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2021 US-PH Alumni Small Grants Program
June 9, 2021



2021 US-PH Alumni Small Grants Program


Funding Opportunity Title:  U.S. Embassy Philippines PAS Small Grants FY2019
Funding Opportunity Number: 21-PHL-NOFO-ALUMNI
Deadline for Applications:  December 31, 2021
CFDA Number:  19.040 – Public Diplomacy Programs
Maximum for Each Award:  $25,000


The U.S. Embassy in the Philippines’ Public Affairs Section (PAS Philippines) of the U.S. Department of State is pleased to announce that we are considering proposals for the 2021 US-PH Alumni Small Grants Program.  This announcement outlines our funding priorities, the strategic themes we focus on, and the procedures for submitting funding requests.  Please read this document carefully and follow all instructions.  This notice is subject to availability of funding.


PAS Philippines invites proposals from alumni of U.S. government-funded exchange programs for projects that strengthen ties between the Philippines and the United States through projects that highlight shared values and promote bilateral cooperation and priorities. Proposals should also encourage alumni collaboration and strengthen alumni networks. Alumni can submit proposals as individuals or as an alumni-led non-profit organization. Budget should not exceed $25,000.

Examples of projects include, but are not limited to:

  • Alumni-led capacity-building workshops for youth leaders.
  • Alumni experts conducting speaking tours/public talks, roundtable discussions, and workshops;
  • Academic and professional lectures and seminars on priority topics with alumni as speakers and/or organizers;
  • Programs/workshops/performances and exhibitions to engage USG alumni, and create and/or strengthen alumni networks in the area;


Priority will be given to project proposals that engage the U.S.-Philippine alumni networks in advancing one or more of the U.S. Embassy’s goals, including:

  • Programs that enhance U.S.-Philippines security cooperation, including deterring illegal maritime activities, reducing the threat of terrorism, encouraging peaceful resolution of disputes, and advancing peace and stability in conflict-affected areas.
  • Programs that foster greater bilateral trade and investment between the U.S. and the Philippines.
  • Programs that develop stronger linkages between the United States, Philippines, and the Indo-Pacific region.
  • Programs that support increased transparency and good governance, as well as respect for the rule of law and human rights.
  • Programs that enhance environmental and disaster resilience.
  • Programs that increase public awareness and engagement on regional and global issues.
  • Programs that improve media and information literacy.
  • Programs to build the capacity of civil society organizations.
Participants and Audiences:

PAS Philippines’ target audiences include U.S.-Philippines alumni networks, national and regional media, NGOs and think tanks, government officials (state, district, and municipal officials; policy makers, civil servants), cultural and educational leaders, next generation leaders (e.g., innovators, digital influencers, campus leaders), youth from underserved communities, and universities.

Please note that the following types of programs are not eligible for funding: 
  • Programs relating to partisan political activity;
  • Charitable, humanitarian, or development activities;
  • Construction programs;
  • Programs that support specific religious activities;
  • Fund-raising campaigns or programs charging a fee for participation;
  • Lobbying for specific legislation or programs;
  • Scientific research;
  • Programs intended primarily for the growth or institutional development of an organization; or
  • Programs that duplicate existing programs.


  • Length of performance period is 12 to 24 months.
  • Award amounts may range from a minimum of $5,000 to a maximum of $25,000.
  • Proposals are accepted on a rolling basis throughout the year and reviewed quarterly in March, June, September, and December.

Funding Instrument Type:  Grant, Fixed Amount Award, or Cooperative Agreement. Cooperative Agreements are different from grants in that PAS Philippines staff is more actively involved in the grant implementation.

Program Performance Period: Proposed programs are usually completed in one year or less, but may be extended in special circumstances.  PAS Philippines 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.


The Public Affairs Section encourages applications from alumni of U.S. government- sponsored exchange programs based in United States and the Philippines. Individuals and alumni-led registered not-for-profit organizations, including think tanks, civil society/non-governmental organizations with relevant programming experience are also encouraged to apply, as long as the project will engage fellow alumni.  For-profit or commercial entities are not eligible to apply.

Cost sharing or matching is not required for this funding opportunity.

Pre-award costs are not an allowable expense for this funding opportunity.

Applications may be submitted for consideration at any time on or before the closing date of this funding opportunity.

Other Eligibility Requirements: 

Alumni-led organizations with identification codes (DUNS, NCAGE, and SAM) are preferable.  (Note: This requirement does NOT apply to individuals.) To register:

Step 1: Apply for a DUNS number 

Obtain a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number from Dun & Bradstreet. If your organization does not have one already, you may obtain one by calling 1-866-705-5711 or visiting https://fedgov.dnb.com/webform

Step 2: Apply for an NCAGE number

Obtain an NCAGE code by visiting https://eportal.nspa.nato.int/AC135Public/scage/CageList.aspx
Instructions for the NCAGE application process: https://eportal.nspa.nato.int/AC135Public/Docs/US%20Instructions%20for%20NSPA%20NCAGE.pdf
Phone: 1-888-227-2423 (within the U.S.) or 1-269-961-7766 (outside of the U.S.)
Email: NCAGE@dlis.dla.mil

Step 3: Register for SAM

After you have received your NCAGE Code, you may register in SAM.  Log on to https://www.sam.gov/SAM/. SAM registration must be renewed annually.


Instructions: Please follow all instructions below carefully. Failure to furnish all information or comply with stated requirements may lead to the application’s disqualification for consideration. Applicants must set forth accurate and complete information as required by this Annual Program Statement.

Step 1: Fill out the mandatory federal assistance forms

  • Application for Federal Assistance (SF-424) [V2.1]
  • Organization or
  • Individual
  • Budget Narrative Attachment Form [V1.2]
  • Project Narrative Attachment Form [V1.2]
  • Budget Information for Non-Construction programs (SF424A) [V1.0]
  • Assurances for Non-Construction programs (SF-424B) [V1.1]
  • All forms are available as part of the grants package on grants.gov

Step 2: Create a coversheet

The cover sheet includes the applicant’s name and organization, proposal date, program title, and a proposed start and end date.  It should also include a very brief synopsis of the goals to be achieved through the program.

Step 3: Attach the optional forms

Submit the optional forms if they apply to your proposal. (Disclosure of Lobbying Activities, SF-LLL V1.2 and Attachments V1.2) Feel free to submit additional information as you think necessary.

Step 4: Carefully read the terms and conditions

Read the terms and conditions that apply to this award.  Funded proposals are expected to fully comply with these terms and conditions, including:

Complete a final review of your documents.  Ensure that:

  • The proposal clearly addresses the goals and objectives of this funding opportunity;
  • All documents are in English;
  • All budgets are submitted in U.S. dollars;
  • All pages are numbered;
  • All documents are formatted to 8 ½ x 11 paper;
  • All materials are submitted in .pdf format.

When these steps are complete, you may submit your application package through Grants.gov or via email to alumniphilippines@state.gov.

Deadline of submissions:
ROUND 1 Review: April 31
ROUND 2 Review: July 31
ROUND 3 Review: December 31


  1. Criteria. Each application submitted under this announcement will be evaluated and rated on the basis of the criteria enumerated in Section F below. The criteria are designed to assess the quality of the proposed project, and to determine the likelihood of its success.
  2. Acknowledgement of receipt. Applicants will receive acknowledgment of receipt of their proposal.
  3. Review.  A technical review panel will review the proposal based upon the criteria noted in Part F. A determination will be made regarding the program’s proposed area of activity and the Mission’s strategic goals. Proposals that are the best fit will be given additional consideration.
  4. Follow up notification.  Applicants will generally be notified within 90 days after the submission deadline regarding the results of the review panel.


Professional capacity and record on previous grants: The organization or individual has expertise in its stated field and has demonstrated its ability to implement the program, including strong financial management and appropriate personnel. (10 points)

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. (20 points)

Goals and objectives: Goals and objectives are clearly stated and the program’s approach is likely to provide maximum impact in achieving the proposed results. (10 points)

Embassy priorities: Applicant has clearly described how stated goals are related to and support U.S. Embassy Philippines’ priority areas or target audiences. (20 points)

Budget: The budget justification details reasonable and appropriate costs in relation to the proposed activities and anticipated results. The budget is realistic, accounting for all necessary expenses to achieve proposed goals and objectives. (20 points)

Monitoring and evaluation plan: Applicant demonstrates ability to 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 they will be measured. (10 points)

Sustainability: Program activities will continue to have a positive impact after the end of the program. (10 points)


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 after 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 funding opportunity 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 as needed to carry out the program activities.
Organizations whose applications will not be funded will also be notified via email.


If you have any questions about the grant application process, please email alumniphilippines@state.gov.

Note:  We do not provide any pre-consultation for application-related questions. Once an application has been submitted, staff will not discuss the competition until the entire proposal review process is completed.


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 property that is required to implement 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, 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 document. 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: “Cost Sharing” refers to contributions from the organization or 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.

More information about the grant and related documents can be found here: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=331420