Funding Opportunities

Funding Opportunity Title: U.S. Mission Mexico Annual Program Statement

 

Funding Opportunity Number: DOS-PD-MEX-DF-2016-3

CFDA Number: 19.040– Public Diplomacy Programs

Date Opened: November 18, 2016

Federal Agency Contact:

Carla Alcala,

Administrative Management Assistant

Miriam Sandoval,

Small Grants Management Assistant

Email: mexicogrants@state.gov

  1. Funding Opportunity Description

The Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Mission in Mexico is pleased to announce funding availability through the Mission’s Public Diplomacy Small Grants Program. This initiative was developed to provide support for projects proposed by Mexican or U.S. Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and cultural/ educational organizations that aim to support shared policy priorities between the U.S. and Mexico.

The Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Mission in Mexico is particularly interested in projects that support academic mobility between our two countries; the development of civil society; the empowerment of youth in realizing their potential through education, innovation, and entrepreneurship; the democratic ideals of freedom of expression, freedom of the press, and intellectual freedom; teaching of the English language; empowerment and security of women and girls; and in general promoting greater exchange between Mexico and the United States.

The Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Mission in Mexico is looking for innovative and sustainable proposals with outstanding educational and exchange merit. In deciding which projects to support, the Embassy will give consideration to the full range and diversity of Mexican and U.S. organizations. The Public Affairs Section will also seek to target geographically and demographically diverse audiences in Mexico.

Preference will be given to Mexican individuals and institutions with a proven track record of executing superior cultural and educational events and programs. New grantees will be generally given priority over previous grantees. Preference will be given to proposals that demonstrate the long-term sustainability of the project and that include some form of cost-sharing with the partner institution(s) and private-sector engagement that will allow the programs to become sustainable in future iterations. Strong proposals will include impact assessment, in addition to results/evaluation, at the conclusion of the grant period.

Activities that are typically funded include, but are not limited to:

English language programs, particularly focused on teachers;

U.S.-Mexico student or faculty exchange programs;

Programs that support professional and independent journalists;

Youth community service projects or exchanges that focus on empowerment, leadership and positive change in marginalized communities, and that encourage volunteerism;

Programs to empower women and girls by providing life-skills such as financial literacy, entrepreneurship and innovation training, and access to education;

STEM programs with a focus on girls;

Activities that are not typically funded include, but are not limited to:

Social welfare or charity projects;

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;

International travel, unless specifically justified within the project;

Citizen exchange programs with countries outside of the United States;

Political party activities; and,

Projects that support specific religious activities.

*We do not provide funding to individuals for study or research in the United States. For information on scholarships, please visit http://www.comexus.org.mx/otras_becas.html and https://educationusa.state.gov/.

  1. Award Information

Funding Instrument Type: Cooperative Agreement, Grant or Fixed Amount Award (FAA) for individuals or organizations

Floor of Individual Award Amounts: US$ 5,000.00

Ceiling of Individual Award Amounts: US$ 50,000.00

The Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Mission in Mexico 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.

Project and Budget Periods: Generally local grants projects must be completed in one year or less. The Public Affairs Section will consider applications for continuation grants funded under these awards, beyond the initial budget period, on a noncompetitive basis, subject to availability of funds, satisfactory progress of the applicants, and a determination that continued funding would be in the best interest of the Department of State. Potential grantees need to be as specific as possible where there suggested program would take place.

Eligibility Information: Unrestricted

The Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Mission in Mexico encourages applications from all sectors: committed and organized civil-society organizations, local representatives of civil society, think tanks, non-governmental organizations, academic institutions, and individuals.

The Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Mission in Mexico encourages applicants to provide cost-sharing from additional sources in support of their proposed projects and to plan for ways to ensure the program is sustainable once the USG funding is complete. The Public Affairs Section also encourages projects that use highly skilled volunteers as an element of cost-sharing. Applications should explain clearly other likely sources of funding and how the volunteers will be used.

III.       Application Submission and Deadline

Proposals should be submitted online via email to the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Mission in Mexico at the following email address: mexicogrants@state.gov  Applications will be accepted in English only, and final grant agreements will be concluded in English.

All Proposals should include the following documents to be considered:

SF-424: Application For Federal Assistance, which is available along with guidance for completing this form at http://aopefa.a.state.gov/content/Documents/SF424.pdf

Project Narrative: Provide a summary of the project description with reference to the amount and duration of the funding request. This should include the specific goals of the project in terms of messages delivered to audiences, desired changes in behavior, etc.

Budget Breakdown:   Provide an itemized spreadsheet of costs, including unit costs, quantities and any other relevant information that may impact total cost of project.

Project Timeline: This can be basic if the grant is short-term, but should include preparation, execution, and evaluation. For projects of longer duration, at least quarterly benchmarks should be included.

Monitoring Plan: Outline a plan of action that describes the scope and detail of how the proposed work will be accomplished.

Proposals will be considered in two separate cycles of funding. The deadlines for proposal submissions are: January 31, 2017 and May 31, 2017.

Proposals can be submitted at any time and will be reviewed with all the submissions received for that cycle of funding. All applicants are typically contacted 4-5 weeks after the deadline for each funding cycle and informed whether or not their proposal was selected.

Calendar Summary

November 18, 2016   Publication of Annual Program Statement

Cycle I

January 31, 2017                 Deadline for proposal submissions

February 7-25, 2017             Revision of Proposals by Grantee Committee

March 7, 2017                      Notification of approved and unapproved proposals

Cycle II

April 29, 2017                       Deadline for proposal submissions

May 2-20, 2017                     Revision of Proposals by Grantee Committee

June 6, 2017                                       Notification of approved and unapproved proposals

There is no need to contact the Mission to ask about the status of your proposal once you have received the confirmation e-mail acknowledging receipt of your proposal.

  1. Review and Selection Process

Each application submitted under this announcement will be evaluated and rated on the basis of the following evaluation criteria. 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. Applications will be reviewed on the basis of their fullness, coherence, clarity, and attention to detail. 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. Applicant demonstrates it is able to measure program success and impact against key indicators and provide milestones to indicate progress toward Public Affairs Section goals outlined earlier in this document.

Strengths and Innovation – Proposal includes a clear time frame and articulates an innovative strategy or plan to achieve goals and objectives. The project builds civil society leadership and capacity, and demonstrates sustainable capacity building.

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.

Sustainability and Partnership – Applicant addresses potential sustainability of the program once USG funding is complete. Applicant also encourages partnership with other Mexican entities to allow for maximization of impact.

  1. Award Administration

Award Notices: The grant award or cooperative 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 and cooperative agreements. 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.

Reporting Requirements: 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 as well.

Grant Forms

Pre-Award Phase

  1. Application for Federal Assistance SF-424 (PDF, 271KB)
  2. Filling Instructions for SF-424 (PDF, 33KB)
  3. Budget Information: Non-Construction Programs SF-424A (PDF, 321KB)
  4. Budget Information: Construction Programs SF-424C (PDF, 38KB)

Award

  1. Federal Assistance Award (PDF file 32KB)
  2. Federal Assistance Award – Individual (PDF file 33 KB)
  3. U.S. Dept. of State Standard Terms and Conditions (PDF file 178KB)

Post Award (interim/quarterly reports and payment requests)

  1. Performance Progress Report PPR (PDF file183 KB)
  2. Federal Financial Report SF-425 (PDF file 63KB)
  3. Filling Instructions for SF-425 (PDF file 54KB)
  4. Request for Advance or Reimbursement SF-270 (PDF file 1MB)

Closeout( Final reports and payment requests)

  1. Performance Progress Report PPR (PDF file 183KB)
  2. Federal Financial Report SF-425 (PDF file 63KB)
  3. Filling Instructions for SF-425 (PDF file 54KB)
  4. Request for Advance or Reimbursement SF-270 (PDF file 1MB)

A

Accrued Expenditures

Charges incurred by a recipient during a given period requiring the provision of funds for: (1) goods and other tangible property received; (2) services performed by employees, contractors, subrecipients, and other payees; and (3) other amounts becoming owed under programs for which no current services or performance is required.

Accrued Income

Sum of: (1) earnings during a given period from (i) services performed by the recipient, and (ii) goods and other tangible property delivered to purchasers; and (2) amount becoming owed to the recipient for which no current services or performance is required by the recipient.

Acquisition Cost of Equipment

Net invoice price of the equipment, including the cost of modifications, attachments, accessories, or auxiliary apparatus necessary to make the property usable for the purpose for which it was acquired. Other charges, such as the cost of installation, transportation, taxes, duty or protective in-transit insurance, shall be included or excluded from the unit acquisition cost in accordance with the recipient’s regular accounting practices.

Advance Payment

payment that a Federal awarding agency or pass-through entity makes by any appropriate payment mechanism, including a predetermined payment schedule, before the non-Federal entity disburses the funds for program purposes.

Application Package

A group of specific forms and documents for a specific funding opportunity which are used to apply for a grant.

Application Package Template

One or more forms and documents which can be reused for multiple opportunity-specific application packages.

Authorized Organization Representative (AOR)

An AOR submits a grant on behalf of a company, organization, institution, or government. Only an AOR has the authority to sign and submit grant applications.

Applying for a Grant

What is a DUNS number and why does my organization need to get one?

For all assistance awards issued to organizations, both domestic and foreign, Grants Officers must know the organization’s Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) DUNS number prior to award. The applicant organization must obtain this DUNS number on its own – the Department Grants Officer MAY NOT obtain the number from Dun and Bradstreet on behalf of the organization. The DUNS number is a unique nine-digit identifier that identifies an organization. The rationale for this requirement is to improve the statistical reporting of Federal assistance agreements. The DUNS number already is in use by the Federal government generally to identify entities receiving Federal. Among existing numbering systems, the DUNS is the only one that provides the Federal government the ability to determine hierarchical and family-tree data for related organizations.

What is the official language of award documents?

Department of State policy is that English is the official language of all award documents. If an award or any supporting documents are provided in both English and a foreign language, it must be stated in each version that the English language version is the controlling version.

What documents do I need to submit in order to get my grant approved?

There is a complete package of documents an organization or an individual is required to submit when trying to get approval for grant funds. If the grant is to be issued to an institution, the Grants Committee will need to receive:

1. Proof of an active registration with DUNS and SAM;

2. Revised proposal narrative (printed in the organization’s letterhead). This narrative should include what will be purchased with the funds, how items will be implemented, who will oversee the project, that the plan is to secure items purchased with USG funding, the timeline of the project;

3. Revised budget, which should include quantity for each item to be purchased, unit price in dollars, technical specifications of equipment (size, capacity, etc.), no need to identify a specific brand;

4. Filled out SF-424 form;

5. Monitoring Plan;

6. Filled out Direct Deposit Form.

Templates to forms can be found at our Forms tab.

If the grantee is an individual, they are not required to send a proof of registration with DUNS and SAM but must send all other documents listed above. Also, they are required to send the filled out SF-424i for individuals.

My institution’s Point of Contact in SAM no longer works for us and we don’t have the login information. How should we proceed?

SAM requires a notarized letter to give access to new Entity Administrators when the previous administrator is no longer with the organization and the new administrator cannot use the automated account migration tool. Your notarized letter needs to:

• Be on your company/organization letterhead, and be signed by your company President, CEO, or other authorized signature authority
• Contain your company/organization DUNS Number
• Contain the old CCR Primary and Alternate POCs’ name (if you know it)
• Contain the new Entity Administrator’s name, phone number, address and email address
• Provide a justification for the change
• Contain this statement above the signature block of your letter and insert the appropriate names where noted:

The purpose of this notarized letter is to verify the identity of [insert name of Entity Administrator]. [Insert name of Entity Administrator] affirms that he or she is an authorized officer, agent, or representative of [insert entity name, or, for individuals not representing an entity, say him/herself]. This letter will authorize [Insert name of Entity Administrator] to have access to the System for Award Management (SAM). SAM is a computer system managed by the Federal Government, and it is only accessible by individuals who are either authorized to represent a particular entity, or by individuals representing themselves. Accessing or using SAM, or information contained therein, for any unauthorized or illegal purposes, may have civil and criminal penalties, and may negatively impact the status of the SAM registration maintained on this entity. I, the below-signed, attest to the accuracy of all information contained in this letter.

The letter must be notarized, scanned and attached to an open service ticket submitted to the Federal Service Desk (www.fsd.gov). The new Entity Administrator must have an individual SAM User Account created with the e-mail address provided in the notarized letter.

NOTE: Once your incident is put in a “Pending Customer” status – you will have three days to complete this process and attach your notarized letter to your incident through your account on www.fsd.gov.