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Notice of Funding Opportunity | Small Grants Program


Notice of Funding Opportunity

Funding Opportunity Title:               U.S. Mission to the United Nations – Geneva Small Grants Program

Funding Opportunity Number:        GVA-SGP-2023-002

Deadline for Applications:                Rolling Basis until September 1 of each year

CFDA Number:                                     19.040 – Public Diplomacy Programs

Total Amount Available:                   $200,000.00

Maximum for Each Award:               Average Awards range from approximately $15,000 to $40,000


This Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) outlines funding priorities, strategic areas of focus, and instructions for submitting requests for funding. Please follow all instructions carefully.

Through its Small Grants Program, the United States Mission in Geneva is accepting project proposals that promote U.S. policy priorities in the multilateral sphere. Project should be aimed at international (not U.S.) audiences, and impact should resonate in Geneva`s multilateral environment. Projects should be implemented by an organization or individual with a presence in Geneva and/or be carried out in Geneva itself.

U.S. Mission Geneva’s Small Grants Program supports projects that include, but are not limited to, the following priority areas:

  • Promoting human rights, including the protection of human rights defenders
  • Monitoring and managing the response to humanitarian crises
  • Strengthening global public health and global health security systems
  • Mobilizing action on climate change
  • Promoting transparency, accountability, and efficiency in the UN system
  • Advancing gender across the range of Mission Geneva’s priority areas

Authorizing legislation, type and year of funding: FY23 Fulbright Hays Public Diplomacy Funds

Awards will be made to successful applicants subject to the availability of appropriated funds.

Federal Award Information


Deadline for Applications: September 1 of each year

Length of performance period: up to 12 months

Number of awards anticipated: 8-10

Award amounts: average awards range from approximately $15,000 to $40,000.

Total available funding: $200,000

Funding Instrument Types:  Grant, Fixed Amount Award, or Cooperative Agreement.

Cooperative agreements are different from grants in that PAS staff are more actively involved in the grant implementation. Examples of substantial involvement may include, but are not limited to:

  • Approving speakers for a program;
  • Approving films, performances, artists;
  • Selecting or approving participants for exchange programs.

To maximize the sustainability of the award resulting from this NOFO, the U.S. Mission to the United Nations-Geneva, PAS retains the right to execute non-competitive continuation amendment(s).  The total duration of any award, including potential non-competitive continuation amendments, shall not exceed 36 months.  Any non-competitive continuation is contingent on performance and pending availability of funds.  A non-competitive continuation is not guaranteed and applies only to Grants (not Fixed Amount Awards of Cooperative Agreements).

Eligibility Information


U.S. Mission Geneva welcomes applications from both individuals and organizations based in Geneva or abroad, including:

  • Not-for-profit organizations, think-tanks, civil society, nongovernmental organizations, not-for-profit educational institutions, and foreign public entities including Public International Organizations and UN organizations.

For-Profit organizations or commercial entities are not eligible to apply.

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;
  • Fund-raising campaigns;
  • Lobbying for specific legislation or programs
  • Scientific research;
  • Programs intended primarily for the growth or institutional development of the organization;
  • Programs that duplicate existing programs; or
  • Programs that are aimed primarily at U.S. audiences.

Cost sharing or matching is not required.

Other Eligibility Requirements:

Applicants are only allowed to submit one proposal per organization. If more than one proposal is submitted from an organization, all proposals from that institution will be considered ineligible for funding.

In order to be eligible to receive an award, all organizations must have a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) number issued via www.SAM.gov as well as a valid registration on www.SAM.gov. Please see Required Registrations below for more information. Individuals are not required to have a UEI or be registered in SAM.gov.

Application and Submission Information


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.

Content of Application

Please ensure:

  • The proposal clearly addresses the goals and objectives of this funding opportunity
  • All documents are in English
  • All budgets are in U.S. dollars
  • All pages are numbered
  • All documents are formatted to 8 ½ x 11 paper, and
  • All Microsoft Word documents are single-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font, with a minimum of 1-inch margins.

The following documents are required:

  1. Mandatory application forms
  • SF424 (Application for Federal Assistance – organizations) or SF424_I (Application for Federal Assistance – individual)
  • SFSF424A (Budget Information for Non-Construction programs)
  • SF424B (Assurances for Non-Construction programs) or SF424B-I (Assurances for Non-Construction programs – individual)
  1. 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.
  2. Proposal: The proposal should contain sufficient information that anyone not familiar with it would understand exactly what the applicant wants to do. 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 Mission Geneva and/or U.S. government agencies.
  • Problem Statement: Clear, concise and well-supported statement of the problem to 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 U.S. and XXX will be improved? The “objectives” refer to the intermediate accomplishments on the way to the goals. These should be achievable and measurable.
  • Program Activities: A description of the program activities and how they will help achieve the objectives.
  • Diversity and Inclusion: A description of how the program will incorporate and promote diversity, equality, and inclusion.
  • 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. Throughout the timeframe of the grant, how will the activities be monitored to ensure they are happening in a timely manner, and how will the program be evaluated to make sure it is meeting the goals of the grant?
  • Future Funding or SustainabilityApplicant’s plan for continuing the program beyond the grant period, or the availability of other resources, if applicable.
  1. Budget Justification Narrative: After filling out the SF-424A Budget (above), use a separate sheet of paper to describe each of the budget expenses in detail.  See section H Other Information: Guidelines for Budget Submissions below for further information. PAS has a suggested Detailed Budget Optional Template. If you choose to use your own form, it must include all the budget categories described in the section H.
  1. Attachments (if applicable):
  2. 1-page CV or resume of key personnel who are proposed for the program
  3. Letters of support from program partners describing the roles and responsibilities of each partner
  4. Official permission letters, if required for program activities

Required Registrations:

All organizations applying for grants (except individuals) must obtain these registrations.  All are free of charge:

  • SAM.gov registration
  • Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) – assigned as part of SAM.gov registration
  • NCAGE/CAGE code

Any applicant with an exclusion in the System for Award Management (SAM) is not eligible to apply for an assistance award in accordance with the OMB guidelines at 2 CFR 180 that implement Executive Orders 12549 (3 CFR, 1986 Comp., p. 189) and 12689 (3 CFR, 1989 Comp., p. 235), “Debarment and Suspension.”

The Unique Entity Identifier (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.  SAM.gov is the Federal government’s primary database for complying with FFATA reporting requirements.  OMB designated SAM.gov as the central repository to facilitate applicant and recipient use of a single public website that consolidates data on all federal financial assistance.  Under the law, it is mandatory to register in SAM.gov.

As of April 2022, the UEI is assigned when an organization registers or renews it’s registration in SAM.gov at www.SAM.gov.  To access SAM.gov an organization is required to have a Login.gov account. Organization can create an account at https://login.gov/.   As a reminder, organizations need to renew their sam.gov registration annually.

US-based organizations: A CAGE code will be automatically assigned when the U.S. organization registers in www.sam.gov.  CAGE must be renewed every 5 years.  Site for CAGE : https://cage.dla.mil/Home/UsageAgree. Grantees may be asked for more information to finalize the registration.

Foreign-based organizations: Must apply for a NCAGE code before registering in SAM.gov. Go to: https://eportal.nspa.nato.int/AC135Public/CageTool/home to apply for a NCAGE code.  NCAGE codes must be renewed every 5 years.

It is in the organization’s best interest to check if their CAGE/or NCAGE codes are active.  Organizations are required to register or renew their CAGE or NCAGE codes prior to registering or renewing www.sam.gov.  Registration and renewals for both CAGE and NCAGE can take up to 10 days.  The organization’s legal address in NCAGE/CAGE must be the same as what is reflected in www.sam.gov.

SAM.gov requires all entities to renew their registration once a year in order to maintain an active registration status.  It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure it has an active registration in SAM.gov.

If an organization plans to issue a sub-contract or sub-award, those sub-awardees must also have a unique entity identifier (UEI) number.  Those entities can register for a UEI only at SAM.gov.

If an organization does not have an active registration in SAM.gov prior to submitting an application, the application will be deemed ineligible.  All organizations applying for grants (except individuals) must obtain these registrations. All registrations are free of charge.

Note: As of April 2022, a DUNS number is no longer required as it is replaced by the UEI registration process in SAM.gov described above.

  1. Submission Dates and Times

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and may be submitted for consideration at any time before the closing date of September 1 of each year.  Applications submitted after that date will be considered in the following fiscal year.

  1. Funding Restrictions

Award funds cannot be used for construction, vehicle purchases, or alcoholic beverages.

  1. Other Submission Requirements

All application materials must be submitted by email to GenevaGrants@state.gov.

Application Review Information


  1. Criteria

Each application will be evaluated and rated on the basis of the evaluation criteria outlined below. The criteria listed are closely related and are considered as a whole in judging the overall quality of an application.

Organizational capacity and record on previous grants: The organization has expertise in its stated field and Mission Geneva is confident of its 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 approach is likely to provide maximum impact in achieving the proposed results.

Mission priorities: Applicant has clearly described how stated goals are related to and support U.S. Mission’s priority areas or target audiences. This includes a description of how the program will incorporate and promote diversity, equality, and inclusion.

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 provide milestones to indicate progress toward goals outlined in the proposal. The program includes output and outcome indicators, and shows how and when those will be measured.

Sustainability: Program activities will continue to have positive impact after the end of the program.

  1. Review and Selection Process

Mission Geneva`s Grants Review Committee will evaluate all eligible applications.


For any Federal award under a notice of funding opportunity, if the Federal awarding agency anticipates that the total Federal share will be greater than the simplified acquisition threshold on any Federal award under a notice of funding opportunity may include, over the period of performance (see §200.88 Simplified Acquisition Threshold), this section must also inform applicants:

i. That the Federal awarding agency, prior to making a Federal award with a total amount of Federal share greater than the simplified acquisition threshold, is required to review and consider any information about the applicant that is in the designated integrity and performance system accessible through SAM (currently FAPIIS) (see 41 U.S.C. 2313);

ii. That an applicant, at its option, may review information in the designated integrity and performance systems accessible through SAM and comment on any information about itself that a Federal awarding agency previously entered and is currently in the designated integrity and performance system accessible through SAM;

iii. That the Federal awarding agency will consider any comments by the applicant, in addition to the other information in the designated integrity and performance system, in making a judgment about the applicant’s integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under Federal awards when completing the review of risk posed by applicants as described in §200.205 Federal awarding agency review of risk posed by applicants.

The Simplified Acquisition Threshold is currently set at $250,000.00.

  1. Anticipated Announcement and Federal Award Dates

Applications are received and evaluated on a “rolling” basis throughout the year. Typically, the full processing period takes 2-3 months before final approval, funding and program start date.

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 beginning on the start date shown on the grant award document signed by the Grants Officer.

If a proposal is selected for funding, the Department of State has no obligation to provide any additional future funding. Renewal of an award to increase funding or extend the period of performance is at the discretion of the Department of State.

Issuance of this Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) does not constitute an award commitment on the part of the U.S. government, nor does it commit the U.S. government to pay for costs incurred in the preparation and submission of proposals. Further, the U.S. government reserves the right to reject any or all proposals received.

Payment Method: Payments are typically made in two or more installments, as needed to carry out the program activities.

Organizations whose applications are not selected for funding will be notified via email.

  1. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

Terms and Conditions: Before submitting an application, applicants should review all the terms and conditions and required certifications which will apply to this award, to ensure that they will be 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/about-us-office-of-the-procurement-executive/.

Note the U.S. Flag branding and marking requirements in the Standard Terms and Conditions.

  1. Reporting

Reporting Requirements: Recipients will be required to submit program reports and/or financial and program reports.  The award document will specify how often these reports must be submitted.



If you have any questions about the grant application process, please contact U.S. Mission Geneva’s Public Affairs Section (PAS) at: GenevaGrants@state.gov

Other Information


Guidelines for Budget Justification

Personnel: 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. 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 put 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 Mission Geneva.  It also includes in-kind contributions such as volunteers’ time and donated venues. Cost sharing is not a requirement.

Alcoholic Beverages:  Please note that award funds cannot be used for alcoholic beverages.