Public Affairs Small Grants Program FY 2015

Please note that this grant opportunity is now closed. Check back later this fall for next year’s call for grants!


Request for Applications Announcement



Announcement Type: Grant

Funding Opportunity Title: U.S. Embassy Ottawa Public Affairs Small Grants Program Statement

Funding Opportunity Number: SCA-525-15-GR001

CFDA Number: 19.040 — General Department of State Assistance

Date Opened: November 4, 2014

Closing Date and Time for Submission of Application: Grant Funds available for allocation. There is a limited amount of funds available in this fiscal year. Applications will be accepted and reviewed until all funds are depleted.

Eligibility Category: Canadian based committed and organized civil-society organizations, local representatives of civil society, think tanks, non-governmental organizations, and academic institutions

Award Ceiling: U.S. $15,000.00

Award Floor: U.S. $ 2,000.00

Electronic Requirement: Yes (applications must be submitted by email to the email address listed below)

Announcement Type: New Announcement

Federal Agency Contact: Public Affairs Officer Elizabeth Kay Mayfield


  • I. Funding Opportunity Description

Background Information: The U.S. Embassy Ottawa Public Affairs Section is located at the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa. More information about the Public Affairs Section and its Grants Program can be found at http:/

The U.S. Embassy Ottawa Public Affairs Section (PAS) of the U.S. Department of State is pleased to announce that limited funding is available through the Embassy’s Public Affairs Small Grants program to support activities that promote U.S.-Canada bilateral relations in the following four priority areas: 1) Increase entrepreneurship and economic prosperity, maximize economic growth and bilateral trade, tourism, and investment, especially among youth and underserved communities; 2) Enhance civil society’s ability to respond to transnational crime, natural disasters or terrorist threats; 3) Enhance bilateral partnerships in promotion of rule of law assistance, development, and cooperation in the Americas and beyond; and 4) Promote cultural exchange and enhance understanding of our shared history, traditions, and values. Preference will be given to proposals that address the first three areas. Please follow all instructions below carefully.

Eligibility is limited to those who qualify to receive U.S. grants, and have the ability to develop and implement their proposed programs in Canada. The U.S. Embassy in Ottawa and the Department of State encourage organizations that have not previously received international program funding from the U.S. Government to apply under this announcement. Applicants must have a demonstrated expertise in one or more of the following subject areas: people-to-people exchanges, cultural or academic programming, international cooperation, and institution-to-institution partnerships.

  • II. Purpose of Grant

The goal of these grants is to enhance relations between Canadian and U.S. organizations and people in the priority areas described, and/or to allow Canadian audiences to better understand the United States, its culture, society, government, language, legal, economic and political systems, and values. In furtherance of these goals, grant proposals must include American content. American content can include speakers who are American citizens, use of U.S. training models or materials, exchanges with U.S. institutions, promotion of U.S. culture and arts, etc.

  1. Activities that are typically funded include, but are not limited to:
  • Academic and professional lectures; public seminars and programs;
  • Professional development workshops and training for youth and underserved communities
  • Cultural, professional and academic exchanges and projects;
  • Artistic and cultural workshops, joint performances and exhibitions;
  1. Activities that are not typically funded include, but are not limited to:
  • Grants to individuals
  • Scientific research
  • Paying to complete activities begun with other funds;
  • Projects that are inherently political in nature or that contain the appearance of partisanship/support to individual or single party electoral campaigns;
  • Speakers who are not American citizens.
  • III. Award Information

The U.S. Embassy Ottawa Public Affairs Section reserves the right to award less or more than the funds described in the absence of worthy applications or under such other circumstances as it may deem to be in the best interest of the U.S. government.

Eligible organizations interested in submitting an application are encouraged to read this request for application thoroughly to understand the type of project sought and the application submission requirements and evaluation process.

Proposals will be considered on a rolling basis up until August 15, 2015, 18:00. All projects must begin before September 30, 2015. This does not mean that the activity being funded must be completed before September 30, 2015, but that preparation for the activity must begin before that date.

Proposals can be submitted at any time before August 15, 2015. All applicants are typically contacted 4-6 weeks after their proposal submission and informed whether or not their proposal was selected.

The U.S. government may make the award on the basis of initial applications received, without discussions or negotiations. Therefore, each initial application should contain the applicant’s best terms from a cost and technical standpoint. The U.S. government reserves the right, however, to enter into discussions with one or more applicants in order to obtain clarifications, additional detail or refinements in the program description, budget, or other aspects of an application.

  • IV. Eligibility Information:

The U.S. Embassy Ottawa Public Affairs Section encourages applications from all sectors in Canada and registered Canadian organizations: committed and organized civil-society organizations, local representatives of civil society, think tanks, non-governmental organizations, and academic institutions. We do not accept grant applications from third country (i.e., not registered or located in Canada) organizations or individuals, even if the project will take place in Canada.

To be eligible for a grant award, in addition to other conditions of this request for applications, 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 and political affiliation. By law, commercial firms are ineligible to receive funding through this award mechanism.

  • V. Application Submission

How to Apply

Proposals should be entered onto the Small Grants Application template in English. Please select one of the following formats:

Proposals should be submitted online to the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa at the following email address: Applications are accepted in English only, and final grant agreements will be concluded in English. Applicants will receive a confirmation e-mail from the Embassy to indicate that we have received your proposal.

  • VI. Application Documents

In the Public Affairs Small Grants application, applicants must submit a full project description in accordance with the following instructions and the specified evaluation criteria. The instructions give a broad overview of what the project description should include while the evaluation criteria provide details of more program-specific information that is needed.

Cover Sheet: The Small Grants Application includes a cover sheet which provides a summary of the project description with reference to the amount and duration of the funding request.

Narrative: In the narrative section of the Small Grants Application,outline a plan of action that describes the scope and detail of how the proposed work will be accomplished. Account for all activities for which you are seeking grant funding. If appropriate, cite factors that might accelerate or decelerate the work and state reasons for taking the proposed approach rather than alternatives. Describe any unusual features of the project, such as design or technological innovations, reductions in cost or time, or extraordinary social and community involvement.

Provide projections of the accomplishments to be achieved for each function or activity in such terms as the number of people to be served and the number of activities accomplished. When accomplishments cannot be quantified by activity or function, list them in chronological order to show the schedule of accomplishments and their target dates. List those organizations, cooperating entities, consultants, or other key individuals who will work on the project, along with a short description of the nature of their effort or contribution.

Applicants must complete and submit a detailed budget, with narrative explanation for each line item.

Completeness of Proposal: Grant proposals should include all of the information requested in the application guidelines. Proposals will not be considered until all information is received in electronic form. Proposals must be completed in English and budget numbers provided in U.S. dollars. Questions should be addressed to

Technical Format Requirements: All pages must be numbered including budgets and attachments. All documents are formatted to 8.5 x 11 paper and all Microsoft Word documents are double-spaced, 12 point Times New Roman font, with a minimum of 1-inch margins. Proposals should be kept to a maximum of 10 pages.

  • VII. Review and Selection Process

Each application submitted under this announcement will be evaluated and rated on the basis of the following evaluation criteria: completeness, coherence, clarity, relevance to U.S. Embassy Ottawa priority themes and attention to detail. 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 an application. Points are awarded only to applications that are responsive within the context of this program announcement.

Application Evaluation Criteria:

Goals and Objectives: The project is likely to provide maximum impact in achieving the proposed results and the organization. The project addresses one or more of the U.S. Embassy Ottawa’s Public Affairs Section thematic priorities outlined previously. Applicant demonstrates it is able to measure program success against key indicators and provide milestones to indicate progress toward Embassy goals. (30 points)

Strengths and Innovation: Applicant clearly describes how its proposal will address the requested program within the proposed time frame and articulates an innovative strategy or plan. The project builds civil society leadership and capacity, and demonstrates sustainable capacity building. (25 points)

Organizational Capacity: The organization has expertise in one or more of U.S. Embassy Ottawa’s thematic priorities and demonstrates the ability to perform the proposed activities. Where partners are described, the applicant details each partner’s respective role and provides curriculum vitas (CVs) for persons responsible for the project and financial administration. Each key person responsible for the proposed project and its financial administration is listed and a CV for these persons is provided. (25 points)

Budget and Budget Justification: The budget and narrative justification are reasonable in relation to the proposed activities and anticipated results and the plan for services is realistic and allowable (please see Department of State’s Terms and Conditions (158KB PDF) (20 points)

  • VIII. Award Administration

Award Notices: he grant award agreement shall be written, signed, awarded, and administered by the Grants Officer. The Grants Officer is the U.S. government official delegated the authority by the U.S. Department of State Procurement Executive to write, award, and administer grants. In some instances, a Grants Officer Representative will be the grantee’s primary point of contact. The assistance award agreement is the authorizing document and it will be provided to the recipient. Organizations whose applications will not be funded will also be notified in writing.

Anticipated Time to Award: Applicants should expect to be notified within four to six weeks after their proposal submission.

Reporting Requirements: All awards issued under this announcement will require both program and financial reports on a frequency specified in the award agreement. A final grant report and budget/accounting in English is due 90 days after completion of the grant award end date. 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 award agreement as well.

Upon Selection of Your Proposal

If your project is selected, your organization will need to obtain a DUNS number from Dun and Bradstreet in order to receive a grant. The DUNS number is a unique nine-digit identifier that identifies an organization. Once an applicant organization has received its DUNS designation, then it will have to apply for an NCAGE code designation. Once these two steps are completed, your organization must also register via the Central Contractor Registration. Applicants cannot receive grants until these steps are complete. Instructions on how to register will be provided to those who are awarded a grant.

Upon Receipt of a Grant

Recipients of the Embassy’s Small Grant Program are required to submit a final certified Federal Financial Report (SF-425) and a Narrative Report (SF-PPR) within 90 calendar days of the end of the period of performance delineated in the award. Some grants may also require quarterly reports. Grantees will be informed of their reporting responsibilities upon the awarding of the grant. Failure to comply with the reporting requirements may jeopardize eligibility for future awards or will result in suspension of any future payments under this award until such time as this deficiency has been corrected. Some of the required forms include:

All recipients must be aware of the Standard Terms and Conditions that apply to overseas grantees and comply with all applicable terms and conditions during the project period. You can access the Standard Terms and Conditions at this link: PDF))

Also please note that according to the U.S. government’s grants policy, grant recipients do not receive advance payments in excess of their “immediate cash needs.” In general, up to 10% of the grant total is withheld as a final payment to ensure that final reports are submitted by the grantees.

All successful applicants will be provided with this information upon the awarding of the grant.

Thank you for your interest in the U.S. Embassy’s Public Affairs Small Grant Program.