U.S. Mission to Canada Public Affairs Grants Program


Notice of Funding Opportunity


**As of March 20, 2020, we are suspending the U.S. Mission to Canada Grants Program until further notice.**


Funding Opportunity Title: U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Canada Public Diplomacy Grants Program Annual Program Statement

Funding Opportunity Number: SCA-525-20-GR0000

CFDA Number: 19.040 – Public Diplomacy Programs

Date Opened: November 1, 2019

Deadline for Applications: Proposals will be considered on a rolling basis until July 31, 2020

Award Floor: $7,500.00       

Award Ceiling: $100,000.00

The Public Affairs Section (PAS) of the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Canada, U.S. Department of State, 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.

Purpose of Grants: PAS Canada invites proposals for programs that promote bilateral cooperation and highlight shared values.  All programs must include an American perspective, societal or cultural element, or connection with American expert/s, organization/s, or institution/s in a specific field that will promote increased understanding of U.S. policy and viewpoints.  Additionally, programs must include a public outreach component(s), such as livestreaming, masterclasses, traditional media, digital outreach, or events open to the general public.

Examples of Public Diplomacy Grant programs include, but are not limited to:

  • Academic and professional lectures, and seminars;
  • Professional and academic exchanges and programs;
  • Artistic and cultural workshops, joint performances, and exhibitions;

Priority Program Areas:

  • Proposals that enhance our joint ability to respond to public health crises such as opioid or methamphetamine epidemics;
  • Proposals that enhance our joint ability to engage in crisis response to natural disasters and security threats;
  • Proposals that relate to the Arctic;
  • Proposals that promote and/or support STEAM (science, technology, math, engineering and design arts), cross-border innovation, and the digital economy;
  • Proposals that support entrepreneurship and economic prosperity, and;
  • Proposals that promote cultural and civic exchanges and enhance understanding of our shared values, traditions, and history, or promote North American institutional and/or community linkages.

Participants and Audiences:

  • Youth and underserved communities;
  • New Canadian and immigrant populations;
  • Arctic communities;
  • Civil society and non-government organizations;
  • Academic and cultural institutions;
  • Entrepreneurs;
  • Law enforcement and first responders.

The following types of programs are not eligible for funding:

  • Programs relating to partisan political activity;
  • Charitable or development activities;
  • Construction programs;
  • Fund-raising campaigns;
  • Lobbying for specific legislation or programs;
  • Scientific research;
  • Programs intended primarily for the growth or institutional development of the organization; or
  • Programs that duplicate existing programs;
  • Grants to for-profit entities

Authorizing legislation, type and year of funding:  Funding authority rests in Smith-Mundt and Fulbright-Hays.  The source of funding is FY2020 Public Diplomacy Funding.

Length of performance period: 3 to 24 months

Award amounts: Awards may range from a minimum of $7500 to a maximum of $100,000

This notice is subject to availability of funding.

Funding Instrument Type: Grant, Fixed Amount Award, or Cooperative Agreement. Cooperative Agreements differ from grants in that PAS staff are more actively involved in the grant implementation.  Substantial involvement could include, but is not limited to, selection of speakers and/or program participants.

Program Performance Period: Proposed programs should be completed in 24 months or less.

PAS 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.

  1. Eligible Applicants

The Public Affairs Section considers applications from the United States and Canada, including:

  • Registered not-for-profit organizations, including think tanks and civil society/non-governmental organizations;
  • Individuals;
  • Non-profit or governmental educational institutions;
  • Governmental institutions

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

  1. Cost Sharing or Matching

Cost sharing is not required.

  1. Other Eligibility Requirements

All organizations must have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number from Dun & Bradstreet and include the valid DUNS number in their application. 

Valid registration on http://SAM.gov prior to the submission of an application is also highly recommended, though not required until an application is approved.

All organizations selected as grantees will be required to obtain both a DUNS number and a SAM.gov registration.  Please see Section D.3 for information on how to obtain these registrations.

Individuals are not required to have a DUNS number or be registered in SAM.gov.

(NOTE: Some users may get a 404 error when following hyperlinks to SAM.gov. To visit SAM.gov, please type www.sam.gov directly in your Internet browser address bar.)

  1. Address to Request Application Package

Application forms required are available below.

  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 documents are formatted to 8 ½ x 11 paper

The following documents are required:

  1. Mandatory application forms:
  1. Summary Coversheet: Cover sheet stating the applicant name and organization, proposal date, program title, program period proposed start and end date, and brief purpose of the program.
  2. Proposal (12 pages maximum): The proposal should contain sufficient information that anyone not familiar with it would understand exactly what the applicant wants to do. Your proposal 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 or Consulate 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.  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.  Describe any unusual features of the project, such as design or technological innovations.
  • 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.  Describe any social and community involvement.
  • Program Monitoring and Evaluation Plan: This is an important part of successful grants.  Throughout the time-frame 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.


  1. Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM.gov)

Required Registrations:

All organizations applying for grants (except individuals) must obtain a DUNS registration.  All approved organizations will also be required to obtain a SAM.gov registration.  All are free of charge:

  • Unique Identifier Number from Dun & Bradstreet (DUNS number)
  • NCAGE/CAGE code
  • SAM.gov registration (NOTE: Some users may get a 404 error when following hyperlinks to SAM.gov. To visit SAM.gov, please type www.sam.gov directly in your Internet browser address bar.)

Step 1: Apply for a DUNS number and an NCAGE number (these can be completed simultaneously)

DUNS application: Organizations must have 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 http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform/displayHomePage.do;jsessionid=81407B1F03F2BDB123DD47D19158B75F.

NCAGE application: Application page here: 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

For help from within the United States, call 1-888-227-2423

For help from outside the United States, call 1-269-961-7766

Email NCAGE@dlis.dla.mil for any problems in getting an NCAGE code.

Step 2: After receiving the NCAGE Code, proceed to register in SAM by logging onto www.sam.gov.  SAM registration must be renewed annually.

  1. Submission Dates and Times

The Embassy Public Affairs Section requires 12 weeks before the start date of a program to draft relevant grant documents for awardees.  Applicants should apply for grants with enough lead time to factor in both the anticipated grant evaluation dates above as well as the processing period.

The Public Affairs Section will accept proposals throughout the year and will review proposals according to the following schedule:

  • Proposals received between November 1, 2019 and December 31, 2019 will be reviewed by January 15, 2020 with responses going out by February 1, 2020.
  • Proposals received between January 1, 2020 and February 29, 2020 will be reviewed by March 15, 2020 with responses going out by April 1, 2020.
  • Proposals received between March 1, 2020 and April 30, 2020 will be reviewed by May 15, 2020 with responses going out by June 1, 2020 – for programs starting after August 7, 2020.
  • Proposals received between May 1 and June 30 will be reviewed by July 15, 2020 with responses going out by August 1, 2020 – for programs starting after October 7, 2020
  • Proposals received between July 1, 2020 and July 31, 2020 will be reviewed by August 15, 2020 with responses going out by September 1, 2020 – for programs starting after November 7, 2020.

No applications will be accepted after July 31, 2020.  Applicants who have not heard from us after the deadlines indicated above may contact us at ottawa-pa@state.gov.  Organizations or individuals whose applications will not be funded will be notified via email.

  1. Funding Restrictions

Our grants policy does not permit the use of U.S. government funds for the following:

  • Alcoholic beverages;
  • Costs or partial costs for first-class or business class tickets without prior justification and authorization from PAS;
  • Fees associated with the participation of U.S. federal government employees;
  • Banquets and entertainment
  1. Other Submission Requirements

All application materials must be submitted by email to ottawa-pa@state.gov (Applications may also be submitted electronically through www.Grants.gov).  Please state the name of your organization in the subject line of your email submission.

Incomplete proposals will not be considered.

  1. Criteria

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

Organizational capacity and record on previous grants: The organization has expertise in its stated field and PAS 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 and contains detail of how program activities will be carried out.  The proposal includes a reasonable implementation timeline.

Goals and objectives: Goals and objectives are clearly stated, and program approach is likely to provide maximum impact in achieving the proposed results.

U.S. Embassy and Consulate priorities: Applicant has clearly described how stated goals are related to and support U.S. Embassy and Consulate priority areas or target audiences.

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.  Note: Cost sharing is not required.

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 those will be measured.

Sustainability: Program activities will continue to have positive impact after the end of the program.

  1. Review and Selection Process

A Grants Review Committee will evaluate all eligible applications.


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 on any Federal award under a notice of funding opportunity may include, over the period of performance (see §200.88 Simplified Acquisition Threshold), this section must also inform applicants:

  • That 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 designated integrity and performance system accessible through SAM (currently FAPIIS) (see 41 U.S.C. 2313);
  • That an applicant, at its option, may review information in the designated integrity and performance systems accessible through SAM and comment on any information about itself that a Federal awarding agency previously entered and is currently in the designated integrity and performance system accessible through SAM;
  • That 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.
  1. Anticipated Announcement and Federal Award Dates

The Embassy Public Affairs Section needs at least 12 weeks before the start date of a program to draft relevant grant documents for awardees.  Applicants should apply for grants with enough lead time to factor in both the anticipated grant evaluation dates above as well as the processing period.

  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.

PAS reserves the right to award more or less than the funds described as it may deem to be in the best interest of the U.S. government.  However, the U.S. government may make the award based on initial applications received, without negotiation or discussion.  Each initial application should contain the applicant’s best terms from a cost and technical standpoint.

The U.S. government reserves the right to enter into discussion with one or more applicant to obtain clarification, additional details, or to suggest refinements in the program description, budget, or other aspects of the application.

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.

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

  1. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

Terms and Conditions: Before submitting an application, 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 2002 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.

All awards issued under this announcement will require either a program and/or financial report on a frequency specified in the award agreement.  Depending on the funding mechanism, a final grant report and/or budget accounting in English are due either 30 or 90 days after completion of the grant award end date.  The disbursement of funds may be tied to timely submission of these reports.

To be eligible for a grant award, in addition to other conditions of this request for applications, individuals and organizations must have a commitment to non-discrimination with respect to beneficiaries and adherence to equal opportunity employment practices.  Non-discrimination includes equal treatment without regard to race, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or political affiliation.

  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.

If you have any questions about the grant application process, please contact Public Affairs at: ottawa-pa@state.gov.

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, 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 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. Embassy.  It also includes in-kind contributions such as volunteers’ time and donated venues.

Thank you for your interest in the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Canada Public Diplomacy Grants Program!