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 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:  Program activities will continue to have a positive impact after the end of the program.

 

  1. FEDERAL AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION

 

  1. Federal Award Notices

 

A U.S. government Grants Officer will award, sign, and administer the grant award or cooperative agreement.  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.  No actions or costs can be incurred before the grant is approved and 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:  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.

 

  1. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

 

Terms and Conditions: 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.  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.

  1. 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.

 

  1. FEDERAL AWARDING AGENCY CONTACTS

 

If you have any questions about the grant application process, please contact PAS at: contactocultural@state.gov

Note:  We do not provide any pre-consultation for application related questions that are addressed in the Program Statement.  Once an application has been submitted, U.S. government officials and staff may not discuss this competition with applicants until the entire proposal review process is complete.

  1. 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 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 and administration 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.

Please find more frequent questions HERE