Notification of Funding Opportunity
Announcement Type: Grant

Funding Opportunity Title: Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund (AEIF) 2023

Funding Opportunity Number: S-DR860-23-NOFO-0001

Date Opened: January 27, 2023

Closing Date and Time for Submission of Application: February 28, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. (Santo Domingo time). Received proposals will be reviewed and submitted to the Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund 2023 global competition. 

Eligibility Category: Teams with at least two alumni of U.S. Government-sponsored exchange programs 

Award Ceiling: U.S. $35,000.00 

Award Floor: U.S. $5,000.00 

Electronic Requirement: Applications must be submitted to the email address listed below.

Federal Agency Contact: Grants Officer, Timothy Brown


The Embassy of the United States in Santo Domingo announces an open competition for past participants (“alumni”) of programs funded and sponsored through the Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs (ECA) of the State Department and offered through the Public Affairs Section of the United States Embassy in Santo Domingo, to submit applications to the 2023 Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund (AEIF 2023). We seek proposals from teams of at least two alumni that meet all program eligibility requirements below. Exchange alumni interested in participating in AEIF 2023 should submit proposals to by February 28, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. (Santo Domingo time).


AEIF provides alumni of U.S.-sponsored and facilitated exchange programs with funding to expand on skills gained during their exchange experience to design and implement innovative solutions to global challenges facing their community. Since its inception in 2011, AEIF has funded nearly 500 alumni-led projects worldwide through a competitive international competition. This year, the AEIF call for applications in the Dominican Republic will support the United States’ commitment to promoting climate resilience, sustainability, and biodiversity protection through entrepreneurship and innovation; promoting inclusion and democratic participation; connecting Dominicans with American entrepreneurship and innovation resources; and promoting citizen security.

The U.S. Embassy in Santo Domingo will accept public service* projects proposed and managed by teams of at least two (2) alumni that support objectives such as:

  • Promoting and providing access to science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) education and innovation to  youth from underserved and/or rural communities. This also includes teacher training programs on best practices for STEAM education in underserved and/or rural communities.
  • Empowering women and youth from underserved and/or rural communities through the arts and/or entrepreneurship training programs.
  • Countering environmental challenges, increasing resilience, and developing local capacity to address ecological challenges that include but are not limited to countering climate change; transitioning to sustainable energy sources; promoting water and food security, and best practices for agriculture; protecting biodiversity; improving recycling and municipal waste management; and decreasing pollution, sedimentation, and run-off of plastics and debris into marine and coastal areas.
  • Addressing current health and/or citizen security challenges with innovative and sustainable community-focused solutions.
  • Improving the participation and empowerment of youth, women, and underrepresented groups including but not limited to people with disabilities, LGBT+ communities, and migrants in the Dominican Republic. This includes training and educational programming that empower such groups and that improve the capacity of local stakeholders (communities, government actors, academia, and the private sector) to promote inclusion, diversity, equity, accessibility, accountability, and protection of human rights in the Dominican Republic.

*These projects must serve beneficiaries, free of charge, and the selection process used to choose beneficiaries must be transparent and receive approval from the Public Affairs Section.



  • Applicants must be alumni of U.S. government-funded or sponsored exchange programs, and form teams of at least two (2) alumni. 
  • Alumni who are U.S. citizens may not submit proposals, but U.S. citizen alumni may participate as team members in a project. 
  • Alumni teams may be composed of alumni from different exchange programs and different countries, but at least one of the team leaders must reside in the Dominican Republic. 
  • Proposals must address the priority areas listed above. Proposals that do not address the priorities as outlined in the program objectives will be deemed ineligible. 
  • All project activities must take place in the Dominican Republic.
  • The grant will be processed with a local organization that is a partner in the project. The organization (not-for-profits registered in the Dominican Republic, non-governmental organizations, think tanks, or academic institutions) must have a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI), as well as a valid registration on 
  • Proposals must be submitted in English and using the official AEIF 2023 Forms by no later than February 28, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. (Santo Domingo time)

Allowable Activities and Costs 

All project activities and initiatives must take place in the Dominican Republic. AEIF 2023 can support the following costs and activities: 

  • Intra-regional or in-country transportation.
  • Rental of venues for project activities.
  • Trainer or speaker expenses.
  • Reasonable equipment and materials. 
  • Meals or refreshments integral to the project goals (i.e. working lunch during a meeting).
  • Communications and publicity materials, such as manuals or project advertisements.

Ineligible Activities and Unallowable Costs 

AEIF 2023 does not support the following activities or costs, and the selection committee will deem applications involving any of these activities or costs ineligible: 

  • Airfare to or from the United States and its territories.
  • Activities that take place in the United States and its territories.
  • Sustained staff salaries, office space, and overhead/operational expenses.
  • Large items of durable equipment or construction programs. 
  • Alcohol, excessive meals, refreshments, or entertainment. 
  • Academic or scientific research.
  • Charitable or development activities or the provision of direct social services to a population.
  • Support or opposition to partisan political activity or lobbying for specific legislation or programs.
  • Programs that support specific religious activities.
  • Fund-raising campaigns.
  • Programs intended primarily for the growth or institutional development of the organization.
  • Venture capital, for-profit endeavors, or charging a fee for participation in the project.
  • Individual scholarships.
  • Personal development.
  • Social travel/visits.
  • Cash prizes or seed funding. Prizes can be included however; alumni need to provide an evaluation rubric to determine how winners would be selected.
  • Donations.
  • Programs that duplicate existing programs.



Alumni interested in competing in AEIF 2023 should submit proposals via email to by February 28, 2023, at 11:59 p.m.

The U.S. Embassy in Santo Domingo will review all the received proposals that meet the eligibility requirements and will present up to two proposals from the Dominican Republic for the AEIF 2023 global competition. 

Content and Form of Application Submission 

Proposals must be submitted in English and in U.S. dollars, using the official applications forms “AEIF 2023 Application Form” and “AEIF 2023 Budget Form”. These are available on the U.S. Embassy website at 

Please follow the instructions listed below. Proposals that do not meet the requirements of this announcement or that do not meet the established requirements will not be eligible. 

Please ensure that: 

  • The proposal clearly addresses the goals and objectives of AEIF 2023.
  • The proposal answers all questions on the official forms for the proposal and the budget of AEIF 2023.
  • All documents are in English.
  • The budget is in U.S. dollars and is presented using the official AEIF budget form.
  1. Guide to completing the Application Form 

AEIF projects demonstrate innovation by tackling a new issue, using a unique approach, working with a different group of people, or performing the project in a different location than other projects. The strategies and questions below are designed to help you create a strong proposal. 

Purpose and Summary, Description, and Implementation Plan: Explain what your project is about. When developing the purpose, summary, description, and implementation plan, you should make all descriptions clear, concise, and compelling. 

To write your narrative, consider the following questions: 

  • What is your project and why is it important? 
  • What change will your project create? 
  • Who is your target audience (are you trying to reach youth; a specific professional sector; disadvantaged communities, etc.?) 
  • How many people will be impacted by your project? 
  • Are you carrying out an awareness campaign, training, mentoring program, etc.? 
  • What impact or changes will you see because of the project? 
  • Who are your partners? What responsibilities will each team member and partner have? 
  • What major steps and activities will you undertake to make your project happen? 

Relevance of the project to the AEIF 2023 goals:  Throughout your proposal, you will need to demonstrate how your project will serve to promote one of the AEIF themes. 

Degree of alumni involvement: Projects must include at least two (2) alumni team leaders. More than two alumni may comprise the team, however, the minimum is two. As the team leaders, the alumni must be closely involved in project planning, implementation, etc. You should ensure that the proposal includes the following information for each alumni team member: first name, last name, e-mail address, exchange program, and country of citizenship. In the proposal, you’ll need to explain the roles and responsibilities of each member of the alumni team. Remember, alumni who are U.S. citizens may not submit an application, but they may be part of a team. 

Participation and support from local partners: Buy-in and support from the community are important for the success of a project! The involvement of local partners is a strong sign that there is community support and that you are engaging a broad array of experts. List and describe non-alumni partners and the role, resources, or services they will provide to your project (i.e. subject matter experts, community centers, academic institutions, businesses, local/national government, non-governmental organizations, American Spaces). If you don’t have an existing relationship with the partner(s), explain how you will establish the partnership. 

Monitoring and Evaluation: Proposals must include a plan to monitor and evaluate the project’s success, both as the activities take place and at the end of the project. Overall, the quality of your monitoring and evaluation plan will be judged on how well it 1) specifies the intended outcomes and what you plan to achieve with the project, 2) gives clear descriptions of how each outcome will be measured, 3) identifies when the outcomes will be measured, and 4) explains how outcomes will be collected (such as surveys, interviews, or focus groups). Successful monitoring and evaluation depend heavily on setting clear goals and outcomes. 

Sustainability: AEIF funds can only take your project so far. If the implementation is successful, what are ways that your project will continue to make a positive impact? How do you plan to continue this project beyond this initial funding year? 

Communication, media, and outreach plan: How will you promote your project to the public and beneficiaries? Include social media, websites, print news, or other forms of media you will use to share information about your project. Interim and final reporting is required for winning AEIF projects. Please be prepared to develop a reporting plan to share information about the success/impact of your project. 

2. Guide to complete the Budget Form 

All budgets must be submitted using only the AEIF 2023 budget form, available through the U.S. Embassy website at Other budget formats will not be accepted, and the project will be deemed ineligible. 

Alumni are allowed to request between US $5,000 to US $35,000. Consider carefully the number of funds you will need to implement your project. There is no need to go for the full US $35,000 if that is not necessary to achieve the impact you are seeking. Smaller projects that require less funding are as worthy as larger projects. You might also want to consider running a small-scale pilot project before fully rolling out a larger project. 

Please note that items valued at US $200 or more must be itemized. Related costs should not be lumped together. For example, travel, accommodations, and meals for a speaker should be three separate line items. The table below provides guidance on filling out the budget form: 

Venue Cost Reasonable costs based on the local environment for renting space for project-related activities. Look for donated space first (American space and academic institutions often donate or discount venues). Consider negotiating deals to include coffee breaks, lunch, presentation equipment, or modest supplies, and include this information in the budget justification. 

Promotional Items and Advertising

Promotional items that you will use to amplify the project. Break down the promotion and advertising, clearly indicating what you will get in return for costs incurred (i.e. number of ads, on which platforms, and at which times). Consider cost share or free online tools for graphic design work. Funding used for the creation of websites will need to be strongly justified. 

Meals & Beverages 

Reasonable requests for snacks, non-alcoholic beverages, and meals are essential to the program (i.e. a working lunch is acceptable, but a cocktail reception is not). Break down meals by the cost per person per meal per day. 

Speaker Honorarium or Trainer Fees 

Speaker: Maximum of US$200 per day for a full day of programming. Trainer: Maximum US$200 per full day or $25 per hour. Preparation and follow-up costs are acceptable and should be itemized at the same rate. Consider asking your fellow alumni to provide their expertise as in-kind support for the project (i.e. cost share). The sum of speaker fees, honorarium, and consulting fees should not exceed 30%, regardless if the program takes place virtually or in person.

Lodging and per diem 

In-country and intraregional airfare, meals, lodging, and local travel (i.e. taxi, bus, train). Indicate if lodging is single or dual occupancy and the duration of stay and one-way or roundtrip fares. 


In-country and intraregional airfare or local travel costs (via car, bus, train, etc.). Please specify the mode of transportation, who will travel, the destination/arrival points, and if the cost covers round-trip or one-way travel. Travel to the U.S. will not be covered as all projects must take place outside of the U.S. 


Supplies, Materials, and Equipment 

General office supplies, software, fuel, small equipment such as laptops, projectors, etc., and expendable material (i.e. paint or paper). When possible, rent rather than purchase equipment. Indicate what you will do with the purchased equipment after the project concludes. Please consider including health and safety needs such as testing kits, sanitation items, social distancing, and prevention supplies.


List any items that do not apply to the categories above. Be specific! Commonly cited items are administrative costs and monitoring and evaluation, which require details and cost breakdown. It is allowable to include indirect costs incurred for the benefit of the project such as administrative and overhead costs. This amount should not exceed 10% of the total proposed budget and should not include salaries for team members. 


Budget Justification: Budgets should be accompanied by a narrative description known as a budget justification. In the narrative, you will explain what the numbers in the budget form represent, how you calculated them, and why you need to incur them for your project. Be sure to explain any unusual circumstances or requests. This information will help the reviewer understand your costs to determine if they are reasonable. 

Cost Share: Your budget justification is also an opportunity to explain financial support from other sources (“cost share”). Examples of cost-shared items are in-kind support (services, labor, supplies/equipment, or volunteers), a business contributing food for your event, an organization offering a venue at a discount or free of charge, an NGO sponsoring an activity, an expert donating time to facilitate a seminar, etc. Proposals with cost-shared items will be considered more competitive. 


The Public Affairs Section at the U.S. Embassy in Santo Domingo will use the following criteria to evaluate all applications. After this initial review, the Public Affairs Section will submit the top proposal from the Dominican Republic to the global AEIF 2023 competition. The proposals will be reviewed by a Selection Committee made up of regional and exchange program experts located at the Department of State in Washington, DC. Panelists will use the criteria below to review and evaluate applications. The strongest proposals will be recommended for funding. 

Criteria  Maximum Points 
Purpose and Summary, Description, and Implementation Plan  20 points 
Relevance of the project to AEIF 2023 themes  10 points 
Degree of alumni involvement  10 points 
Participation and support from local partners  10 points 
Evaluation and impact of the project  10 points 
Sustainability  10 points 
Communication, media and outreach Plan  10 points 
Budget and budget narrative  20 points 
Total possible points  100 


Review and selection timeline

Dates Phase of the selection process
January 20 – February 28,  2023 The call is open for proposals.
March 1-30, 2023 PAS Santo Domingo will evaluate and select up to two (2) proposals to recommend to the Alumni Affairs Office in Washington D.C. for funding consideration. Alumni who submitted a proposal will be notified if they are moving forward with the process and if additional information is necessary.
March 31, 2023 Deadline for PAS Santo Domingo to submit the selected proposals to the global AEIF competition for consideration.
June 30, 2023 The Alumni Affairs Office informs posts of selected proposals.
July 15, 2023 Deadline for the alumni team to deliver the documents including registration in to PAS Santo Domingo. Failure to deliver the requested documents may lead to forfeiture of funding.



Once the AEIF 2023 Selection Committee has determined the projects that are recommended for funding, the Public Affairs Section at the U.S. Embassy in Santo Domingo will contact those teams to finalize any programmatic and budget details and issue the grant. To be eligible to receive your funding, all organizations must have a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI), as well as a valid registration on If an organization does not have an active registration in prior to submitting an application, the application will be deemed ineligible. All organizations applying for grants (except individuals) must obtain these registrations.

The grant award 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 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. Furthermore, the U.S. government reserves the right to reject any or all proposals received. 

Payment Method: Electronic Fund Transfers. These funds are not delivered in part or total in cash or checks. 

Reporting Requirements: AEIF 2023 beneficiaries must submit financial and program reports. The grant agreement will specify the frequency of submission of reports. 

Required Registrations:

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

  • registration which will generate a UEI
  • 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. is the Federal government’s primary database for complying with FFATA reporting requirements. OMB designated 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 on

Starting April 2022, the UEI will be assigned when an organization registers or renews its registration in at To access an organization is required to have a account. Organizations can create an account at As a reminder, organizations need to renew their registration annually.

Foreign-based organizations must apply for an NCAGE code before registering on To register, go to: home to apply for a CAGE 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 CAGE codes prior to registering or renewing Both registration and renewals for both CAGE and NCAGE can take up to 10 days. The organization’s legal address in NCAGE/CAGE must mirror www. 

Organizations are required to register/or renew their CAGE or NCAGE codes prior to registering or renewing Both registration and renewals for both CAGE and NCAGE can take up to 10 days. The organization’s legal address in NCAGE/CAGE must mirror www. requires all entities to renew their registration once a year in order to maintain an active registration status in It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure it has an active registration in


For questions about the AEIF 2023 application process, please contact us via email at