2020 Alumni Grants Program – Open Competition

Due to disruptions related to COVID-19, we are postponing the proposal submission deadline to July 1!

NOTICE OF FUNDING OPPORTUNITY
U.S. EMBASSY ZAGREB – PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE
Alumni Grants Program 2020

The U.S. Embassy Zagreb invites alumni of U.S. Government-sponsored programs and Croatian citizens who have studied in U.S. high schools or universities to apply for funding for small-scale projects, workshops, seminars and/or to bring an U.S. expert for a seminar, workshop, or similar educational activity.  The deadline for applications is July 1, 2020 at 12:00 pm (Noon).

The U.S. Embassy Zagreb is opening a call for Alumni Grants for 2020.  The Embassy invites alumni of U.S. Government-sponsored programs and Croatian citizens who have studied in U.S. high schools or universities to apply for funding for small-scale projects, workshops, seminars and/or to bring an U.S. expert for a seminar, workshop, or similar educational activity.

Grants are awarded to individual alumnus/ae.  In projects where a group of alumni are coordinating, one individual must be listed as the project leader.  Funds should be received through a non-profit and non-governmental institution (usually grantee’s employer: an NGO, an academic institution, school etc., registered in Croatia).  However, the alumnus listed as the project leader is fully responsible for the project – not the organization.  The grantee will be in charge of communicating with the Embassy, reporting on project results, and submitting financial reports on time.

Grant themes

Projects may address one or more of the following themes:

  • anti-corruption initiatives that contribute to improving the investment climate and transparency
  • women empowerment
  • critical thinking and civic responsibility
  • entrepreneurship promotion or education
  • training programs, lectures and seminars for high school and university students and teachers to develop innovative teaching methods, academic integrity, and civic engagement. Projects that bring U.S. experts to Croatia for joint programs are preferred.
  • media literacy and countering disinformation
  • digital literacy and countering cyberbullying
  • promoting tolerance using arts (such as drama, dance and fine arts) as a tool to bridge divides and develop new skills
  • energy security and cyber security in the era of 5G technology.

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.

Eligibility

  • Grants are awarded to alumni of U.S. Government-sponsored programs and Croatian citizens who have studied in U.S. high schools or universities
  • Funds should be received through a non-profit and non-governmental institution (usually grantee’s employer or associate: an NGO, an academic institution, school etc., registered in Croatia).
  • Applicants are only allowed to submit one proposal per organization.
  • Organizations with active Grants are not eligible to apply.

What are we looking for in your proposal?

  • Projects that clearly define how the alumna/us will share their U.S. experience with a wider audience in Croatia;
  • Program components that help build and enhance relationships between Croatia and the United States;
  • Projects that benefit a wide group of people and have a plan to amplify the results among the public through digital or other means;
  • A plan to recognize support from the U.S. Embassy in program materials and advertising;
  • Projects that serve traditionally underserved populations;
  • Specific, realistic plans for follow-up activities and knowledge transfer to the wider public;

Financial guidelines:

  • Grants range from $5,000 to $15,000;
  • Grants must be used to fund activities that take place in Croatia;
  • Budgets are submitted in US$. Cost sharing is strongly encouraged. Please indicate which costs you are asking the Embassy to cover. The committee will not review projects with budgets written in Croatian Kuna or other currencies;
  • Budgets must include line items clearly broken down (example: instead of “$400 for accommodation,” your budget should specify “X nights accommodation at $Y per night for Z number of U.S. speakers”);
  • Embassy grants cannot be used to fund religious organizations or political activity; humanitarian or charitable activities; trade activities; fundraising campaigns and commercial projects; laboratory research or individual travel outside of Croatia for consultations or conferences.
  • The Embassy reserves the right to offer partial funding for any project.
  • Recipients will be required to submit financial reports and program reports.

Guidelines for Budget Justification:

  • Personnel and Fringe Benefits: 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, 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 equipment required for the program, which will last more than one year and costs at least $5,000 per unit.
  • Supplies: 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. Equipment and supplies may not be given as a gift, prize or sub-grant.
  • 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.
  • Entertainment and Refreshments: Refreshment costs must be integral to the program and kept to a minimum.  Entertainment costs (amusement, diversion, social activities, ceremonials, alcoholic beverages, cocktail parties) are not allowable expenses.

Application documentation and Specifics:

Project proposals must be written in English and must include:

Important note:

In order to apply to this NOFO (Notice of Funding Opportunity), partner organizations must have a unique entity identifier (Data Universal Numbering System/DUNS number from Dun & Bradstreet), as well as a valid registration on www.SAM.gov.

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 registering at https://fedgov.dnb.com/webform

NCAGE application: 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

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

Please visit https://www.sam.gov for help with registration.  We cannot provide support related to the sam.gov registration.

Submission of proposals:

Application Deadline: Wednesday, July 1, 2020 at 12:00 pm (Noon) via e-mail to zagrebalumnigrants@state.gov.  Late submissions will not be considered. You should receive an auto-reply stating that your email has been received. If you do not receive such a reply within 1 day, please contact us.

Application Review and Notifications: Proposals will be reviewed by a committee for the below review criteria.

  • 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.
  • Organizational Capacity and Record on Previous Grants: The organization has expertise in its stated field and has the ability to manage a grant program.
  • Program Planning/Ability to Achieve Objectives: Goals and objectives are clearly stated and program approach is likely to provide maximum impact in achieving the proposed results.
  • 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: Applicant demonstrates it is able to measure program success against key indicators and provides milestones to indicate progress toward goals outlined in the proposal.
  • Sustainability: Program activities will continue to have positive impact after the end of the program.

Applicants will receive emails regarding the results by the July 31, 2020.

Funding is provided for projects starting after September 1, 2020 and no later than September 1, 2021. The Embassy cannot reimburse for costs incurred before the grant is signed.

Grant proposals should include all of the information requested in the application guidelines. Proposals must be in English, and budgets must be calculated in U.S. dollars. Supporting documents may be in Croatian.

Questions about the program can be addressed to ZagrebAlumniGrants@state.gov. No inquires will be accepted by phone, social media, or any other method.