Democracy Commission Small Grants Program

The United States Embassy in Kosovo, through the Office of Public Affairs, is pleased to announce a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for the Democracy Commission Small Grants Program.

The closing date for applications for this round is July 15, 2019, by 12:00h (noon).

Funding decisions are contingent on the availability of funds.  The U.S. Embassy reserves the right to cancel this Notice of Funding Opportunity at any time without any commitment to any applicant.

DEMOCRACY COMMISSION SMALL GRANTS PROGRAM

The United States Embassy in Kosovo is announcing the summer 2019 round of the Democracy Commission Small Grants Program.  This program seeks to support the development of Kosovo’s democratic institutions and civil society by awarding small project grants to Kosovo non-profit, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and independent local media organizations. The Democracy Commission grants are awarded on a competitive basis.

PROJECT THEMES

Projects should deal with one of the following themes:

  • Improving the rule of law, judicial independence, and the fight against corruption; or
  • Conflict resolution and tolerance (including dialogue and regional stability and malign external influences);

The Democracy Commission does NOT fund projects such as the following:

  • Fund-raising campaigns
  • Humanitarian assistance projects
  • Scientific research projects
  • Projects with budgets that exceed $24,000 and take more than a year to implement
  • Projects that duplicate existing projects being implemented by an organization
  • Projects submitted by for-profit, commercial organizations
  • Projects that aim to support partisan political activity
  • Conferences and individual trips abroad
  • Commercial or trade activities

U.S. organizations and individuals are not eligible for grants under this program

Cost share

Cost share is not required for this application.

Evaluation criteria

A review committee will be composed of representatives from different U.S. government agencies at the U.S. Embassy Pristina.  It will take the committee up to two months after the application deadline to complete its review process.  Applicants may be contacted with questions during this review process.

The Democracy Commission will evaluate proposals according to the following criteria:

  • Relevance of topic;
  • Clarity in goals, activities, and target group;
  • Please explain how you will measure success.  What are the expected outcomes of your project?
  • Sensible budgeting;
  • Longer-term sustainability, where applicable;
  • The ability of the applying organization to successfully carry out the project aims;

The Democracy Commission will consider all proposals that meet the criteria outlined above.

Performance Monitoring and Evaluation:

Complete applications will include a detailed plan (both a narrative and table) of how the project’s progress towards the expected results and impact will be monitored, measured, and evaluated throughout the project. Incorporating a well-designed monitoring and evaluation component into a project is one of the most efficient methods of documenting the progress and results (intended and unintended) of a project.

What happens when the project is completed?

Upon completion of the project, all grantee organizations must submit progress reports as well as a final narrative with a complete accounting of all grant funds. The grantee will be asked to send narratives about the outcomes of the project over the course of three years after the implementation is completed. If required, the grantee is obligated the conduct surveys, focus groups and forms of after action reporting.

Required Documents

Applicants must complete the standard application form in English and sent it in Word or PDF format. The forms are available for download on the website. No applications will be accepeted in WinZIP or WinRAR.

Applicants must include the following in the proposal submission. All submissions must be in English.

  • Instructions (read instructions to fill out the application form)
  • Completed electronic version of the application using format provided on the website (to be signed) – mandatory)
  • SF424 – Instructions (read instructions to fill out the SF424 forms) – mandatory
  • SF424 – Application for federal Assistance (to be signed) – mandatory
  • SF424B – Assurances (to be signed) – mandatory
  • SF424A – Budget information – mandatory
  • Budget form (spreadsheet) – mandatory
  • Budget narrative
  • NGO registration letter (for NGOs only) or Licenses for media (for media only) – mandatory
  • List of founders and board members – mandatory
  • CVs of the implementation team members, one page maximum – mandatory
  • Detailed work-plan – mandatory
  • Letters of support – optional
  • DUNS number (you can request a DUNS number for free to do
    business with the U.S. Federal government by visiting Dun &
    Bradstreet (D&B) at http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform . It takes up to 7 business days to obtain an international DUNS number).
    Please note:  Obtaining the DUNS number can take up to 7 business days.  We strongly encourage you to start this process as soon as possible, since we cannot review any projects that do not include DUNS numbers

General Guidelines

Please read all instructions carefully – proposals that do not meet the requirements listed here will not be considered for funding.

  • All fields in the grant application form must be completed and sent via email as one document.
  • Project duration may not exceed 12 months.
  • Grants are normally made on a one-time basis and reiterations of past programs usually do not receive funding. If you are requesting support to fund a repetition of a project you previously implemented, you must include a very strong justification as to why the repetition is necessary.

Budget Guidelines:  Any application not meeting the budget requirements below will not be considered for funding.

  • Detailed budget should be written in USD, with a maximum amount of USD 24,000.
  • Budget costs should be grouped into the following categories:
  • Personnel costs (salaries for staff who already work for your organization, fees for project manager, project coordinator/assistant, and or accountant)
  • Fringe (social and pension insurance contributions)
  • Travel (transportation costs, lodging, meals and incidentals)
  • Supplies (office supplies and other materials for project implementation)
  • Contractual (fees for trainers, moderators, experts, and educators, who do NOT normally work for your organization but who are engaged to implement certain project activities, printing of promotional materials, renting of space/equipment, broadcasting of TV and radio shows, web site development, and other contractual services needed for project implementation.)
  • Other direct costs: (office rent, utilities, phone/fax/internet, office supplies, bank charges, etc.)
  • Costs for food or drink should not exceed 5% of the total award amount. This includes expenses associated with individual per diems for grant-related activities.
  • The total costs of promotional materials (brochures, banners, T-shirts, posters, leaflets, etc.) should not exceed 5% of the total award amount.
  • Alcohol, entertainment, or “miscellaneous” expenses are not allowed.
  • Costs incurred before the grant period start date will not be reimbursed.

Budget narrative:

Please explain your budget in narrative form, detail personnel duties, list names of trainers/moderators/experts and project staff and break down travel and lodging costs (i.e., how many people, how many overnights, cost per person per day).

Reporting Requirements:

Recipients will be required to submit financial reports and program reports.  The award document will specify the forms and how often these reports must be submitted.

Content and Form of Application Submission:

Any prospective applicant who has questions concerning the contents of this NOFO should submit them by email to the Embassy Pristina Grants Team at PristinaGrants@state.gov.

An electronic version of the application should be e-mailed to the following e-mail address:
To: PristinaGrants@state.gov
Subject: APPLICATION + NGO Name + Theme
Applications submitted after the deadline will be disqualified. Absolutely no exceptions will be made!