U.S. Embassy Small Grants Program 2018

The U.S. Embassy Small Grants Program Competition

Warsaw, Poland – The U.S. Embassy Small Grants competition is now a two-step process with applications being submitted and reviewed on a continuous, year-round basis.  The first step in applying for funding through the U.S. Embassy Small Grants Program is to fill out the form here: https://bit.ly/2GLlSZy

Proposals 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 invited to submit a complete, detailed Project Application.  All funding decisions are pending availability of U.S. Department of State funds, and any costs and expenses incurred prior to receipt of grant money will not be reimbursed by the U.S. Embassy.

GRANTS

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

  1. Civic Engagement and Shared Values: Projects that increase involvement of civil society and youth in decision-making processes; support civic education of youth and youth public advocacy; develop critical thinking and problem solving among youth; support leadership education, empowerment and the rights of women; support inclusion of minorities, people with disabilities and other groups in public policy-making; and strengthen understanding of U.S. democratic values and institutions.
  1. People-to-People Ties and History of Polish-U.S. Relations:In recognition of the 100th anniversary of U.S.-Polish diplomatic relations in 2019, projects that increase public awareness, especially among youth, of the history of Polish-U.S. relations over the last century; highlight the critical role that people-to-people connections have played between our two countries the last hundred years; and create opportunities to discuss and shape the future of Polish-U.S. relations and people-to-people ties heading into the second century of relations.
  1. Entrepreneurship, Innovation and STEAM: Projects that promote a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation, particularly among youth and emerging entrepreneurs; give tools to innovative youth and emerging entrepreneurs to incubate and commercialize their ideas; promote education of youth, particularly girls and young women, in the fields of science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM); develop networking opportunities for young entrepreneurs and STEAM students with Poland’s private sector; develop networking and business opportunities for innovative youth and emerging entrepreneurs in Poland with innovators, business incubators, and businesses in the United States.
  1. Media Literacy: Projects that: 1) promote media literacy among youth/students, civil society, media, academia, and digital communicators; 2) train consumers how to identify and evaluate disinformation; and 3) 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.
  1. International Security: Projects that increase public awareness of and support, particularly among youth, for transatlantic and international security cooperation between the United States, Poland, and NATO to meet global security challenges.
  1. U.S. Culture: Projects that promote increased awareness of the role of U.S. culture in modern American society, including that of sports, music and dance, art and design, cuisine and travel, and education; and youth-focused projects that help promote American Studies and study opportunities in the United States.

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

  • youth engagement, leadership, and education 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 performer 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).  

AWARD INFORMATION  

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.     

ELIGIBILITY

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  

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:

https://eportal.nspa.nato.int/AC135Public/Docs/US%20Instructions%20for%20NSPA%20NCAGE.pdf

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, as long as original letter is mailed and received within 45 days. 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.

REVIEW AND SELECTION PROCESS  

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.

Review
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) 

REPORTING REQUIREMENTS

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.

REQUESTS FOR “HONORARY PATRONAGE”

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.  

INQUIRIES

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