PD Poland Annual Program Statement

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
U.S. MISSION TO POLAND
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 Annual Program Statement
Funding Opportunity Number:        WAW-NOFO-FY24-01
Deadline for Applications:               Round 1 Deadline:  March 15, 2024, Round 2 Deadline:  May 30, 2024
CFDA Number:                                  19.040 – Public Diplomacy Programs
Estimated Total Program Funding:  $150,000. Funding may be available to renew awards issued under this program for a period of two additional years.
Minimum & Maximum for Each Award:  $15,000 – $40,000

 A. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

The Public Diplomacy Section of the U.S. Department of State at U.S. Embassy Warsaw and Consulate General Krakow (PD Poland) is pleased to announce that funding is available through its Public Diplomacy Grants Program. This is an Annual Program Statement, outlining our funding priorities, the strategic themes we focus on, and the procedures for submitting requests for funding.  Please carefully follow all instructions below. Awards will be made to successful applicants subject to the availability of appropriated funds.

PD Poland will host an online information session on Thursday, February 1, 2024 at 3:00 p.m. CET for parties interested in submitting proposals in response to this funding opportunity.  To participate in the session, please send a registration request by email to grantspoland@state.gov no later than midnight, Tuesday, January 30, 2024.

Purpose of Grants: PD Poland invites proposals for programs that strengthen ties between the United States and Poland through activities that highlight shared values, promote bilateral cooperation, and forge enduring connections between the United States and emerging Polish leaders (high school students, university students, and young professionals ages 16 to 35), as well as established community leaders in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors.  All proposals are required to have a clear connection to the United States, either through U.S. organizations, experts, and/or best practices in order to increase the awareness and understanding of U.S. perspectives, policies, and society.   Proposals without significant U.S. content will not be considered for funding.

Examples of possible public diplomacy grant activities include, but are not limited to:

  • Youth engagement programs.
  • Participatory and/or problem-solving workshops like “tech camps.”
  • Soft skills and leadership-building workshops, seminars, and trainings that develop human capital and social or economic innovation.
  • Workshops, seminars, trainings, master classes, and exhibitions on themes or topics that advance shared democracy, economic, and security goals.
  • Programs that reinforce and amplify lessons learned by Polish alumni of U.S. Government-funded and private sector exchange programs.

Priority Program Areas: 

ECONOMIC PROSPERITY

  • Addressing barriers to the advancement of women in STEM fields and business.
  • Strengthening the business skills of young entrepreneurs.
  • Sharing best practices of U.S. businesses operating in Poland.
  • Promoting the development of trade and investment with the United States, including entrepreneurship, small- and medium-sized businesses, and innovation as the basis for strong, sustainable, inclusive economic growth that creates quality employment and incorporates diverse and excluded groups.
  • Promoting joint Polish-U.S. science, space, and innovation initiatives carried out by research organizations, nongovernmental organizations, universities, and private companies. 

ENSURING SECURITY

  • Demonstrating the benefits of the of the Polish-U.S. security partnership and NATO Alliance for Polish emerging leaders (high school and university students ages 15-25 and/or young professionals ages 25-34).
  • Promoting a deeper understanding of the impact of Polish and U.S. political, military, and humanitarian support for Ukraine and for Ukrainians in Poland.
  • Strengthen cyber security awareness.

STRENGTHENING DEMOCRACY

  • Leadership training fostering innovation and critical thinking among young people (ages 16 to 24).
  • Strengthening media practitioners’ and media consumers’ media literacy and ability to detect and combat mis/disinformation.
  • Promoting Holocaust education and/or human rights education. 

Participants and Audiences:

Proposals should describe both the primary and secondary audiences for the program, including anticipated numbers to be reached.  Primary audiences are those who will participate directly in the program, while secondary audiences are those who will be reached by the project’s primary audiences as a result of their participation.  Priority target audiences in Poland for this funding opportunity are youth and young professionals (aged 16 to 35) who have demonstrated strong leadership potential, established professionals engaged in fields relevant to the U.S.-Polish partnership, and community leaders.

The following types of programs are not eligible for funding:

  • Programs relating to partisan political activity;
  • Charitable, clinical (including mental health services), or development activities;
  • Construction programs;
  • Programs that support specific religious activities;
  • Fund-raising campaigns;
  • Lobbying for specific legislation or programs;
  • Academic or scientific research;
  • Programs intended primarily for the growth or institutional development of the organization; and
  • Individual travel to attend a conference and/or courses at any educational institution.

This funding opportunity aims to support specific projects with objectives that can be achieved within a set timeframe.  We will not accept applications that are aimed more broadly at supporting your organization’s usual or typical daily activities and operations. Those will be deemed technically ineligible and will not be considered for funding by the review committee. 

Authorizing legislation, type, and year of funding:

Funding authority rests in the Smith-Mundt.  The source of funding is Fiscal Year 2024 Public Diplomacy Funding.

B. FEDERAL AWARD INFORMATION

This notice is subject to the availability of funding. PD Poland reserves 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:  Up to 18 months 

Number of awards anticipated:  Up to 8 awards 

Award amounts:  Awards may range from a minimum of $15,000 to a maximum of $40,000. 

Total available funding:  Approximately $150,000 

Type of Funding:  Fiscal Year 2024 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 18 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 the review and approval of program modifications, such as project locations, participant numbers, implementing organizations, or program structure; provision of guidance and concurrence on participant outreach, recruitment, and selection; and a review of implementing organizations’ program descriptions and program plans/schedules. 

Program Performance Period: Proposed programs should be completed in 18 months or less.

Additional Information: Awards may be eligible for renewal up to two times pending successful performance, availability of funds, and a determination that continued administration of the project would be in the best interest of the U.S. Mission in Poland.

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 

  1. Address to Request Application Package

Application forms required below are available at: https://www.grants.gov/forms/forms-repository/ 

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

The following documents are required:

a. 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.

 b. 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.

 c. 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 become 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.

d. 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 Submissionsbelow for further information.

e. 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
  1. 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 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 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:
https://eportal.nspa.nato.int/AC135Public/sc/CageList.aspx

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, 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

PD Poland will accept and review proposals according to the following schedule:

  • Proposals received between January 1, 2024, and March 15, 2024: PD Poland will review and strive to provide funding decisions by May 1, 2024.
  • Proposals received between March 16, 2024, and May 30, 2024: PD Poland will review and strive to provide funding decisions by July 15, 2024.
  1. Funding Restrictions
  • Fees and travel cost to attend conferences in the United States, unless the travel is part of a larger-scope program/project and will tie directly to activities in Poland;
  • Ongoing salary costs (e.g., standing up or maintaining the operation of an organization);
  • Office equipment;
  • Paying to complete activities begun with other funds;
  • Refreshments (exception: expenses for coffee breaks and working lunches which are essential to the realization of the program might be funded); and
  • Costs of providing alcoholic beverages.

Furthermore, award funds cannot be used for construction projects, vehicle purchases, real estate purchases or for other similar purposes, or for costs which are determined as unallowable in 2 CFR 200.

  1. Other Submission Requirements

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

The subject line of the email should list the name of the applying organization followed by the NOFO number, which is WAW-NOFO-FY24-01.

E. APPLICATION REVIEW INFORMATION

  1. Criteria

Each application will be evaluated and rated based on the evaluation criteria outlined below. The criteria listed are closely related and are considered in judging the overall quality of an application.

  • Organizational capacity and record on previous grants: The organization has expertise in its stated field and PD Poland is confident of its ability to undertake the program.  This includes a financial management system and a bank account.
  • 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.
  • Goals and objectives: SMART goals and objectives are clearly stated, and the program approach is likely to provide maximum impact in achieving the proposed results.
  • Embassy priorities: Applicant has clearly described how stated goals are related to and supports U.S. Embassy Warsaw and Consulate General Krakow’s priority areas and target audiences.
  • Strength of American component: The extent to which the project will engage American experts/counterparts, create or strengthen ties between U.S. and Polish peer institutions, foster connections between Americans and Poles, or present American culture and society or best practices in an innovative manner.
  • 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 it can measure program success against key indicators and provide 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.
  1. 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.
  1. Responsibility/Qualification Information in SAM.gov (formerly, FAPIIS)

For any Federal award under a Notice of Funding Opportunity, if the Federal awarding agency anticipates that the total Federal share will be greater than the simplified acquisition threshold over the period of performance (see §200.01 Simplified Acquisition Threshold), this section must also inform applicants that:

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 in the designated integrity and performance systems accessible through SAM that a Federal awarding agency previously entered;

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 §200.205 Federal awarding agency review of risk posed by applicants.

F. FEDERAL AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION 

  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.

Payment Method: Payments will be made in at least two installments, as needed to carry out the program activities.

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

  1. 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.

  1. Reporting

 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.

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 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. 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.