Democracy Commission Small Grants Program

We are no longer accepting applications for the 2020 Democracy Commission Small Grants Program.





Funding Opportunity Title:            DEMOCRACY COMMISSION SMALL GRANTS PROGRAM       

Funding Opportunity Number:      001-FY2020

Deadline for Application:              Friday, December 27, 2019

CFDA Number:                                19.900

Length of Performance Period:     12 months

Number of Awards Anticipated:    At least 15 depending on amount of each grant

Award Amounts:                             Awards may range from USD 1,000 to USD 50,000

Total Available Funding:                USD 700,000

Type of Funding:                             FY19/20 Assistance to Europe, Eurasia and Central Asia (AEECA) under the Foreign Assistance Act

Anticipated Award Date:                May/June 2020

Funding Instrument Type:             Grant, Fixed Amount Award (FAA), Cooperative Agreement



This program supports NGO efforts to promote grassroots democracy, viable civil society in BiH, respect for human rights, and the promotion of Euro-Atlantic integration.  This may be accomplished through media outreach, public advocacy campaigns, workshops, and other projects. Grant-funded civil society organizations may focus on youth empowerment – promoting youth participation in the economy, politics, government and society.  This may involve youth employment (non-formal education about the market economy, entrepreneurship, job searching techniques, networking etc.) and youth activism (effective engagement in public advocacy actions to protect the environment, counter corruption, etc., as well as the development of youth leadership, communication and negotiation skills). Additionally, organizations may address the promotion of Euro-Atlantic integration and human rights including projects focused on LGBT issues, gender equality, and support for people with disabilities and minorities.


Projects should deal with one of the following themes

  • Youth empowerment
  • Euro-Atlantic integration
  • Human rights including rights for persons with disabilities and the LGBT community.


The budget for single project proposals for the Democracy Commission Small Grants Program should not exceed USD 50,000  and program activities are envisioned to take place between May/June 2020 and April/May 2021.  Please note that the precise timeframe in which grant money will be received cannot be guaranteed.  Grantees should design projects that can be implemented if money is received after May/June 2020.


C1. Who can apply:  Non-government, non-profit organizations (including think tanks, civil society organizations), educational institutions and independent media that are based and legally registered in Bosnia and Herzegovina are eligible to apply. American or other donor country organizations and individuals are not eligible for grants under this program. Grants are generally awarded only to organizations.

C2. Other eligibility requirements:  All organizations must have DUNS unique entity identifier and a valid registration on before their projects proposals can be funded. Organization must obtain a DUNS number and SAM registration in order to receive funding. Please see Section E for information on how to obtain these registrations.

C3. Proposals from prior grantees:  Organizations may only submit one proposal per program. Organizations that have received a grant from the Democracy Commission Small Grants Program in a previous cycle and have not completed their projects are not eligible to apply for another Democracy Commission Small grant until they have submitted their final reports, but may still apply for grants from the Women’s Empowerment Small Grants Program or the Interethnic Reconciliation and Youth Small Grants Program.


D1.  Mandatory application forms:  Your application cannot be reviewed without all of the below elements.  All forms and instructions are available on our web site, under Application Package on the top of this page. 

Please note:  Obtaining the DUNS number and registering in the SAM system can take up to one month.  We strongly encourage you to start this process as soon as possible.

  • SF-424 (Application for Federal Assistance – organizations).  Please make sure to include your DUNS number in the application.
  • SF424A (Budget Information for Non-Construction programs)  
  • SF424B (Assurances for Non-Construction programs) is required only for those applicants who registered or renewed registration in before February 2, 2019.
  • Project Proposal (6 pages maximum): The proposal should contain sufficient information that anyone not familiar with it would understand exactly what the applicant wants to do.

D2. General Guidelines: Please read all instructions carefully – proposals that do not meet the requirements listed here will not be considered for funding.

  • All proposals must be written and submitted in English.
  • Proposals may not exceed 6 pages in length (including budget and checklist) in Times New Roman Size 12 font.
  • All fields in the grant application form and check-list must be completed and sent via email as one document.
  • Project duration may not exceed 12 months.
  • Grants are normally made on a one-time basis and reiterations of past programs usually do not receive funding. If you are requesting support to fund a repetition of a project you previously implemented, you must include a very strong justification as to why the repetition is necessary.
  • Please submit your filled in application to the following e-mail address:

The deadline for submission of the Democracy Commission Small Grants proposals /supporting documentation is Friday,  December 27, 2019 by COB (close of business ) 17:00.

Upon submission, please request a confirmation of the receipt of your application.  

D3. Budget GuidelinesAny application not meeting the budget requirements below will not be considered for funding.

  • Detailed budget should be written in USD, with a maximum amount of USD 50,000.
  • Budget should NOT include VAT expenses; organizations will be able to be reimbursed VAT money.
  • Budget costs should be grouped into the following categories:
    • Personnel costs (salaries for staff who already work for your organization, fees for project manager, project coordinator/assistant, and or accountant)
    • Fringe (social and pension insurance contributions)
    • Travel (transportation costs, lodging, meals and incidentals)
    • Supplies (office supplies and other materials for project implementation)
    • Contractual (fees for trainers, moderators, experts, and educators, who do NOT normally work for your organization but who are engaged to implement certain project activities, printing of promotional materials, renting of space/equipment, broadcasting of TV and radio shows, web site development, and other contractual services needed for project implementation.)
    • Other direct costs: (office rent, utilities, phone/fax/internet, office supplies, bank charges, etc.)
  • Costs for food or drink should not exceed 5% of the total award amount. This includes expenses associated with individual per diems for grant-related activities.
  • Alcohol, entertainment, or “miscellaneous” expenses are not allowed.
  • Costs incurred before the grant period start date will not be reimbursed.

 Grant funds may not be used for the following:

  • Long-term infrastructure needs
  • Funds may not be used to pay for travel to the United States.  Projects involving regional travel will be considered on a case-by-case basis, and must have a clear justification outlining why the travel is integral to the project.
  • Provision of direct social services to a population
  • Vocational training, for example teaching participants to weld, perform electrical work, sew, raise bees, etc.
  • Partisan political activity (Note: non-partisan election education and public information activities are allowable.)
  • Funding of charitable activity and humanitarian aid, commercial projects, or fund-raising campaigns

D4.  Review criteria:  All proposals will be evaluated by the Democracy Commission review panel on the below criteria.

  • Quality and feasibility of the project idea. The proposal is well developed, innovative and offers creative solutions with all necessary details about how project activities will be carried out (location, number of participants, events to organize, media coverage etc.) (25 points)
  • Project goals and objectives. Project clearly identifies goals and objectives of the project and is likely to provide maximum impact in achieving proposed results. (15 points)
  • Organizational capacity and record on previous grants. The organization demonstrates expertise and the ability to perform the proposed activities. (25 points)
  • Budget and narrative justification are completed and reasonable in relation to the proposed activities and anticipated results. (10 points)
  • Monitoring and evaluation. The proposal outlines in detail how project success and impact will be determined. Be sure that applicant demonstrated its ability to measure project impact and provides milestones to indicate project progress towards goals/objectives outlined in the proposal. (15 points)
  • Sustainability. The proposal needs to contain information about sustainability of the project. Project activities should continue to have a positive impact after the end of the project. Proposals should explain this future impact and/or sustainability of the project. (10 points)

D5. Application Instructions: Please read carefully and complete each question as instructed.  Omitting any of the requested information will delay the review of your proposal and may result in it being eliminated from consideration.

Program TypePlease indicate which program you are applying for (Democracy Commission) .                                     

Applicant’s Contact Information:

  • Implementing organization: Specify the officially registered name of the organization.
  • Contact person and title: Name and the title of the person who is authorized to sign official documents, if different from the Project Coordinator. You may state the name of the Project Coordinator too.
  • Address/Postal Code and City
  • Phone number
  • E-mail: Please include both the general email address for your organization and the email address of the project coordinator or person who is authorized to sign official documents..

Basic Information about the Proposal:

  • Project title:
  • Amount requested (USD)/Amount of cost share (USD)/Total cost (USD): Please list the amount of funding requested from the Embassy.  If there is a cost share (another organization covering part of the total cost of the project), please list the amount here.  Please list the total cost of the project which you get when you sum the amount you request from U.S. Embassy and amount of co-share.
  • Elevator pitchIn 50 words or less, describe what your project is about and why it should receive support from the U.S. Embassy.
  • Problem statementClearly identify the problem your project will address, including brief background information for context, if necessary.  For example:The percentage of unemployment is the highest among youth population (60%) in my local community. Lack of employment contributes to the departure of young people from the country. The IT sector offers a huge employment opportunity, but youth lack the required skills.  Existing educational institutions do not have adequate curriculum to meet the needs of the IT market.
  • Project goals and objectivesPlease explain how you want to solve this problem by explaining the goals and objectives of your project.  Following the above example, the project goal might be Create conditions to increase job opportunities for youth in the IT sector in my local community.” The objective of the project define how are you going to achieve the goal(s) of the project and might be addressed as follows: “To establish partnerships with local government, educational institutions, and IT companies to define the needs and resources to develop curriculum for training program based on market needs” or “To train young people in skills needed to work in IT sector”.
  • Description of project activities: Explain the activities you plan to implement in the scope of your project and how those activities will achieve the project goals you described above.  If you are planning workshops, please explain how many workshops, what will be taught and how many participants will take part.  Example: “We are planning to hold 5 workshops for total number of 30 people, age 20-25. Educational program will be held in 3 modules with the following topics (For example: Manual Quality Assurance and UI/UX design). Each workshop will cover one of the modules. Please clearly define project outputs in this section (number of workshops, number of participants for each workshop, number of public advocacy actions etc.)
  • Activity locationsList the cities/towns/communities where the project activities will take place.
  • Project beneficiariesDescribe the anticipated beneficiaries of your project, including estimated number and age range, i.e., “approximately 50 unemployed young people in Capljina, ages 25-40” or “about 100 high school students in Rogatica.”
  • Project schedule and timelineNote your project duration in months and give an overview of the schedule.  If you have a specific timeframe, please list the dates and explain why your project must take place within that timeframe. Please note that grant money could be received any time between April and August 2020, depending on the U.S. budget cycle.
  • Project partnersIf you are implementing your project jointly with any other organizations, please list the names and type of involvement of those partner organizations.  A partner organization is an organization with which you work to develop and implement the project. Partner organizations also need to obtain DUNS numbers.  Please note: contractors you engage to deliver goods or services such as trainers, web developers or suppliers are NOT partner organizations.
  • Key personnel: List the names, titles and roles of key personnel involved in the project, including organization staff and any experts or trainers you will engage to implement the project.  Give a brief overview (1-2 sentences) of their experience/qualifications. What proportion of their time will be used in support for your project?
  • Anticipated outcomes of projectExplain the outcomes you hope to achieve and how you will measure whether the project has succeeded. It is important to make a distinction between the project  output and outcome.  Example of the project output is: “30 young people  participated in the training program,” which does not necessarily illustrate the impact of such participation. Outcome is defined as the longer-term impact or change in individual participants’ knowledge, skills and/or attitudes as well as the longer-term effect on their communities. For example, “After completing the training young people will be equipped with knowledge and skills to find a job in IT sector in BiH. To measure the success of the program I will carry out the survey before and after the program to see how much their knowledge has increased and did they gain confidence in their ability to find a job or start their own private business in IT sector.  I will also report how many participants managed to find a job or started a private business a year after project is concluded.
  • Project sustainability: Please explain your plans for follow-on activities after the grant period ends to ensure project impact continues.  Example: “After the workshop series, the participants will continue to meet and serve as a support network to each other, as well as mentor other young people.”
  • Monitoring and Evaluation plan: The proposal should outline in detail how project success and impact will be determined.  Be sure that you demonstrated your ability to measure project impact and provide milestones to indicate project progress towards goals/objectives outlined in the proposal.
  • Background of implementing organizationBriefly explain the mission of the organization, date of registration, number of employees, their work experience, number of volunteers,  past and current programs implemented, as well as its technical and management capacity. Please briefly explain what internal controls procedures you have put in place to manage grant funds.
  • Previous U.S. Government fundingIndicate whether the implementing organization has received previous funding from the U.S. Government.  If so, please state the name of the project, the year and the amount of funding for each project. 

Detailed budget:

Present the budget in the form of a spreadsheet, in USD amounts, dividing the budget into the categories delineated in the application. Ensure that your stated project activities are properly budgeted based on reasonable market price for personnel, fringe, travel, contractual services, supplies, and other direct costs.  The ratio between administrative costs (personnel, fringe and other direct costs) and program costs (travel, supplies and contractual) will have impact to project evaluation. Cost sharing is not required.  However, the Recipient may present cost-sharing on voluntary basis including in-kind contributions. The absence of cost sharing will not in any way impact evaluation of the project. However, if the Recipient includes cost sharing in the project proposal, then the Recipient is accountable for providing it.  In the event the Recipient does not provide the minimum amount of cost-sharing as stipulated in the Recipient’s approved budget, the government contribution may be reduced in kind.

Budget narrative:

Please explain your budget in narrative form, detail personnel duties, list names of trainers/moderators/experts and project staff and break down travel and lodging costs (i.e., how many people, how many overnights, cost per person per day).


E1. Who must apply?  All organizations applying for grants (except individuals) must obtain these registrations.  All are free of charge:

  • Unique entity identifier from Dun & Bradstreet (DUNS number)
  • NCAGE/CAGE code
  • registration

E2.  First, get your DUNS Number

Please use the link to obtain your DUNS number. The system is set up to be user-friendly and we encourage you to use it to obtain your DUNS number for yourself. However, if you experience problems, you may seek further assistance from:

To get a DUNS number please contact:

Zlata Mulać

Bisnode BH Director

Bisnode BH, Skenderpašina br. 1, 71000 Sarajevo

Tel:  +387 61 896 753

Please be aware that Bisnode charges a fee for this service.

E3.  Next, get your NCAGE/CAGE code

  • To apply, go to CAGE/NCAGE Code Request page
  • Instructions for the NCAGE application process are available here.
  • For NCAGE help from outside the U.S., call 1-269-961-7766
  • Email: for any problems in getting an NCAGE code.

E4.  After you receive your NCAGE code, complete your registration

  • To register in the SAM system, go to their web site.
  • Please read the Quick Guide for International Entity Registration which is the part of the Application Package you can find on the top of this page.
  • SAM registration must be renewed annually, so even if you are already registered in SAM from a previous grant, please check to see if your registration is still valid.
  • Entities registering in SAM must submit a letter appointing their authorized Entity Administrator. Please check the template of the letter which is the part of the application package.

However, if you experience any problem in registering in use the following link to register for live chat, so the SAM administrators can answer your questions. Working hours for this service are from Monday through Friday after 14:00.


F1. Federal Award Notices

The grant award will be written, signed, awarded, and administered by the Grants Officer and the grants management team. The Recipient may only start incurring project expenses beginning on the start date shown on the grant award document signed by the Grant Officer. The assistance award agreement is the authorizing document and it will be provided to the recipient for review and signature by email.

Funding decisions are contingent on the availability of funds.  Total amount for this program may not exceed 700,000 USD.  The U.S. Embassy reserves the right to cancel this Notice of Funding Opportunity at any time without any commitment to any applicant.

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 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: The payment of the award amount will be effected in two or three installments.  Certain percentage of the total award amount up to 50 % of the total award amount will be paid immediately after signing the grant and submission of the valid bank account by Recipient.  However, if the project implementation requires a higher percentage of advance payment than 50 % , the Office of Public Affairs will make a payment based on the Recipient’s justification.  The rest will be paid upon submission of the interim and final program and financial reports by Recipient.  Each award document will contain detailed payment information.  The USG holds the right to retain the last payment up to 10 % of the award amount until all project activities are completed and the final program and financial reports submitted by the Recipient and approved by the Grant Officer and the Grant Officer Representative.

F2. Terms and Conditions

Before submitting an application, applicants may wish to 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 here.

F.3. Reporting Requirements

Recipients will be required to submit financial reports and program reports.  The award document will specify the forms and how often these reports must be submitted.


The U.S. Embassy receives hundreds of proposals and takes time to carefully review each application.  We expect to inform applicants of the status of their proposals approximately 4-6 months from the closing date of this Notice of Funding Opportunity.  Funding decisions are contingent on the availability of funds.  The U.S. Embassy reserves the right to cancel this Notice of Funding Opportunity at any time without any commitment to any applicant.

For more information, please contact us by phone: + 387 33 704-344, 704-285, 704-300, fax:  + 387 33 704-432 or e-mail