U.S. Embassy Small Grants Program

The U.S. Embassy and Consulate Krakow Small Grants Program Competition

Warsaw, Poland – The U.S. Embassy and U.S. Consulate Krakow Small Grants competition is a two-step process with applications submitted and reviewed on a continuous, year-round basis.  The first step in applying for funding – up to $25,000 per project – is to complete this form: https://bit.ly/2GLlSZy

Proposals for both the U.S. Embassy and U.S. Consulate Krakow will be reviewed on a monthly basis, and organizations will be notified if their proposal is eligible to continue to stage two within 30 days of submission.  Those that are eligible will be requested to submit a complete, detailed Project Application.  All funding decisions are contingent on the availability of funds from the U.S. Department of State; any costs and expenses incurred prior to receipt of grant money will not be reimbursed by the U.S. Embassy or the U.S. Consulate Krakow.


Grants will be awarded to local representatives of Polish non-governmental organizations, cultural or educational institutions, universities, media, schools, and individuals whose successful grant proposals support the following goals and initiatives:

  1. Security:  Projects that promote increased security cooperation between Poland and the United States; and/or projects that increase public awareness and support – particularly among youth – for transatlantic and international security cooperation (between the United States, Poland, and NATO) to meet global security challenges.  Challenges include cyber threats, disinformation, counterterrorism, border security, export control and proliferation, counter-narcotics, and transnational organized crime.
  2. Trade and Energy:  Projects that increase bilateral trade and investment between Poland and the United States; and/or projects that promote more secure, diverse, and cleaner energy sources for Poland and the EU.
  3. Entrepreneurship, Innovation and STEAM:  Projects that promote entrepreneurship and innovation, particularly among youth; projects that give tools to emerging entrepreneurs to commercialize their ideas; projects that promote education of youth, particularly girls and young women, in the fields of science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM); and projects that develop networking and business opportunities for youth, emerging entrepreneurs, and STEAM students with innovators, business incubators, and businesses in Poland and/or the United States.
  4. Civic Engagement and Shared Values:  Projects that strengthen understanding in Poland of U.S. democratic values and institutions, particularly among youth; projects that increase involvement of civil society in decision-making processes; projects that support civic education of youth and their public advocacy skills; projects that develop critical thinking and problem-solving; projects that support leadership education, empowerment, and the rights of girls and women; projects that support inclusion of minorities, people with disabilities, and other groups in public policy-making.
  5. U.S. Culture, History of Polish-U.S. Relations, End of Communist Rule in Poland:  Projects that increase public awareness, especially among youth, of the history of Polish-U.S. relations over the last century and/or the last 30 years (2019 is both the 100th anniversary of U.S.-Polish diplomatic relations and the 30th anniversary of the return of democracy to Poland); projects that highlight the role that people-to-people connections have played between Poland and the United States over the last hundred and/or 30 years; and projects that create opportunities to discuss and shape the future of Polish-U.S. relations as well as people-to-people bonds heading into the second century of relations.
  6. Media Literacy:  Projects that promote media literacy among youth/students, civil society, media, academia, and digital communicators; projects that train consumers how to identify and evaluate disinformation; and projects that teach fact-checking and critical thinking skills to verify accuracy and sources of information in traditional (e.g., TV, radio, print) and social/online media.

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

  • creative and innovative proposals
  • youth engagement, education, and leadership-building programs
  • conferences, workshops, forums, panel discussions, and master classes on American themes or issues of mutual interest mentioned in the above goals of the Program
  • bringing an American expert speaker or artist to Poland
  • cultural programs, and particularly those that target youth and underserved communities
  • exhibitions of works by Americans or on American themes
  • radio, television, and social media programming in support of the above objectives of the Program

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

  • fees and travel cost to attend conferences in the United States
  • ongoing salary costs
  • office equipment
  • paying to complete activities begun with other funds
  • projects that are inherently political in nature or that contain the appearance of partisanship/support to individual or single party electoral campaigns
  • exchange programs
  • social welfare projects
  • political party activities
  • projects that support specific religious activities
  • trade activities; fundraising campaigns; commercial projects; scientific research; construction projects; projects whose primary aim is the institutional development of the organization itself
  • representational expenses (exceptions:  expenses for coffee breaks and working lunches can be funded; alcohol, however, cannot)

Inviting U.S. Experts
As noted above, the U.S. Embassy welcomes grant proposals that invite U.S. citizen experts to Poland.  Costs for this component of a grant should be included in the proposal, to include the economy class fare of a ticket booked on a U.S. airline, a stipend for meals and accommodations, an honorarium of $200 per day and local transportation.  The proposal should offer a proposed daily schedule for the expert (minimum of two program days excluding travel time).  If participation in a conference is expected, please provide its description (organizer, topics, goals and objectives, audience, other sponsors and other expected speakers and participants).  


Amounts of Individual Awards
Although the maximum amount of an individual grant is $25,000, successful grant proposals typically range from $5,000-$10,000, and projects with local cost-sharing will be given preference.  All grants are subject to the availability of funds from the U.S. Department of State, and any costs and expenses incurred prior to receipt of grant money will not be reimbursed by the U.S. Embassy.     


The U.S. Embassy encourages applications from all sectors, including civil-society organizations, local representatives of civil society, think tanks, non-governmental organizations, academic institutions, media, and individuals. All grantees must have a non-profit status.

The U.S. Embassy seeks proposals for geographically and demographically diverse audiences within Poland, as well as proposals that involve cross-border cooperation between Poland and Eastern Partnership countries.  U.S. NGOs and individuals may apply, but preference is given to Polish NGOs or to partnerships that develop capacity with Polish NGOs or employees and include plans to transfer programs to sustainable local management in Poland.  


Application Submission
To apply, please first complete this form https://bit.ly/2GLlSZy in English.

All applicants will receive automatic confirmation of receipt of proposals.  Those whose grant proposals are eligible to continue to stage two will be invited to submit a complete, detailed Project Application, usually within 30 days of submission of the proposal.  

Eligibility Requirements
Proposals that have made it to the second stage of the selection process will receive additional information and a complete grant application.  As part of this process, the Public Affairs Section will consider grant requests only from organizations that have successfully registered in the System for Award Management (SAM).

To register in SAM one must first obtain DUNS and NCAGE numbers. This process may take from several days up to several weeks, so applicants are advised to start early.  Please note that no fee or payment is required to register for SAM or obtain DUNS and NCAGE numbers.  Any information to the contrary is false. 

DUNS Registration (Dun & Bradstreet -D&B)
To obtain a DUNS number please go to https://www.bisnode.pl/produkty/db-numer-duns/. Again, there is no fee to obtain a DUNS number in support of submitting a grant proposal to the U.S. government. Any information to the contrary is false, and any additional services offered during the registration process are not necessary. 

NCAGE Registration (NATO Commercial and Governmental Entity)
A NATO Commercial and Governmental Entity (NCAGE) Code must be assigned to the applicant organization. To request an NCAGE code, please go to https://eportal.nspa.nato.int/AC135Public/scage/CageList.aspx. More information is also here:


When obtaining DUNS and NCAGE numbers, please make sure that you provide exactly the same organization details (name, address) as in KRS and REGON.  

SAM Registration (System for Award Management)
To register in SAM please go to www.SAM.gov.  Again, no fee or payment is required to register for SAM.

If you are registering a new entity in SAM.gov, you must provide an original, signed notarized letter stating that you are the authorized Entity Administrator before your registration will be activated.  The Recipient is required to scan and submit a letter through Federal Service Desk. For instructions please click here (PDF). 

Important Note to Individual Applicants:  Applicants who submit proposals as individuals are not required to register with SAM and obtain numbers from DUNS or NCAGE.


Results of the Small Grants Competition
Pending availability of funds from the U.S. Department of State, applicants whose grant proposals are eligible to continue to stage two will be will be notified via email about the result of their grant proposals usually within 30 days of submission, with successful applicants receiving additional information on how to complete the application process.

Small Grants applications will be reviewed by a committee of the U.S. Embassy.  Since grants are contingent on the availability of funds from the U.S. Department of State, applicants are encouraged to submit proposals that possess flexible start dates.  Any costs and expenses incurred prior to receipt of grant money will not be reimbursed by the U.S. Embassy.

Grant Criteria
Each application submitted under this announcement will be evaluated and rated on the basis of the following evaluation criteria:

  • addresses one or more of the initiatives of the Public Diplomacy Small Grants Program
  • forges new people-to-people connections between Americans and Poles
  • creates new ties between U.S. and Polish institutions, organizations, and networking groups
  • promotes strengthened understanding of American culture, society, its democratic values and institutions
  • helps to promote diversity and inclusion of minority groups, including persons with disabilities and the LGBTI community
  • preferably possesses a strong U.S. component (ie, an American speaker, a current or proposed partnership with U.S. counterparts, a theme or topic originating in, or inspired by U.S. history or society, etc.)
  • is innovative and targets young audiences
  • possesses a strong social media component
  • involves as much as possible the network in Poland of the U.S. Department of State-sponsored American Spaces (American Corners, America@YourLibrary, Young Learners Resource Centers) 


All grants that are disbursed to successful applicants will require both program and financial reports on a frequency specified in the award agreement. The disbursement of funds may be tied to submission of these reports in a timely manner.  All other details related to grant administration will be specified in the grant agreement between the U.S. Embassy and successful applicant.


The Public Affairs Section frequently receives requests from individuals and institutions seeking “honorary patronage” from the U.S. Embassy or the Ambassador (including the use of U.S. Embassy seal) for projects or events.  Due to U.S. government ethics guidelines, however, the U.S. Embassy is unable to issue “patronage” or letters of support to institutions that do not receive funding from the United States government.  


All questions about the U.S. Embassy’s Small Grants Program should be sent to: grantspoland@state.gov.