PD Poland American Spaces Grant Funding 2024 

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE 

U.S. EMBASSY WARSAW AND U.S. CONSULATE GENERAL KRAKOW,

PUBLIC DIPLOMACY SECTION (PD POLAND)

NOTICE OF FUNDING OPPORTUNITY (NOFO)

 

Funding Opportunity Title:  PD Poland American Spaces Grant Funding 2024 

Funding Opportunity Number:  WAW-NOFO-FY24-03

Deadline for Applications:  April 4, 2024  

CFDA Number:  19.040 – Public Diplomacy Programs 

Total Amount Available:  $125,000 

Contact Email:  grantspoland@state.gov 

 

A. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION  

U.S. Embassy Warsaw and U.S. Consulate General Krakow, Public Diplomacy Section (PD Poland) announces an open competition for organizations to submit applications to compete for a grant or cooperative agreement award to deepen understanding of the United States through interactive, engaging programming at American Spaces in Poland.  PD Poland invites proposals from eligible organizations for projects beginning no earlier than May 15, 2024.  The deadline for this NOFO, #WAWNOFO-FY24-03, is Thursday, April 4, 2024.

American Spaces are U.S. State Department supported cultural and information centers around the world that provide free and open access for members of local communities to learn more about the United States, develop skills, and access a wide range of resources. They are designed, configured, and equipped to promote critical thinking, innovation, and thoughtful discussions of issues important to the United States and host countries.  American Spaces programming showcases the breadth and depth of American values, ideals, culture, and perspectives on a variety of themes.

In Poland, there are six American Corners (Gdańsk, Lublin, Katowice, Łódź, Radom, Wrocław) and one American Center (Kraków).

 

Please follow all instructions below.

 

Program Objectives:

PD Poland invites proposals to implement impactful programs focused on leadership, democracy, entrepreneurship and innovation, media literacy, and/or climate solutions and sustainability at up to seven American Spaces in Poland to forge enduring connections between the United States and emerging leaders in Poland.

Participants and Audiences  

Mission Poland American Spaces’ primary audiences for this funding opportunity are emerging leaders in Poland to include high school and university students and young professionals, ages 15 – 35.  PD Poland encourages efforts to ensure gender parity and socio-economic inclusion across all its activities.  Applicants should be as specific as possible in their proposals about their project’s primary audience and how they will engage them through programming at the American Spaces.  The term “general public” is not an adequate description of the targeted audience.  Tourists and other visitors to Poland are not a primary audience for PD Poland.

Priority Programming Areas: 

A successful proposal will include a robust calendar of activities spanning at least three months and directly address at least one of five key programming areas:

  • Building Future Leaders Network:  Soft skills and leadership-building workshops, seminars, and trainings that develop human capital to engage the next generation of Poland’s emerging leaders.  Programs should encourage participants’ active community engagement.
  • Promoting Democratic Values:  Programs that encourage civic engagement and strengthen democratic participation and/or promote tolerance and integration of minorities and socially marginalized groups while cultivating DEIA principles.
  • Fostering Entrepreneurship & Innovation:  Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) programming that fosters innovation and/or entrepreneurship and engages youth at Poland’s American Spaces through participatory and/or problem-solving workshops such as “tech camps,” and/or that make use of existing MakerSpaces located within some of the American Spaces.
  • Media Literacy & Digital Inclusion:  Course or series of workshops aimed at high school and college students to raise media literacy and combat dis/mis information, cyberbullying, cyber violence, and hate speech.
  • Climate Solutions & Sustainability:  Hands-on programming to expand understanding of environmental and climate change challenges and clean energy solutions.

All proposals are required to have a clear connection to the United States, through U.S. organizations, experts, models, and/or best practices to increase awareness and understanding of U.S. perspectives, policies, and society.

Preference will be given to proposals offering programs at two (2) or more American Spaces that foster sustained engagement with participants, while limiting overhead, equipment, and other expenses that do not directly support program participants.

 

The principal method of engagement will be through in-person programming at the American Spaces.  Virtual engagement may be a part of the overall strategy, augmenting in-person programming, when possible, and acting as the primary method of engagement, when necessary.

Additional proposal elements to note:

  • Overall design and implementation plan for programs at the American Corners in Gdańsk, Katowice, Lublin, Łódź, Radom and/or Wrocław, and/or the American Center in Kraków.  There is a preference for proposals for programming at multiple American Corners.
  • Activities should generally be designed to engage audiences of 15 to 30 individuals at a time.
  • Competitive programs will have a minimum of twenty contact hours with program participants in total.
  • The grantee is expected to lead recruitment efforts of program participants in coordination with the American Spaces; U.S. Mission Poland will amplify program opportunities on its social media platforms.
  • The language of instruction can be English and/or Polish.
  • The proposal must include detailed information about the project members. and trainers(s), including CV, resume and other relevant professional experience.
  • The trainers or facilitators of the program should be experienced professionals working in the field.
  • The proposal must include a proposed activity schedule and monitoring and evaluation plan to measure program impact.
  • Marketing and outreach strategies to recruit target program participants are required.

The proposal budget must include:

  • Costs of program materials for target participants,
  • Salary or honorariums of implementers, trainers, or speakers,
  • Marketing and recruiting costs,
  • Programming costs, and
  • Field trips/transportation cost (if any).

Organizations will be responsible for leading the recruitment of participants, in coordination with the American Spaces, and ensuring DEIA (diversity, equity, inclusion, and access) principles are promoted in the recruitment process.  Please note that some American Spaces are not fully accessible for people with physical disabilities and program organizers will need to take this into account in the recruitment and selection of participants.

Activities that are not typically funded include, but are not limited to: 

  • Projects that are inherently political in nature or that contain the appearance of partisanship/support to individual or single party electoral campaigns;
  • Projects that support specific religious activities;
  • Exchange programs;
  • Social welfare projects;
  • Trade activities; fundraising campaigns; commercial projects; scientific research; construction projects; projects whose primary aim is the institutional development of the organization itself;
  • Conferences, lectures, scientific research, studies, etc.;
  • Book publishing or translation for the purposes of publishing a book;
  • Ongoing salary costs of organization staff;
  • Equipment, including but not limited to, cameras and for the office; and
  • Food and drink beyond the cost of coffee breaks and working lunches (alcohol will not be funded).

B. FEDERAL AWARD INFORMATION

This notice is subject to the availability of funding.  The embassy and consulate reserve the right to reject any or all proposals received and to renew awards issued under the Public Diplomacy Grant Program for a period of two additional years.

 

Length of performance period:  6 to 12 months

 

Number of awards anticipated:  Up to 4 awards

 

Award amounts:  Awards may range from a minimum of $15,000 to a maximum of $50,000

 

Total available funding:  Approximately $125,000

 

Authorizing legislation, type, and year of funding:  Fiscal Year 2024 Smith-Mundt Public Diplomacy Funding

 

Anticipated program start date:  Awards under this Funding Opportunity must be issued before the end of the United States Federal Fiscal Year 2024 on September 30, 2024.  Activities funded through an award under this Funding Opportunity must be executed within 12 months after the award is signed.  Applicants are encouraged to submit proposals well in advance of the intended project start date and flexible start dates are preferred as funding may not be available in time for the specific timeline you propose.  Please indicate in your proposal whether you have the flexibility to shift the program schedule if funding becomes available at a later date.  Costs incurred in preparing the application or prior to the award date are not eligible for funding.

 

Funding Instrument Type:  Grant, Fixed Amount Award (FAAs), or Cooperative Agreement. Cooperative Agreements and some FAAs are different from grants in that PD Poland staff are actively involved in program activities beyond routine monitoring, i.e., “substantial involvement”.  The appropriate instrument may vary depending on the nature of the project proposed and will be determined during pre-award negotiations with successful applicants.  Examples of substantial involvement include, but are not limited to, assistance in identifying and/or approving U.S. participants and speakers; approval of programming calendar, event dates, and themes; and joint activities to publicize an event.

Program Performance Period: Proposed programs should be completed in one year 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.

C. ELIGILIBITY INFORMATION

  1. Eligible Applicants
    • Appropriately registered not-for-profit organizations, including think tanks and civil society/non-governmental organizations with programming experience;
    • Individuals to include alumni of U.S. government sponsored exchange programs; and
    • Non-profit or governmental educational institutions including public libraries, schools, and universities.

 

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

 

To be eligible for consideration, the applicant organization must be registered to operate in Poland, or if this is not the case, they are strongly encouraged to partner with a local Polish organization registered to operate in Poland.

 

  1. Cost Sharing or Matching 

Cost sharing is allowed, but not required and will not impact funding decisions.

 

  1. Other Eligibility Requirements 

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 on SAM.gov.

Applicants are only allowed to submit one proposal per organization per funding opportunity posted by PD Poland.

 

D. APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION

Submit all forms as PDFs in electronic format to grantspoland@state.gov no later than Thursday, April 4, 2024, at midnight. The subject line of the email should list the name of the applying organization followed by the NOFO number:  WAW-NOFO-FY24-03.

No late proposals will be considered.

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 not be reviewed.

 

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

 

The following documents are required:

 

1. Mandatory application forms at: https://www.grants.gov/forms/forms-repository/

  • SF-424 (Application for Federal Assistance – organizations) or SF-424-I (Application for Federal Assistance – individuals);
  • SF424A (Budget Information for Non-Construction programs); and
  • SF424B (Assurances for Non-Construction programs)- if the organization is fully registered in SAM.gov then the mandatory SF424B requirement has been completed.
  • SF424B (Assurances for Non-Construction programs) is mandatory for individual applicants.

 2. Summary coversheet should state the following:

  • the applicant’s name and organization;
  • proposal date;
  • program title;
  • program period;
  • proposed start and end date; and
  • brief purpose of the program.

3. Proposal (5 pages maximum):  The proposal should contain sufficient information so that anyone not familiar with it will understand exactly what the applicant wants to do.  We highly recommend that applicants use the proposal template provided here. If you choose not to use the template provided, you may use your own proposal format, but must provide all the items listed below.

  • Proposal Summary: Provide a short narrative that outlines the proposed program, including program objectives and anticipated impact.
  • Introduction to the Organization or Individual applying: Provide a description of past and present operations, showing ability to carry out the program, including information on all previous grants from the U.S. Embassy, U.S. Consulate General, and/or U.S. government agencies.  Experience managing grants from other organizations should also be included to demonstrate the capacity of the organization to manage grants.
  • Problem Statement: Provide a clear, concise, and well-supported statement of the problem to be addressed and how the proposed program will address the problem.  A strong problem statement clearly explains the outcomes of the project and their long-term impact on the relationship between the United States and Poland.
  • Program Goals and Objectives: Outline the project goals and objectives describing what you intended to achieve.  What aspect of the relationship between the U.S. and Poland will be strengthened? Objectives refer to the intermediate accomplishments on the way to achieving goals.  Please propose SMART objectives for your project:  Specific, Measurable, realistically Achievable within the period of the grant, Relevant to an actual problem or challenge, and Time-based, meaning that you will be able to finish the project and measure the impact by a set date.  Please also explain how you will measure or evaluate the progress achieved or the impact you have made on the participants or audiences through your project activities.
  • Target Audience: Carefully considering the challenge or problem you are addressing, together with your goals and objectives, will help you clearly define who the participants or primary audiences for your project will be and shape the activity outlined in your proposal.  You might have secondary audiences or beneficiaries, too.  For example, if you are training teachers, the teachers are your primary audience and their students who benefit from better instruction would be the secondary audience or final beneficiary. Please be specific with your primary audience and avoid the use of “general public.”  Participants and primary and secondary audiences for the proposed activity should be citizens or legal residents of Poland, which may include those with temporary protected status.  A clear methodology of participant recruitment and selection should be detailed in the proposal, including efforts to ensure gender parity and promote geographic and socio-economic inclusion.
  • Program Activities: Describe the program activities and how they will help achieve the objectives.
  • Program Methods and Design: Describe how the program is expected to work to solve the stated problem and achieve the goal.
  • Proposed Program Schedule: Outline the timeline for the program activities. Include the proposed dates, times, and locations of planned activities and events.  Please note:  Funding may not be available in time for the specific timeline you propose.  Please indicate whether you have the flexibility to shift the program schedule to later dates if funding becomes available at a later date.
  • Key Personnel:  Provide the 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 grants.  Describe activities you will conduct to determine whether the project has achieved its goals and objectives.  Throughout the timeframe of the grant, 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 grant?
  • Future Funding or Sustainability: Describe your plan for continuing the program beyond the grant period, or the availability of other resources, if applicable.

4. 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 Submissions below for further information

 

5. 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
  • Documentation of non-profit or non-commercial status

Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM.gov) 

Required Registrations:

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, which are free of charge. The assignment of a Unique Identity ID does not equate to SAM.gov registration.  Once you receive your Unique Identity ID, you must complete your SAM.gov registration.   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.

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 in the United States, or that pay employees within the United States, will need an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and a UEI number prior to registering in SAM.gov.
  • Organizations based outside of the United States and that do not pay employees within the United States do not need an EIN from the IRS but do need a UEI number prior to registering in SAM.gov.
  • Please note that as of November 2022 and February 2022 respectively, organizations based outside of the United States that do not intend to apply for U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) awards are no longer required to have a NATO Commercial and Government Entity (NCAGE) code or CAGE code to apply for non-DoD foreign assistance funding opportunities. If an applicant organization is mid-registration and wishes to remove a CAGE or NCAGE code from their SAM.gov registration, the applicant should submit a help desk ticket (“incident”) with the Federal Service Desk (FSD) online at www.fsd.gov using the following language: “I do not intend to seek financial assistance from the Department of Defense. I do not wish to obtain a CAGE or NCAGE code. I understand that I will need to submit my registration after this incident is resolved to have my registration activated.”

 

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 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 Homepage: https://eportal.nspa.nato.int/AC135Public/sc/CageList.aspx
NCAGE Code Request Tool (NCRT): https://eportal.nspa.nato.int/Codification/CageTool/home

Exemptions

An exemption from the UEI and sam.gov registration requirements may be permitted on a case-by-case basis if:

  • An applicant’s identity must be protected due to potential endangerment of their mission, their organization’s status, their employees, or individuals being served by the applicant.
  • For an applicant that the Federal awarding agency makes a determination that there are exigent circumstances prohibiting the applicant from receiving a UEI number and completing a SAMs registration prior to receiving a Federal award. In these instances, Federal awarding agencies must require the recipient to obtain a UEI number and complete a SAMs registration within 30 days of the Federal award date.

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.

E. APPLICATION REVIEW INFORMATION  

Selection Criteria  

Applications will be reviewed by a committee of the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw and U.S. Consulate General in Krakow and all applicants will be informed of the outcome.  Please note that the decisions of the committee are final.  There is no right of appeal and PD Poland is unable to provide feedback on unsuccessful proposals.

Each application package will be evaluated and rated based on the evaluation criteria outlined below.

  • 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.
  • Organizational Capacity and Track Record with Similar Projects: 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. If the applicant has an existing grant from the U.S. government, the grant should be compliant, and all reporting requirements should have been met.
  • Program Planning/Ability to Achieve Objectives: SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound) goals and objectives are clearly stated, and the program approach is likely to provide maximum impact in achieving the proposed results.
  • PD Poland priorities and strength of American component: The applicant has clearly described how stated goals support PD Poland priorities articulated above and will create or strengthen connections between the United States and priority Polish target audiences.
  • 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 that they can 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.
  • Support of Equity: PD Poland will look favorably on proposals that 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 Grants Review Committee will evaluate all eligible applications.  Please note that you may be asked to submit additional information and/or a revised budget in response to Committee deliberations.

F. 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

Payments will be made in at least two installments, as needed to conduct the program activities.

 

Organizations whose applications will not be funded will also be notified via email.

 

Administrative and National Policy Requirements

Terms and Conditions: Before applying, 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, Certifications and Assurances, and the Department of State Standard Terms and Conditions, all of 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 as specified in the award agreement and its supporting documents.

 

G. FEDERAL AWARDING AGENCY CONTACTS

If you have any questions about the grant application process, please contact the Public Affairs Section at: grantspoland@state.gov.  Note that once the NOFO deadline has passed, Department of State staff may not discuss this competition with applicants until the review process has been completed.

H. 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, which 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 conduct 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. Government. 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.