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Notice of Funding Opportunities: Alumni Small Grants Program 2022
March 27, 2023

The U.S. Embassy in Zagreb invites alumni of U.S. Government-sponsored programs and Croatian citizens who have studied in U.S. high schools or universities to submit proposals by 12 pm (noon) on January 3, 2022, for small-scale projects addressing one or more of the following themes: 

  • Educational programs and initiatives that contribute to business transparency and improving Croatia’s investment climate; 
  • Innovative programs that raise climate awareness by focusing on the green economy and eco-friendly entrepreneurial initiatives; 
  • Educational and training programs on media and digital education and literacy; 
  • Educational and training programs on artificial intelligence and cybersecurity in the era of 5G technology and digitalization; 
  • Programs advancing energy cooperation and energy security; 
  • Programs that support women’s, minorities’ and other underrepresented groups’ political, security, economic, and civic participation and inclusion; 
  • Programs elevating women in senior and top leadership positions in government, business management, academia, and other vital sectors; 
  • Programs that strengthen Holocaust education in Croatia by increasing the capacity of key institutions and organizations to deepen understanding of the past and legacy issues; 
  • Initiatives by higher education institutions to exchange best practices and expertise with U.S. counterparts, develop innovative teaching methods, promote academic integrity, and encourage civic engagement; 
  • Programs that engage Croatian alumni of U.S. Government-sponsored exchange programs to share expertise through alumni clubs, conferences, and other networking events.  Partnering with alumni throughout the broader region is encouraged. 

Eligibility and Rules: 

  • Eligible applicants include alumni of U.S. Government-sponsored programs (such as Fulbright, Hubert Humphrey, IVLP [including virtual IVLP], Ron Brown, JFDP, Benjamin Franklin, World Chicago Professional Exchange, YTILI, etc.) and Croatian citizens who have studied in U.S. high schools or universities based in the United States.  Alumni of U.S. accredited educational institutions based outside of the United States are not eligible to apply; 
  • Grants are awarded to an individual alumnus or alumna.  If a group of alumni is coordinating on a project, one individual must be listed as the project leader and is responsible for communicating with the Embassy, reporting on project results, and submitting timely financial reports; 
  • Funds should be received through a non-profit and non-governmental institution registered and based in Croatia (this can be the grantee’s employer or association, which may be an NGO, educational, academic institution, research institute, or similar organization); 
  • Scientific research and lab-related projects are not eligible for funding; 
  • If a proposal is selected, a valid System for Award Management (SAM.gov) registration will be required to receive funding and begin project activities(Please see below under Required Registrations for details.); 
  • Each alumnus or alumna is allowed to submit one proposal; 
  • If the Embassy receives multiple proposals affiliated with the same institution, the Embassy will evaluate during the proposal review process the institution’s capacity to manage multiple grants; 
  • Alumni with active grants awarded by the U.S. Embassy are not eligible to apply; 

The following categories of projects are not eligible for alumni grants: 

  • Projects involving partisan political activity;  
  • Projects involving charitable activities and/or the distribution of humanitarian aid; 
  • Projects involving a fundraising campaign;  
  • Projects that are commercial in nature (for example, projects from which the applicant or a partner derives money or which supports a current or future business or entrepreneurial venture);  
  • Projects involving the provision of health care or services, childcare, food subsidies, or other social services; 
  • Projects funding individual travel outside of Croatia for consultations or conferences. 

Tips for Successful Proposals: 

  • Engage U.S. experts virtually or in-person when conditions allow; 
  • Present specific, realistic plans for follow-up activities and amplification to a wider audience; 
  • Clearly define how the alumna/us will share their U.S. experience with a wider audience in Croatia; 
  • Include program components that enhance the U.S.-Croatia partnership by building relationships and networks; 
  • Include a plan to recognize support from the U.S. Embassy in program materials and advertising. 

Financial Guidelines: 

  • This notice is subject to the availability of funding; 
  • Total available funding: $100,000; 
  • Expected grant amounts: $10,000 – $25,000; 
  • The Embassy reserves the right to offer partial funding for any project; 
  • Your project must begin between March 1 – September 1, 2022; 
  • Grants must be used to fund activities that take place in Croatia or in the region if the project has a regional component; 
  • Budgets must be submitted in U.S. dollars.  The committee will not review projects with budgets written in Croatian Kuna or other currencies; 
  • Cost-sharing, which refers to contributions from the organization or other entities other than the U.S. Embassy, and which includes in-kind contributions such as volunteers’ time and donated venues, is encouraged.  Please clearly specify in your budget any cost-shared items; 
  • Budgets must include clear line items (for example, instead of “$400 for accommodation,” your budget should specify “X nights accommodation at $Y per night for Z number of U.S. speakers”); 
  • Grantees are required to submit financial reports and program reports on a regular basis; 
  • The Embassy cannot reimburse for costs incurred before the grant is signed. 

Guidelines for Budget Justification: 

  • Personnel and fringe benefits: Detail 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 (for example, your budget should specify “X percent of project work x number of months based on gross salary $Y per month”); 
  • Travel: Estimate the costs of travel and per diem for program staff, consultants, speakers, and/or participants.  If the program involves international travel, include a brief statement of justification for that travel;
  • Accommodation: Estimate the costs of travel based on researched accommodation prices.  For example, your budget should specify “X nights accommodation at $Y per night for Z number of U.S. speakers”; 
  • Equipment: Describe any equipment required for the program, noting that equipment must last more than one year and cost at least $5,000 per unit. 
  • Supplies: Describe all items and materials, including any computer devices needed for the program.  If an item costs more than $5,000 per unit, put it in the budget under Equipment.  Equipment and supplies may not be given as gifts, prizes, or sub-grants. 
  • 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 that do not fit into the categories detailed above (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. 
  • 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, and cocktail parties) are not allowable expenses. 

Application Requirements: 

  • Project proposals must be written in English but supporting documents may be in Croatian; 
  • Other than required PDF forms, please send all application documents in Microsoft Word or Excel; 
  • Required documents: 
  • Application Form available here.  DO NOT EXCEED FOUR PAGES and please submit in Microsoft Word format; 
  • SF-424 (Application for Federal Assistance – organizations)
    Click here for instructions; 
  • SF-424A (Budget Information for Non-Construction programs)
    Click here for instructions; 
  • CV for project leader(s) and U.S. experts, if applicable; 
  • Registration letter for partner NGOs confirming NGO status; 
  • Email or screenshot confirming the applicant’s active status in SAM.Gov (Please see below under Required Registrations for details). 
  • Email your complete application as separate Word or PDF files to zagrebalumnigrants@state.gov by 12 pm (noon) on January 3, 2022.  Late submissions will not be considered; 

NOTE: You should receive an auto-reply stating that your email has been received. If you do not receive an auto-reply within one day that means that your application was not received, so please contact us. 

Required Registrations: 

  • All applicant organizations must register for an NCAGE code and DUNS/ Unique Entity Identifier (UEI), and then register with the System for Award Management (www.SAM.gov).  Use only U.S. characters (no diacritics) for all required registrations; your address, name, and contact details need to exactly match in all registrations and in SAM.gov.  Please be aware that SAM registration is free of charge and must be renewed annually online but it can take several weeks to finalize, so we strongly encourage all applicants to start the SAM.gov registration process immediately. 

STEPS TO APPLY for required registrations:* 

Step 1: Apply for the NCAGE number 

  • Access the NCAGE application 
  • Detailed instructions for the NCAGE application process are available here. 
  • NCAGE has to be renewed every 5 years. 
  • The NCAGE renewals need to be done before sam.gov can be renewed. In many cases, if the organization has an NCAGE code and gets an error saying something is wrong, it is because the number needs to be renewed. So it is in the grantees’ best interest to check if their numbers are active. 
  • Make sure that only US characters (no diacritics) be used since address/name need to match in SAM.gov. 

Step 2: Apply for a Unique entity identifier (UEI) from Dun & Bradstreet (DUNS number) DUNS number (this can be done simultaneously with the NCAGE registration) 

*UEI/DUNS application: If your organization does not already have a DUNS number, you may obtain one here 

Step 3: After receiving the NCAGE number, register your Entity at SAM.gov 

  • Please note that merely obtaining a SAM.gov username and password does not complete the registration but only allows you to enter the database and register your organization. 
  • SAM.gov registration must be renewed annually. 
  • Please visit https://www.sam.gov for help with registration. The Embassy cannot provide support related to the SAM.gov registration process.  

*Important note: DUNS will be retired next April 2022. It will be replaced by UEI which will be assigned by sam.gov. UEIs are being given to organizations who register/renew this year. 

New Unique Entity ID (SAM) from Shared Solutions & Performance on Vimeo.

 Application Review Details:  

  • Review Process – the Embassy committee will review all eligible proposals using the following criteria: 
  • The program idea is well developed and includes details on how program activities will be carried out.  The proposal includes a reasonable implementation timeline; 
  • The organization has the capacity to manage a grant and, if applicable, has a strong record of managing any U.S. Government grant(s); 
  • Goals and objectives are clearly stated and the program approach is likely to achieve the proposed results; 
  • 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; 
  • Applicant demonstrates he/she is able to measure program success against key indicators and provides milestones to indicate progress toward goals outlined in the proposal; 
  • Program activities will continue to have a positive impact after the formal end of the program. 

Review Results: 

  • Applicants will be notified of results by the end of February 2022.  

All questions about the program should be addressed to ZagrebAlumniGrants@state.gov.   

No inquires will be accepted by phone, social media, or any other method.  Contacting the members of the panel and Embassy employees about the call for proposals may result in disqualification.