U.S. Embassy Ghana
Notice of Funding Opportunity: Public Affairs Small Grants
Opening Date: July 12, 2018
Closing Date: August 10, 2018
All projects must begin before September 30, 2018. This does not mean that the activity must be completed before September 30, 2018, but preparation for the activity must begin before that date. We recommend submitting your proposal early to allow time to address any difficulties that may arise.
The Public Affairs Section encourages proposals from:
- Registered not-for-profit organizations, including think tanks and civil society/non-governmental organizations with programming experience
- Non-profit or governmental educational institutions
For-profit or commercial entities are not eligible to apply.
Funding Opportunity Description
The Public Affairs Section (PAS) of the U.S. Embassy in Ghana requests proposals for funding for its 2018 Public Diplomacy Grants program. Please read and follow all instructions carefully.
Purpose of Grant: Public Diplomacy grants should address one (or more) of U.S. Embassy Ghana’s strategic goals, which are:
- Improve Governance, Strengthen Democratic Institutions, and Promote Accountability
- Promote Opportunity and Development by Investing in Health and Education
- Maintain and Bolster Peace and Security
- Spur Sustained Economic Growth, Trade and Investment
Activities that fall under these goals and may qualify for funding include (but are not limited to):
- Combatting corruption and strengthening accountability
- Encouraging and supporting the media and civil society (including women, rural residents, economically and politically disadvantaged groups, and youth) to better advocate for improved government services and to play an increasingly effective role in good governance
- Promoting civic education and youth participation in civics, democratic processes, volunteerism, and community service
- Promoting the equal rights of all citizens and the empowerment of vulnerable and marginalized groups within political and societal structures
- Fostering media ethics and professionalism
- Developing media literacy among youth, civil society, media, academia, and digital communicators
- Encouraging lifelong literacy and a passion for reading
- Developing critical thinking and problem-solving skills in youth
- Countering violent extremism
- Promoting inter-faith and inter-ethnic dialogue
- Promoting a culture of entrepreneurship, innovation and business development
- Increasing human capacity, particularly among women, rural residents, and other politically and economically disadvantaged people, to promote broader participation in the economy
The following activities to do not qualify for Public Affairs funding:
- Fees and travel costs to attend conferences in the United States
- Organizational start-up costs
- Ongoing salaries, operating costs or capital improvements
- Office equipment
- Paying to complete activities begun with other funds
- Projects of a commercial or profit-making nature
- Projects that are inherently political in nature or that contain the appearance of partisanship or support to individual or single party electoral campaigns
- Projects that support specific religious activities
- Fundraising campaigns
- Academic or analytical research (if not part of a larger project)
- Construction projects
- Projects whose primary aim is the institutional development of the organization itself
- Soli, or any fees for news coverage
- Representational expenses, such as receptions (Exceptions: expenses for coffee breaks and working lunches can be funded; alcohol, however, cannot)
Projects must incorporate some element of American content. “American content” may take the form of American partners, American themes and materials, or inviting U.S. Embassy staff to participate in and/or speak at grant-funded activities.
Minimum Award Amount: $3,000
Maximum Award Amount: $25,000
Average Award Amount: $5,000 – $10,000
Projects that include cost-sharing from the applicant or third-party funders will be given preference. Proposals should explain clearly other likely sources of funding or in-kind participation.
All grant awards are subject to the availability of funds from the U.S. Department of State. Budgets must be submitted in U.S. dollars.
Project and Budget Periods
Projects must be completed in one year or less. PAS may consider proposals for continuation grants, beyond the initial budget period, subject to the availability of funds, satisfactory progress of the applicants, and a determination that continued funding would be in the best interest of the U.S. government.
Because grants are contingent on the availability of funds from the U.S. Department of State, applicants are encouraged to submit proposals with flexible start dates. Proposals that are selected for funding must be initiated no later than September 30, 2018, and generally be completed within one year of their commencement.
Proposal Submission and Deadline
Applicants are encouraged, but not required, to use the grant proposal template provided under the “Additional Resources” heading to the right.
Proposals should be submitted via email to the Public Affairs Section using the following email address: PASAccraGrant@state.gov. Proposals must be submitted no later than Friday, August 10, 2018, at 1800 GMT. Applicants must complete and submit a detailed budget with all grant requests.
Review and Selection Process
Each proposal submitted under this announcement will be evaluated and rated on the basis of the criteria outlined below. The criteria are designed to assess the quality of the proposed project and to determine the likelihood of its success. The criteria are closely related and are considered as a whole in judging the overall quality of a proposal. Proposals will be reviewed on the basis of their completeness, coherence, clarity, and attention to detail.
Applicants are encouraged, but not required, to use the grant proposal template under the “Additional Resources” heading to the right. Applicants must submit a full project description, including a detailed narrative that outlines the plan of action, describing the scope of the proposed work and how it will be accomplished. The narrative should be accompanied by a detailed budget that includes all program costs and clearly indicates the proposing organization’s cost-share and/or in-kind participation.
Proposal Evaluation Criteria:
Audiences – The project should seek to influence a specific group of Ghanaian residents (based on age, profession, geographic location, gender, and/or other demographic factor) directly relevant to achieving the strategic goals noted above.
Goals and Objectives – The project addresses one or more of the strategic goals outlined above and is likely to provide maximum impact in achieving the proposed results.
American Content – Projects that include significant American content (such as American speakers, American materials, U.S. Embassy participation, or a theme or topic originating in, or inspired by, U.S. history or society) will also be more favorably evaluated.
Strengths and Innovation – The proposal should clearly describe how the applicant will execute the program within the proposed time frame and articulate an innovative strategy or plan. Projects that reflect geographic diversity and gender equality will be more favorably evaluated.
Organizational Capacity – The individual or organization applying for the grant has expertise in one or more of the areas falling under the Embassy’s strategic goals and demonstrates the ability to perform the proposed activities.
Sustainability – The applicant demonstrates a clear plan for sustainable activity or impact of the activity after the grant period of performance.
Budget and Budget Justification – The budget and narrative justification are reasonable in relation to the proposed activities. The budget does not include funding for non-allowable activities. Proposals that include cost-sharing with the applicant or third-parties will be viewed more favorably.
Publicity/Media Plan – The applicant should include a plan to amplify the impact of the program on specific audiences.
Monitoring and Evaluation – The applicant should outline how specifically the grant will be monitored and evaluated for its overall effectiveness and impact, with specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely indicators, whenever possible.
The grant award shall be written, signed, awarded, and administered by the Grants Officer (GO). The GO is the U.S. government official delegated the authority by the U.S. Department of State Procurement Executive to write, award, and administer grants. The GO is assisted by the Grants Officer Representative (GOR), who works with the GO to make sure that all assistance awards are administered correctly. The GOR may be the primary point of contact for grantees. The assistance award agreement is the authorizing document and it will be provided to the recipient. Organizations whose proposals will not be funded will also be notified in writing.
We will make all funding decisions by August 30, 2018.
All awards issued under this announcement will require both program and financial reports on a frequency specified in the award agreement. The disbursement of funds may be tied to submission of these reports in a timely manner. All other details related to award administration will be specified in the award agreement.