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Engaging with civil society organizations and local audiences to promote LGBTQI+ Rights and Inclusion
24 MINUTE READ
May 24, 2023

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
U.S. Embassy Santo Domingo

Notice of Funding Opportunity: Statement of Interest

Funding Opportunity Title: Engaging with civil society organizations and local audiences to promote LGBTQI+ Rights and Inclusion

Funding Opportunity Number: S-DR860-23-NOFO-0002

Deadline for ApplicationsJune 30, 2023

CFDA Number: 19.040 – Public Diplomacy Programs

Total Amount Available: US$10,000

  1. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION
    The U.S. Embassy Santo Domingo of the U.S. Department of State announces an open competition for organizations and/or individuals to submit a statement of interest (SOI) to carry out a project which supports LGBTQI+ rights and inclusion. Please carefully follow all instructions below.

All PD projects must include an American element, such as a nexus with American expert/s, organization/s, or institution/s in a specific field that will promote increased understanding of U.S. policy and perspectives. PD programs/projects should promote communication, engagement, and/or dialogue between the United States and the Dominican public, enhancing people-to-people connections to U.S. society and culture to build goodwill and lasting bonds.

Examples of Public Diplomacy statement of interest proposals include, but are not limited to:

  • Academic and professional lectures, seminars, and speaker programs.
  • Artistic, sports, and cultural workshops, joint performances, and exhibitions; and
  • Professional and academic exchanges and programs.

The submission of the SOI is the first step in a two-step process. Applicants must first submit a concise maximum of 3 pages statement of interest designed to clearly communicate program idea and objectives. This is not a full proposal. The purpose of the SOI process is to allow applicants to submit program ideas for evaluation prior to requiring the development of a full proposal application. Upon a merit review of eligible SOIs, selected applicants will be invited to expand on their program idea(s) by submitting a full proposal application. Full proposals will go through a second merit review before final funding decision(s) are made.

Program Objectives: 

The grantee will craft a statement of interest including potential American elements to conduct a project to engage with Dominican audiences to share the U.S. experience on issues related to LGBTQI+ rights and inclusion and best practices developed by similar groups in the United States to advance these goals. After engaging with U.S. peers, participants should have a better understanding of LGBTQI+ rights and inclusion. The statement of interest should describe: problem statement, describe the project goals, objective, and possible activities or programming components. The applicant should include a budget.

This project should be designed to be executed in June of 2024 as part of the U.S. Embassy Pride Month Activities.

(Use as many paragraphs as necessary to provide background, and describe the program goal, objective, and possible activities or programming components. Optional: Explain what the applicant should budget for – for example, participant travel, salaries, etc.

(Optional: Describe any limitations or relevant regulations.) 

Participants and Audiences:

The intended audience for projects under this notice of funding opportunity should be any of the described below:

  • Underserved and at-risk communities, including university students
  • Emerging voices, including civil society leaders;
  • Established opinion leaders, including cultural and/or academic institution leadership;
  • Government officials;
  • Non-state actors, such as academic institutions, tourism entities, the media, and others who communicate with the public
  1. FEDERAL AWARD INFORMATION

Length of performance period: 6 months

Number of awards anticipated: 1 award

Award amounts: awards may range from a minimum of ($1,000) to a maximum of ($10,000)

Type of Funding: (FY23 Smith Mundt Public Diplomacy Funds)

Anticipated project start date: Jan 2024

This notice is subject to availability of funding.

Funding Instrument Type: Grant, Fixed Amount Award (FAA), or Cooperative agreement. Cooperative agreements and some FAAs are different from grants in that bureau/embassy staff are more actively involved in the grant implementation (“Substantial Involvement”).

 

Program Performance Period: Proposed programs should be completed in 6 months or less.

The Department of State US Embassy Santo Domingo retains the right to execute non-competitive continuation amendment(s). Any amendment(s) is based on performance, pending availability of funds and is not guaranteed.)

  1. ELIGILIBITY INFORMATION
  1. Eligible Applicants

The following organizations are eligible to apply: (include all that apply, and indicate US, foreign, or both. For example:

  • Not-for-profit organizations, including think tanks and civil society/non-governmental organizations 
  •  Educational institutions
  • For-profit organizations (only if allowed by appropriation – not for PD funds)
  • Individuals
  • Foreign Public Entities (FPE) for example: Public International Organizations and Governmental institutions)
  1. Cost Sharing or Matching

N/A

  1. Other Eligibility Requirements

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 Section E.4 for more information. Individuals are not required to have a UEI or be registered in SAM.gov.

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.)

  1. APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION

Please follow all instructions below carefully. SOIs that do not meet the requirements of this announcement or fail to comply with the stated requirements will be ineligible.

Content of SOI must include:

  • A brief project description summarizing goals, objectives outcomes, performance indicators, beneficiaries, and proposed timeline.
  • Defined U.S. element.
  • A clear statement of the applicant’s organizational capacity to carry out the proposed activity and manage U.S. Government funds.
  • Documents fully in English
  • The anticipated total budget amount (in U.S. dollars)
  1. Submission Dates and Times

SOIs are due no later than June 30, 2023.

  1. Funding Restrictions

No alcohol can be purchased with these funds.

  1. Other Submission Requirements

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

  1. APPLICATION REVIEW INFORMATION
  1. Criteria

Each SOI will be evaluated and rated on the basis of the evaluation criteria outlined below.

 

Quality of Program Idea – 50 points: The SOI is responsive to program framework. The idea is communicated well and is feasible. SOI’s that promote creative approaches to address program objectives are highly encouraged. The proposed timeline is reasonable.

Organizational Capacity and Record on Previous Grants –35 points: The SOI should demonstrate the organization’s expertise and previous experience in administering programs. If a local partner is identified SOI should briefly describe the partner’s role and experience. 

Program Planning/Ability to Achieve Objectives – 15 points: The SOI should clearly articulate proposed program activities and expected results towards achieving program objectives and goal(s).

Posts and Bureaus can define their own criteria for the SOI. Generally, a SOI has fewer criteria then a full proposal, due to its more concise format.)

  1. Review and Selection Process

A Grants Review Committee will evaluate all eligible SOIs.

All eligible SOIs will be reviewed against the criteria listed above. SOIs are reviewed individually against the criteria and not against competing SOIs. For a fair review all panelists will review the first page of the SOI up to the page limit and no further. The panel may provide conditions and/or recommendations on SOIs to enhance the proposed program. Conditions must be addressed, and recommendations should be addressed, in a full proposal application.

  • Following the review, any successful SOI applicants will be contacted and instructed to submit full applications. A full application will include:
  • SF-424 (Application for Federal Assistance – organizations) or SF-424-I (Application for Federal Assistance –individuals)
  • SF424A (Budget Information for Non-Construction programs) 
  • SF424B (Assurances for Non-Construction programs) for individual or organization exempted from registering in SAM.
  • Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM.gov) (NOTE: This section is required and not optional, except for NOFOs targeting applications only from individuals.) 

Required Registrations:

All organizations, whether based in the United States or in another country, must have a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) and an active registration with the SAM.gov. A 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.

Note: As of April 2022, a DUNS number is no longer required for federal assistance applications.

The 2 CFR 200 requires that sub-grantees obtain a UEI number. Please note the UEI for sub-grantees is not required at the time of application but will be required before an award is processed and/or directed to a sub-grantee.

Note: The process of obtaining or renewing a SAM.gov registration may take anywhere from 4-8 weeks. Please begin your registration as early as possible.

  • Organizations based in the United States or that pay employees within the United States will need an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and a UEI number prior to registering in SAM.gov.
  • Organizations based outside of the United States and that do not pay employees within the United States do not need an EIN from the IRS but do need a UEI number prior to registering in SAM.gov.
  • Please note that as of November 2022 and February 2022 respectively, organizations based outside of the United States that do not intend to apply for U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) awards are no longer required to have a NATO Commercial and Government Entity (NCAGE) code or CAGE code to apply for non-DoD foreign assistance funding opportunities. If an applicant organization is mid-registration and wishes to remove a CAGE or NCAGE code from their SAM.gov registration, the applicant should submit a help desk ticket (“incident”) with the Federal Service Desk (FSD) online at www.fsd.gov using the following language: “I do not intend to seek financial assistance from the Department of Defense. I do not wish to obtain a CAGE or NCAGE code. I understand that I will need to submit my registration after this incident is resolved in order to have my registration activated.”

Organizations based outside of the United States and that DO NOT plan to do business with the DoD should follow the below instructions: 

Step 1: Proceed to SAM.gov to obtain a UEI and complete the SAM.gov registration process. SAM.gov registration must be renewed annually.

Organizations based outside of the United States and that DO plan to do business with the DoD in addition to Department of State should follow the below instructions:

Step 1: Apply for an NCAGE code by following the instructions on the NSPA NATO website linked below:

NCAGE Homepage:

https://eportal.nspa.nato.int/AC135Public/sc/CageList.aspx

NCAGE Code Request Tool (NCRT):

Exemptions

An exemption from the UEI and sam.gov registration requirements may be permitted on a case-by-case basis if:

  • An applicant’s identity must be protected due to potential endangerment of their mission, their organization’s status, their employees, or individuals being served by the applicant.
  •  For an applicant, if the Federal awarding agency makes a determination that there are exigent circumstances that prohibit the applicant from receiving a unique entity identifier and completing SAM registration prior to receiving a Federal award. In these instances, Federal awarding agencies must require the recipient to obtain a unique entity identifier and complete SAM registration within 30 days of the Federal award date.

Organizations requesting exemption from UEI or SAM.gov requirements must email the point of contact listed in the NOFO at least two weeks prior to the deadline in the NOFO providing a justification of their request. Approval for a SAM.gov exemption must come from the warranted Grants Officer before the application can be deemed eligible for review.

  1. FEDERAL AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION
  1. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

Terms and Conditions: Before submitting the SOI, applicants should review all the terms and conditions and required certifications which will apply if a full proposal application is requested and awarded, to ensure that they will be able to comply. These include:

2 CFR 200, 2 CFR 600, and the Department of State Standard Terms and Conditions which are available at: https://www.state.gov/about-us-office-of-the-procurement-executive/.

In accordance with the Executive Order on Advancing Racial Equity and Underserved Communities, concept notes should address how the program advances equity with respect to race, ethnicity, religion, income, geography, gender identity, sexual orientation, and disability. The concept note should also demonstrate how the program will further engagement in underserved communities and with individuals from underserved communities. Concept notes should address how addressing racial equity and underserved communities will enhance the program’s goals and objectives, as well as the experience of participants.

The support of underserved communities will be part of the review criteria for this opportunity. Therefore, concept notes should address how the program will support and advance equity and engage underserved communities in program administration, design, and implementation.

  1. FEDERAL AWARDING AGENCY CONTACTS

If you have any questions about the SOI application process, please contact: santodomingogrants@state.gov