Funding Opportunity for U.S.-government exchange alumni

Funding Opportunity Title:           Alumni Support for Local Communities Fund
Deadline for Applications:            June 4, 2022
CFDA Number:                               19.900
Total Amount Available:                $30,000

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

The U.S. Embassy Baku Public Affairs Section (PAS) is pleased to announce its 2022 Alumni Support for Local Communities Fund. This year’s iteration of the program will support alumni-led projects of $10,000 to $30,000 that harness the power of technology to address problems in their home communities.

We encourage alumni to submit proposals for projects that use technology and tech-connected programs as a vehicle to engage local residents, enhance income-earning potential, and/or improve quality of life within their home communities.  Possible program ideas could include training in simple coding or data analytics; introduction of tailored online marketing platforms; or the creation of digital communications/education tools.

Program proposals should explain benefits that will accrue to target groups, e.g., by demonstrating useable knowledge of a subject, increased competitiveness in the marketplace, or interest in pursuing future education in a field. A winning project from last year’s competition is training local youth in Sheki in how to assemble Shebeke stained glass products and use a purpose-designed website to market their creations globally.

All programs must include a connection with American culture, expert(s), organization(s), or institution(s) in a specific field that will promote increased understanding of U.S. policies and perspectives.

Participants and Audiences:

The intended beneficiaries for funded projects will include such groups as rural youth, women, IDP and other vulnerable communities, people with disabilities, and the public.

Alumni should ensure their proposals fall within these parameters:

  • Proposals must be submitted by an alumna/alumnus, or an alumni team as an alumni-led project.
  • Proposed projects may be designed for in-person implementation but should include a contingency format to be activated if the public-health situation prevents in-person programming.
  • We encourage you to consider recruiting partner organizations to enhance your project’s impact and sustainability.

Length of performance period:  Proposed programs should be completed in 12 months or less.
Number of awards anticipated: 
Up to two awards, depending on available funds
Award amounts:
$30,000
Anticipated program start date:
August 1, 2022

 

ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION

 Submissions are solicited from U.S.-government-sponsored exchange alumni with relevant experience. This experience should be documented in the proposal. Previous recipients who are not/were not in compliance with the terms of their financial and program reporting requirements are ineligible to apply. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure they follow all applicable terms, conditions, and Office of Management and Budget guidance and requirements.

Cost-Sharing or Matching

Though cost-sharing is not mandatory, applicants are encouraged to include their contribution in the suggested project budget, which also can be an in-kind contribution (equipment, labor, program materials, etc.).

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

Applications should be emailed to Alumni Outreach Program Coordinator Lamiya Suleymanzada SuleymanzadaLH@state.gov.   Please be sure to send all attachments in one email message and include your first name, last name, and program name in the subject line of the email. Applications must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. (Baku time) June 4, 2022

The following documents are required:

  1. Mandatory application forms (available from SuleymanzadaLH@state.gov)
  • SF-424-I (Application for Federal Assistance -individuals)
  • SF424-A(Budget Information for Non-Construction programs)
  • SF424-B (Assurances-Non-Construction Companies)
  1. Summary Page: Cover sheet stating the applicant’s name, last name, proposal date, program title, program period proposed start and end date, and brief purpose of the program.
  2. Proposal (4 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 awards 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.
  • Program Goals and Objectives:  The “goals” describe what the program is intended to achieve.  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.
  • 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 and Timeline:  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?
  • Program Partners:  List the names and type of involvement of key partner organizations and sub-awardees.
  • Program Monitoring and Evaluation Plan: This is an important part of successful projects. Throughout the timeframe of the award, 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 award?
  • Future Funding or Sustainability Applicant’s plan for continuing the program beyond the award period, or the availability of other resources, if applicable.
  1. 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.
  2. 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
  1. Submission Dates and Times

Applications are due by June 4, 2022.

 

  1. Other Submission Requirements

 

All application materials must be submitted by email to SuleymanzadaLH@state.gov.

 

  1. APPLICATION REVIEW INFORMATION

Criteria

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: This is a mandatory part of the project budget. Applicant demonstrates the ability 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.  Note: all CBI finalists will be required to work with Embassy staff to develop and incorporate a project-specific monitoring and evaluation plan.  When calculating your budget costs, you should allocate Monitoring and Evaluation activity expenses not exceeding 5% of your entire budget.

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.

 

  1. FEDERAL AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION

The recipient may only start incurring program expenses beginning on the start date shown on the 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.

  1. FEDERAL AWARDING AGENCY CONTACTS

If you have any questions about the award application process, please contact: SuleymanzadaLH@state.gov.

  1. OTHER INFORMATION

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 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.