Overview of the Small Grants Program
The United States Embassy, Manama offers small grants to strengthen understanding of the United States and its values in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Applicants are required to demonstrate how they intend to promote an understanding of the United States and by what means they will engage with Bahraini audiences.
Annual Grants Programs:
Funding Opportunity Title: U.S. Mission to the Kingdom of Bahrain Annual Program Statement
Funding Opportunity Number: DOS-Manama-PD-2023-001
Deadlines for Applications:
July 13, 2023, 16:00 – Final Day to receive applications.
August 24, 2023, 16:00 – Selected recipients will be contacted.
October 2023, onwards – Projects will commence.
19.040 – Public Diplomacy Programs
19.021 – Investing in People in The Middle East and North Africa
19.022 – Educational and Cultural Exchange Programs Appropriation Overseas Grants
A. Program Description:
The Public Affairs Section (PAS) of the U.S. Embassy, Manama is pleased to announce its Public Diplomacy Small Grants Program. This is an annual program statement, outlining our funding priorities, our strategic themes of focus, and the procedure to submit requests for funding for the fiscal year 2023 (October 1, 2022, through September 30, 2023). Please carefully follow all instructions below. Awards will be made to successful applicants subject to the availability of funds.
Purpose of Small Grants:
PAS invites proposals from individuals, non-governmental organizations, think tanks, government institutions, and academic institutions for projects that strengthen bilateral ties between the United States and the Kingdom of Bahrain. All programs must include a U.S. cultural element or connection with U.S. experts, organizations, or institutions that will promote increased understanding of U.S. policy and perspectives.
Examples of small grants program projects include, but are not limited to:
- Academic and professional lectures, seminars, and speaker programs;
- Artistic and cultural workshops, joint performances, and exhibitions;
- Cultural heritage conservation and preservation projects;
- Professional and academic exchanges and projects;
- Professional development workshops and training;
- Programs that support the Abraham Accords; and
- Priority Program Areas.
All applicants must stipulate their target audience (age/gender/geographic breakdown) and estimate the expected audience reach through direct contact and, if possible, through indirect contact (via social media or traditional media).
The following types of programs are not eligible for funding:
- Programs relating to partisan political activity;
- Charitable or development activities;
- Construction programs;
- Programs that support specific religious activities;
- Fundraising 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.
Authorizing legislation, type and year of funding:
Funding authority is derived from the Smith-Mundt Act and Fulbright- Hays Act. The source of funding is fiscal year 2023 public diplomacy funding.
Type of funding: Fiscal year 2023 public diplomacy funding.
Anticipated programs start date: October, 2023.
B. Federal Award information:
Length of performance period: 1 to 12 months.
Number of awards anticipated: 3 to 30 awards.
Award amounts: Awards may range from a minimum of $3,000 to a maximum of $24,000.
Type of funding: Fiscal year 2023 public diplomacy funding.
Anticipated program start date: October, 2023.
Awards are always subject to availability of funding.
Funding Instrument Type:
Grant, fixed amount award, or cooperative agreement. Cooperative agreements are different from grants and fixed amount awards as PAS staff are more actively involved in the grant implementation.
Program Performance Period:
Proposed programs should be completed in 12 months or less. PAS will entertain applications for continuation grants funded beyond the initial budget period on a non-competitive basis subject to availability of funds, satisfactory progress of the program, and a decision that continues funding will be in the best interest of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Mission to Manama.
C. Eligibility Information
PAS encourages applications from the following entities in the United States and the Kingdom of Bahrain:
- Registered not-for-profit organizations, including think tanks and civil society/non-governmental organizations with programming experience;
- Non-profit or governmental educational institutions; and governmental institutions.
- Registered for-profit or commercial entities that can prove that they are working as a non-profit.
Cost Sharing or Matching:
When cost sharing is offered, it is understood and agreed that the applicant must provide the amount of funds stipulated in their proposal. PAS encourages, but does not mandate, that applicants include cost-sharing elements from additional sources in their proposals.
D. Application and Submission Information
Application forms required below are available at https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/forms/forms-repository.html.
Content and Form of Application Submission:
Please follow carefully all instructions below. Proposals that do not meet the requirements or fail to comply with the stated requirements will be ineligible. Applications must include all the information listed in the U.S. Embassy grant proposal template, and a detailed budget summary, as applicable.
Content of Application:
- The proposal clearly addresses the goals and objectives of this funding opportunity;
- All documents are in English; and
- All budgets are in U.S. dollars.
The following documents are required:
- Application forms at https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/forms/forms-repository.html
- SF-424 (Application for Federal Assistance – organizations) or SF-424-I (Application for Federal Assistance – Individuals)
- SF424A (Budget Information for Non-Construction Programs)
- SF424B (Assurances for Non-Construction Programs)
- 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.
- Proposal: The proposal must contain sufficient information that anyone not familiar with the proposal would understand exactly what the applicant wants to achieve. 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 in Manama and/or U.S. government agencies.
- Problem Statement: Clear, concise and well-supported statement of the issues that will 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 United States and the Kingdom of Bahrain will be improved? The “objectives” refer to the intermediate accomplishments on the way to achieving 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.
- 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. Explain by what means the activities will be monitored to ensure they occur in a timely manner, and explain how the program will be evaluated to ensure 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.
- Budget Justification Narrative: After completing the SF-424A Budget, use a separate document to describe each of the budget expenses in detail (see Section H, Other Information).
- One-page CV or resume of key personnel involved in the program;
- Letters of support from program partners describing the roles and responsibilities of each partner;
- Official permission letters, if required for program activities;
- Documentation of non-profit or non-commercial status; and
- Proof of registration on the System for Award Management (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. This in not a requirement for Individuals.
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 sub-grantees 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:
Step 1: Proceed to SAM.gov to obtain a UEI and complete the SAM.gov registration process. SAM.gov registration must be renewed annually.
Organizations based outside of the United States and that DO plan to do business with the DoD in addition to Department of State should follow the below instructions:
Step 1: Apply for an NCAGE code by following the instructions on the NSPA NATO website linked below:
- 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.
Submission Dates and Times:
PAS will accept proposals throughout the year and will review proposals according to the following schedule:
July 13, 2023, 16:00 – Final Day to receive applications.
August 24, 2023, 16:00 – Selected recipients will be contacted.
October 2022, onwards – Projects will commence.
All proposals received by July 13, by 16:00, will be reviewed by August 24. All schedules are subject to change at the discretion of U.S. Embassy, Manama.
Other Submission Requirements:
All application materials must be submitted by email to ManamaPAO@state.gov.
E. Application Review Information
Each application will be evaluated and rated based on the evaluation criteria outlined below.
Organizational Capacity and Record on Previous Grants: The organization has expertise in its stated field and PAS is confident in their 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, with detail about how program activities will be carried out. The proposal includes a reasonable implementation timeline.
Goals and Objectives: Goals and objectives are clearly stated, and the program is likely to provide maximum impact in achieving the proposed results.
Embassy Priorities: Applicant has clearly described how stated goals are related to and support U.S. Embassy Manama’s 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.
Monitoring and Evaluation Plan: The applicant must demonstrate it is able 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 these will be measured.
Sustainability: Program activities will continue to have a positive impact after the end of the program.
2. Review and Selection Process
A Grants Review Committee will evaluate all eligible applications. Successful and unsuccessful applicants will be notified in writing.
3. Federal Awardee Performance & Integrity Information System (FAPIIS)
The U.S. Embassy, Manama is required to review and consider any information about the applicant that is mentioned in the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS). You can access FAPIIS and see any information that may have been recorded about your organization rough SAM (SPELL OUT, ExplainSAM, include a link?) (see 41 U.S.C. 2313).
F. Federal Award Administration Information
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 on the start date shown on the grant award document signed by the Grants Officer.
If a proposal is selected for funding, the U.S. Embassy, Manama, has no obligation to provide any additional funding in the future. Renewal of an award to increase funding or extend the period of performance is at the discretion of the U.S. Embassy, Manama.
Issuance of this notice of funding opportunity does not constitute an award commitment on the part of the U.S. Embassy, Manama, nor does it commit the Embassy to pay for costs incurred in the preparation and submission of proposals. Further, the U.S. Embassy, Manama reserves the right to deny any or all proposals received.
The U.S. Embassy, Manama will provide up to 80% of the total award amount up front to the successful applicants. The remaining 20% will be reimbursed upon successful completion of the program. The U.S. Embassy, Manama reserves the right to amend the final amount to be reimbursed after reviewing the final progress and financial reports.
2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements
Terms and Conditions:
Before submitting an application, applicants should review all the terms and conditions, and the required certifications that apply to the award, to ensure they are able to comply. These include: 2 CFR 200, 2 CFR 600, Certifications and Assurances, and the Department of State Standard Terms and Conditions, all of which are available at: https://www.state.gov/m/a/ope/index.htm. Note the U.S flag branding and marking requirements in the Standard Terms and Conditions.
Recipients will be required to submit financial reports and program reports. The award document will specify how often these reports must be submitted.
G. Federal Awarding Agency Contacts
If you have any questions about the grant application process, please contact Public Affairs Section at ManamaPAO@state.gov. Note: We do not provide any pre-consultation for application related questions that are addressed in the Notice of Funding Opportunity. Once an application has been submitted, U.S. Embassy Manama staff may not discuss the grant applications with applicants until the entire proposal review process is completed.
H. Other Information
Guidelines for Budget Justification:
Personnel and Fringe Benefits: Describe the wages, salaries, and benefits of temporary or permanent staff who will work 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, for program staff, consultants or speakers, and participants/beneficiaries. 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 place 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. 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.
Please note that award funds cannot be used for alcoholic beverages.