U.S. Embassy Grants Program


U.S. Consulate General in Krakow

Notice of Funding Opportunity


Funding Opportunity Title:  Promoting Local Polish Media Coverage of Ukrainians Returning and Rebuilding

Funding Opportunity Number: WAW-NOFO-FY23-05

Deadline for Applications: Friday, September 15, 2023

Assistance Listing Number: 19.040 – Smith-Mundt

Total Amount Available: $50,000



The Public Diplomacy Section of the U.S. Consulate General in Krakow announces an open competition for organizations to submit applications to carry out a project to promote coverage in Poland by local and regional media representatives of stories in Ukraine, to include a small grants competition for Polish journalists to support this work.  Please follow all instructions below.

Program Objectives:

The Public Diplomacy Section of U.S. Consulate General Krakow seeks to promote in-depth reporting by local and regional Polish media of the return of Ukrainian families from Poland to Ukraine and their social and physical rebuilding efforts, particularly those built on partnerships between Poles and Ukrainians.  The goal of this funding opportunity is to promote:  public understanding of the challenges and opportunities faced by Ukrainians; public interest in Ukrainian efforts to return and rebuild; and the enduring impact of support provided by Polish society to Ukrainian refugees.  This effort builds on the success of many Polish news organizations to provide in-depth war coverage and localized content from Ukraine, and the country’s rich tradition of high-quality journalism in conflict zones.  The project seeks to expand the reach of such reporting to new audiences and provide diverse perspectives to established audiences.

This project will support training and content production, tailored to Polish journalists.  On a competitive basis, the project will provide small grants for Polish journalists to develop and execute reporting on the return of refugees from Poland and rebuilding efforts.  Measures of success will include qualitative and quantitative analysis of the quality and reach of reports generated by participating journalists.

The workshop(s) should address:  culturally sensitive and trauma-informed manner and how to create compelling human-interest stories in this context.  Safety measures will be emphasized, especially if there are participants interested in reporting from eastern Ukraine.  Workshop sessions should be led by individuals accomplished in human-interest and conflict reporting in Ukraine, as well as experts in the intersection between mental health and journalism in war zones and other experts with relevant knowledge and experience.

Workshop participants will then be invited to submit proposals for financial support for the development of journalistic content focused on stories of refugees who have returned from Poland to Ukraine and/or ongoing efforts to rebuild or strengthen Ukrainian communities physically, economically, or socially.    The most competitive proposals will be selected for funding.  Applicants should address in their proposals experience and expertise in supporting professional journalists through reporting tours or other mechanisms.

The following types of programs, activities and expenses are not eligible for funding: 

  • Programs relating to partisan political activity;
  • Charitable or development activities;
  • Construction programs;
  • 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; or
  • Programs that duplicate existing programs.
  • Paying to complete activities already begun;
  • Ongoing salary costs;
  • Alcoholic beverages

Participants and Audiences:

Polish journalists and editors from local and regional outlets throughout the country.  Photographers, videographers, audio technicians, and producers may be included as journalists.  Applicants should describe in detail how they will select participants and how many people will be included in each phase of the program.


Length of performance period: 12 months

Number of awards anticipated: one award

Award amounts: the award may range up to a maximum of $50,000

Total available funding: $50,000

Type of Funding:  FY23 Smith Mundt Public Diplomacy Funds

Anticipated program start date:  Between October 1 and November 15, 2023

This notice is subject to availability of funding.

Funding Instrument Type:  Cooperative agreement. Embassy staff will have substantial involvement in the grant implementation, including reviewing and approving selection of participants, trainers, and award decisions within the project.

Program Performance Period: Proposed programs should be completed in 12 months 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.


1.Eligible Applicants

The following organizations are eligible to apply

  • Not-for-profit organizations, including think tanks, not-for-profit media organizations, and civil society/non-governmental organizations
  • Public and private educational institutions
  • Public International Organizations

2. Cost Sharing or Matching

This program does not require cost sharing, however in-kind financial contributions will be favorably considered.

3. Other Eligibility Requirements

In order 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 in SAM.gov.

Organizations must be based in either Poland or the United States.  Organizations based in other countries should not apply.  Organizations based in the United States should present evidence of a relationship with a local partner operating in Poland as part of their proposals.


1.Address to Request Application Package

Application forms required below are available at: https://pl.usembassy.gov/education-culture/grants/ and grants.gov

2.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
    • Large graphic files are discouraged
    • ZIP and RAR files are discouraged
  • All Microsoft Word documents are single-spaced, 12 point Calibri font, with a minimum of 1-inch margins.

The following documents are required:

1. Mandatory application forms


2.  Attachments

  • 1-page resumes or CVs of key personnel who are proposed for the program
  • Letters of support (if applicable) from program partners describing the roles and responsibilities of each partner
  • Official permission letters (if required for program activities)
  • Copy of registration on sam.gov
  • If your organization has a Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate Agreement (NICRA) and includes NICRA charges in the budget, your latest NICRA should be included as a PDF file

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. 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.

Note:  As of April 2022, a DUNS number is no longer required for federal assistance applications.

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 in order 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 and 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:


NCAGE Code Request Tool (NCRT):


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, if the Federal awarding agency makes a determination that there are exigent circumstances that prohibit the applicant from receiving a unique entity identifier and completing SAM registration prior to receiving a Federal award. In these instances, Federal awarding agencies must require the recipient to obtain a unique entity identifier and complete SAM 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.

1. Submission Dates and Times

Applications are due no later than Friday, September 15, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. Central European Time (GMT +2).  Applications submitted after this date will be ineligible for consideration.

Begin the application process early, as this will allow time to address any technical difficulties that may arise in advance of the deadline.  There will be no exceptions to this application deadline.

Applicants are encouraged to submit applications before the deadline, if they are prepared to do so.

2. Other Submission Requirements

All application materials must be submitted by email to the Public Diplomacy Section, U.S. Consulate General in Krakow, Poland, at GrantsPoland@state.gov.


  1. Criteria

Each application will be evaluated and rated on the basis of the evaluation criteria outlined below.

Quality and Feasibility of the Program Idea – 30 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.

U.S. Program Elements – 5 points:  Program includes an American cultural element, or connection with U.S. expert(s), organization(s), approach(es), or institution(s) that will promote shared values and promotes bilateral cooperation.

Budget – 15 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 – 5 points:  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 – 5 points:  Program activities will continue to have positive impact after the end of the program.

Support of Equity and Underserved Communities – 5 points: Proposals should clearly demonstrate how the program will support and advance equity and engage underserved communities in program administration, design, and implementation.

2. Review and Selection Process

A review committee will evaluate all eligible applications and all applicants will be notified in writing of funding decisions.

3. Responsibility/Qualification Information in SAM.gov (formerly, FAPIIS)

i. The Federal awarding agency, prior to making a Federal award with a total amount of Federal share greater than the simplified acquisition threshold, is required to review and consider any information about the applicant that is in the U.S. government designated integrity and performance system accessible through SAM.gov (see 41 U.S.C. 2313);

ii. An applicant, at its option, may review and comment on any information about itself that a Federal awarding agency previously entered. Currently, federal agencies create integrity records in the integrity module of the Contractor Performance Assessment and Reporting System (CPARS) and these records are visible as responsibility/qualification records in SAM.gov;

iii. The Federal awarding agency will consider any comments by the applicant, in addition to the other information in the designated integrity and performance system, in making a judgment about the applicant’s integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under Federal awards when completing the review of risk posed by applicants as described in §200.206 Federal awarding agency review of risk posed by applicants.

1. Anticipated Announcement and Federal Award Dates

Decisions will be announced and successful applicants awarded cooperative agreements no later than October 1, 2023.


    1. 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.

Payments will be made in several installments. An initial segment will be authorized to initiate the project. The applicant must provide interim reports about the use of the transferred segment of funds before the following segment is released.

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

Before submitting an application, 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:

In accordance with the Office of Management and Budget’s guidance located at 2 CFR part 200, all applicable Federal laws, and relevant Executive guidance, the Department of State will review and consider applications for funding, as applicable to specific programs, pursuant to this notice of funding opportunity in accordance with the following:  NOTE:

  • Guidance for Grants and Agreements in Title 2 of the Code of Federal Regulations (2 CFR), as updated in the Federal Register’s 85 FR 49506 on August 13, 2020, particularly on:
    • Selecting recipients most likely to be successful in delivering results based on the program objectives through an objective process of evaluating Federal award applications (2 CFR part 200.205),
    • Prohibiting the purchase of certain telecommunication and video surveillance services or equipment in alignment with section 889 of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2019 (Pub. L. No. 115—232) (2 CFR part 200.216),
    • Promoting the freedom of speech and religious liberty in alignment with Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty (E.O. 13798) and Improving Free Inquiry, Transparency, and Accountability at Colleges and Universities (E.O. 13864) (§§ 200.300, 200.303, 200.339, and 200.341),
    • Providing a preference, to the extent permitted by law, to maximize use of goods, products, and materials produced in the United States (2 CFR part 200.322), and
    • Terminating agreements in whole or in part to the greatest extent authorized by law, if an award no longer effectuates the program goals or agency priorities (2 CFR part 200.340).


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.

Foreign Assistance Data Review: As required by Congress, the Department of State must make progress in its efforts to improve tracking and reporting of foreign assistance data through the Foreign Assistance Data Review (FADR). The FADR requires tracking of foreign assistance activity data from budgeting, planning, and allocation through obligation and disbursement.  Successful applicants will be required to report and draw down federal funding based on the appropriate FADR Data Elements, indicated within their award documentation.  In cases of more than one FADR Data Element, typically program or sector and/or regions or country, the successful applicant will be required to maintain separate accounting records.


If you have any questions about the grant application process, grantspoland@state.gov.  


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 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.




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 Grants Program should be sent to: grantspoland@state.gov.