U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
U.S. EMBASSY PHILIPPINES, PUBLIC AFFAIRS SECTION
2023 American Spaces Small Grants Program
Funding Opportunity Title: 2023 American Spaces Small Grants Program
Funding Opportunity Number: 23-PHL-NOFO-AMSPACE
Deadline for Applications: May 25, 2023
CFDA Number: 19.040 – Public Diplomacy Programs
Maximum for the Award: $11,500
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 2023 American Spaces Small Grants Program. Our funding goals, strategic themes, and processes for submitting grant proposals are all outlined in this notice. Please read carefully and follow all instructions. This notice is subject to the availability of funding.
A. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION
PAS Philippines invites individuals and non-profit organizations to submit project proposals that would enhance Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education for women and girls in the Philippines while leveraging U.S. models and expertise. This project aims to empower and encourage high school students to pursue higher education and careers in STEM fields. The budget should not be more than $11,500 in total.
Examples of projects include, but are not limited to:
- Science camp where participants are given hands-on training to stimulating STEM topics and innovative content such as artificial intelligence, coding, robotics, 3D modelling and printing;
- Creation of STEM activities, games, and experiments where a facilitator leads the session allowing students to create data, conclusions, and ask questions;
PRIORITY PROGRAM AREAS
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM)
- Promoting female representation in STEM
- Increasing student awareness of STEM careers
- Improving STEM education and building transferable skills among high school students
- Generating web-accessible STEM education and activities
- Creating a culture of accessibility in STEM
- Advancing creative teaching in STEM
Participants and Audiences:
- Female sophomore and junior high school students from public schools willing to travel to the U.S. Embassy in Manila to attend STEM-related activities
- Public school teachers willing to travel to the U.S. Embassy in Manila to attend STEM-related activities
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;
- Activities that take place in the United States and its territories;
- Programs with alcohol, excessive meals, refreshments, or entertainment; and
- Individual scholarships.
B. FEDERAL AWARD INFORMATION
- The length of the performance period is 12 to 24 months
- Award amounts may range from a minimum of $5,000 to a maximum of $11,500
- Proposals are accepted until May 25, 2023.
Funding Instrument Type: Grant will be a Cooperative Agreement. PAS Philippines staff are more actively involved in the grant implementation.
Program Performance Period: Proposed programs are usually completed in one year or less, but it 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. This is 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. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA
The Public Affairs Section encourages applications from individuals and non-profit organizations situated in the U.S. and the Philippines. Commercial or for-profit organizations 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:
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. Individuals are not required to have a UEI or be registered in SAM.gov.
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 subgrantees 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:
Proceed to SAM.gov to obtain a UEI and complete the SAM.gov registration process. SAM.gov registration must be renewed annually.
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.
Organizations must have a commitment to equal opportunity employment practices and non-discrimination practices regarding beneficiaries, without favor to race, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or political affiliation.
D. APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION
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 Small Grants Program.
CONTENT OF APPLICATION
Step 1: Fill out the mandatory federal assistance forms – All forms are available as part of the grants package on grants.gov.
- Application for Federal Assistance (SF-424) – Individual OR Organization
- Budget Information for Non-Construction programs (SF424A)
- Assurances for Non-Construction programs (SF-424B)
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: Create a Project Proposal
The proposal should contain sufficient information that anyone not familiar with it would understand exactly what the applicant wants to do. You may use your own proposal format, but it must include all the items below.
- Proposal Summary: Short narrative that outlines the proposed program, including program objectives and anticipated impact.
- Introduction to the Organization or Individual applying: 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 and/or U.S. government agencies.
- Problem Statement: Clear, concise, and well-supported statement of the problem to be addressed and why the proposed program is needed.
- Program Goals and Objectives: The “goals” describe what the program is intended to achieve. What aspect of the relationship between the U.S. and Philippines will be improved? The “objectives” refer to the intermediate accomplishments on the way to the goals. These should be achievable and measurable.
- Program Activities: Describe the program activities and how they will help achieve the objectives.
- Program Methods and Design: A description of how the program is expected to work to solve the stated problem and achieve the goal.
- Expected Outputs: Please list expected outputs or tangible deliverables of the proposed project.
- Expected Outcome: Please list expected outcomes or the changes (behavior, attitudes, perceptions, knowledge, and/or skills) that you want to achieve based on project goals and objectives.
- Proposed Program Schedule: The proposed timeline for the program activities. Include the dates, times, and locations of planned activities and events.
- Key Personnel: 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. 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: Applicant’s plan for continuing the program beyond the grant period, or the availability of other resources, if applicable.
- Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate (NICRA): If your organization has a NICRA, you should include NICRA charges in the budget and the latest rate should be included in the proposal.
Step 3: Create a detailed budget proposal and narrative
After filling out the SF-424A Budget, create a more detailed budget proposal and budget narrative to describe each of the budget expenses in detail. No format required for both documents.
Step 4: Attach additional documents.
Please attach a copy of (if applicable):
- Unique Identifier Number from SAM.GOV
- www.SAM.gov registration
- One-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
- Please feel free to submit additional information as you think necessary.
Step 5: 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:
- The Department of State Standard Terms and Conditions, including the S. flag branding and marketing requirements, available at https://www.state.gov/documents/organization/271865.pdf
- The regulations found in 2CFR 200, 2 CFR 600 Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards. https://www.govinfo.gov/app/details/CFR-2014-title2-vol1/CFR-2014-title2-vol1-part200/context
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; and
- All materials are submitted in pdf format.
When these steps are complete, you may submit your application package via email to GrantsManila@state.gov using subject line: 23-PHL-NOFO-AMSPACE (Applicant’s Name) (Project Title)
Deadline of submissions:
May 25, 2023
E. APPLICATION REVIEW AND SELECTION PROCESS
- Criteria: Each application submitted under this announcement will be evaluated and rated based on 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.
- Acknowledgment of receipt: Applicants will receive acknowledgment of receipt of their proposal.
- 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.
- Follow-up notification: Applicants will generally be notified within 90 days after the submission deadline regarding the results of the review panel
F. APPLICATION EVALUATION CRITERIA
- Professional capacity and experience: The organization or individual has expertise in its stated field and has demonstrated its ability and experience 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)
- Theme relevance: The applicant has clearly described how the proposed project will support and address issues related to the priority themes. (20 points)
- Budget: The budget justification details reasonable and appropriate costs about 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 the 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)
G. FEDERAL AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION
The 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.
H. FEDERAL AWARDING AGENCY CONTACTS
If you have any questions about the grant application process, please email GrantsManila@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.
I. 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 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.