PD Poland Festivals in Poland 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 Festivals in Poland Grant Funding 2024
Funding Opportunity Number:  WAW-NOFO-FY24-02
Deadline for Applications:  March 1, 2024
CFDA Number:  19.040 – Public Diplomacy Programs
Total Amount Available:  $35,000
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 award to deepen understanding of the United States through film, music, science, cultural, and other festivals in Poland.  PD Poland invites proposals from eligible organizations for projects beginning no earlier than April 15, 2024.  The deadline for this NOFO, #WAW-NOFO-FY24-02, is Friday, March 1, 2024.

Please follow all instructions below.

Program Objectives:

This program will deepen understanding of the United States through the engagement of U.S. experts, artists, performers, or cultural works at festivals in Poland.  Strong proposals will also advance priorities in the U.S.-Polish partnership, including but not limited to promoting economic, social, and scientific innovation; strengthening democratic practice, civic engagement, and tolerance; promoting gender equality; or building ties with next generation leaders and community influencers.

Participants and Audiences

PD Poland’s primary audiences for this funding opportunity are Polish students and young professionals, ages 18-35, as well as community influencers.  PD Poland encourages efforts to ensure gender parity and geographic 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 attract them to participate in the festival.  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.

Key Programming Descriptions:

Each proposal should meet the following objectives:

  • Facilitate enduring connections between American artists, performers, or experts and Polish audiences.
  • Promote American artists, performers, experts, or cultural works (films, theater performances, literature, music, etc.) to Polish audiences through festivals held in Poland.
  • Increase program participants’ understanding of American culture, society, or expertise, including the rich diversity of the American experience.

Preference will be given to proposals that prioritize and maximize the impact on the audience while limiting overhead, equipment, and other expenses that do not directly support program participants.  Preference will also be given to proposals that support interactive engagement of audiences with American artists, performers, experts or works.  Proposals for in-person, virtual, and hybrid engagement will be considered.

A successful proposal should include a detailed proposed schedule of activities related to program objectives.

Activities that could be funded include, but are not limited to:

  • Acquisition of screening or performance rights for American films, theater pieces, music, or other works of art;
  • Translations for subtitles for American films; and
  • Participation of U.S. artists, performers, critics, or experts in appearances, lectures, workshops, and master classes, etc.

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

  • Projects that 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;
  • Travel to the United States for conferences, scientific research, studies, cultural events, 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; or
  • Food and drink beyond the cost of coffee breaks and working lunches (alcohol will not be funded).

B. FEDERAL AWARD INFORMATION: 

Length of performance period:  Up to 12 months 

Number of awards anticipated:  Up to 6 awards 

Award amounts: awards may range from a minimum of $2,500 to a maximum of $10,000

Projects for lesser or greater values will be considered on a case-by-case basis. 

Total available funding: $35,000 

Type of Funding: FY24 Smith-Mundt Public Diplomacy Funds 

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 issued.  Applicants are encouraged to submit proposals well in advance of the intended project start date.

Required registrations: SAM.gov 

This notice is subject to availability of funding. 

Funding Instrument Type: Grant, Fixed Amount Award (FAAs), or Cooperative Agreement, depending on proposal.  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; assistance in identifying potential program partners; 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

PD Poland encourages applications from Polish citizens and/or non-governmental organizations (NGO), including:

  • Registered public or private non-profit organizations
  • Public or private non-profit educational institutions
  • Public or private non-profit cultural institutions
  • Individuals

U.S. and third-country organizations or nationals are not eligible for grants under this program unless in partnership with a Polish citizen or NGO.

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

  1. Cost Sharing or Matching

Cost-share is not required; however, if provided, please detail whether the cost-share is through in-cash or in-kind contributions and the approximate dollar amount.  Cost-share will not be included in the criteria for evaluation.

  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 (System for Award Management) as well as a valid registration on www.SAM.gov.  Please see Section D.1 for more information.  Individuals are not required to have a UEI or be registered in SAM.gov.

Applicants are only allowed to submit one proposal per organization in response to this funding opportunity.  If more than one proposal is submitted from an organization in response to this funding opportunity, all proposals from that institution will be considered ineligible for funding.

D. APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION

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

Submit all forms as PDFs in electronic format to grantspoland@state.gov no later than March 1, 2024 at midnight.  No late proposals will be considered.

The subject line of the email should list the name of the applying organization followed by the NOFO number, which is WAW-NOFO-FY24-02.

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:

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. 

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

Cost sharing is not required and will not be evaluated during the Grant Review.

Submit all forms as PDFs in electronic format to GrantsPoland@state.gov no later than March 1, 2024, at midnight.  All questions about this NOFO should be addressed to: grantspoland@state.go

  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 decides 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.

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 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 and will engage American experts/counterparts, create or strengthen ties between U.S. and Polish peer institutions, foster connections between Americans and priority Polish target audiences, and present American culture and society or best practices in an engaging and 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 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 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 ProcessA 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

  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 and after the Kickoff meeting has taken place.

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.

  1. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

Terms and Conditions: Before submitting an applications, 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, and the Department of State Standard Terms and Conditions, https://www.state.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/U.S.-Department-of-State-Standard-Terms-and-Conditions-10-21-2020-508.pdf

*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. The award document will specify how often these reports must be submitted. For a grant not more than a one-year grant, at least two reports would be required: an interim report halfway through the timeframe, and a final report (programmatic and financial) at the end. The disbursement of funds may be tied to submission of these reports in a timely manner.

G. FEDERAL AWARDING AGENCY CONTACTS

Any prospective applicant who has questions concerning the contents of this NOFO should email 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.

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.

H. OTHER INFORMATION

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”: 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.

I. REQUESTS FOR “HONORARY PATRONAGE”

PD Poland 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.