Homestay Small Grants Program

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE

U.S. EMBASSY SARAJEVO, OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS

NOTICE OF FUNDING OPPORTUNITY

 

Funding Opportunity Title:             HOMESTAY SMALL GRANTS PROGRAM

Funding Opportunity Number:       005-FY2019

Deadline for Application:                March 15, 2019

CFDA Number:                                 19.900

Length of Performance Period:      12 months

Number of Awards Anticipated:     Up to 5 depending on amount of each grant

Award Amounts:                              Awards may range from USD 5,000 to USD 15,000

Total Available Funding:                  USD 60,000

Type of Funding:                              FY18/19 Assistance to Europe, Eurasia and Central Asia (AEECA) under the Foreign Assistance Act

Anticipated Award Date:                  June 2019

Funding Instrument Type:               Grant

Cost Sharing Requirement:             Cost sharing is encouraged either in direct-cost contributions and/or in-kind contributions

The United States Embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina, acting through the Office of Public Affairs, is pleased to announce a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for HOMESTAY SMALL GRANTS PROGRAM.

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 date of closing 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 33 704-285, 704-344, 704-301, fax:  + 387 33 704-432 or e-mail SarajevoHomestayBiH@state.gov

 

HOMESTAY SMALL GRANTS PROGRAM

  A. PROJECT DISCRIPTION

The United States Embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina, through the Office of Public Affairs, is pleased to announce a Notice of Funding Opportunity for Civic Education programs that address school segregation or other issues that divide students along ethnic lines. These projects should advance education for democracy and human rights in the country and help remove obstacles to integration in education. Small grants competition will support projects designed explicitly as home-stay exchange programs to contribute to democracy and human rights education with interaction and the development of tolerance between the ethnically, religiously and geographically diverse communities of Bosnia and Herzegovina.  In addition to the core exchange program activities, the mandatory requirement is a component of family engagement in which participants will stay in the homes of fellow participants from different ethnic or religious backgrounds, and engage in volunteer projects in both communities. Programs should be innovative and bring together youth (ages 12-24) from communities across ethnic, geographical, and administrative lines and engage a large number of youth in a community improvement activity in each host town.  Priority will be given to applicants who engage youth who have had no access to programs funded by US government funding. A detailed budget should be expressed in USD, with a maximum amount of $15,000.

 

B. PROJECT PERFORMANCE PERIOD

The budget for single project proposals for the Home Stay Small Grants Program should not exceed $15,000.  All activities should last for a maximum of 12 months and take place between June 2019 and September 2020.

 

C. ELIGIBILITY

C1. Who can apply:  Non-profit organizations (including think tanks, civil society organizations, and NGOs), educational and cultural institutions, and independent media that are based and legally registered in Bosnia and Herzegovina are eligible to apply. Proof of past performance implementing similar activities is required (include dates, number of participants from different entities/cantons/ethnic groups, location, and point of reference). Applicants must demonstrate an ability to work in all parts of BiH, whether independently or in cooperation with a partner school/organization.

Cost sharing is encouraged, either in participation of costs or by in-kind contributions.  When applicant furnishes the services of an employee, these services must be valued at the employee’s regular rate of pay plus an amount of fringe benefits that is reasonable, necessary, allocable, and otherwise allowable.

Volunteer services furnished by applicants professional and technical personnel, consultants, and other skilled and unskilled labor may be counted as cost sharing or matching if the service is an integral and necessary part of an approved project or program. Rates for third-party volunteer services must be consistent with those paid for similar work in the labor market in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Paid fringe benefits that are reasonable, necessary, allocable, and otherwise allowable may be included in the valuation.  The costs specified as cost sharing should meet the following criteria:

(1)  Costs are verifiable from the applicant’s records;

(2)  Costs are not included as contributions for any other United States Government award;

(3)  Costs are necessary and reasonable for accomplishment of project or program objectives;

(4)  Costs are allowable under Subpart D—Budget Guidelines of this NOFO;

C2. Other eligibility requirements: All organizations must have a DUNS unique entity identifier, and a valid registration on www.SAM.gov before their project proposals can be considered for funding. Please see Section E for information on how to obtain these registrations.

C3. Proposals from prior grantees:  Organizations that have received a grant from the Home Stay Program in a previous cycle and have not completed their projects are not eligible to apply for another Home Stay grant until they have submitted their final reports.

 

D. APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION

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 Grants and under Application package. 

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, since we cannot review any projects that do not include DUNS numbers and completed SAM.gov registrations.

  • 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)  
  • Project ProposalThe proposal should be submitted exclusively in the appropriate application, and should contain sufficient information that anyone not familiar with it would understand exactly what the applicant wants to do.
  • Screenshot of your SAM registration or a printout of your registration document from the SAM.gov web page. 

D2.  General GuidelinesPlease 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.
  • One organization may submit only one proposal to this NOFO.
  • 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 or Cooperative Agreements (CAs) are normally made on a one-time basis. Subject to availability of funding, a maximum of two annual repeat grants may be issued if the U.S. Embassy determines the activity advances a clearly defined priority objective of implementing country-wide comprehensive in-school civic education.
  • The deadline for submission of proposals / supporting documentation is March 15, 2019 by 17:00 p.m. Please submit your filled-in application to the following e-mail address:  SarajevoHomestayBiH@state.gov

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 U.S. Dollars (USD) and not exceed maximum allowable amount for the type of project.
  • Budget should NOT include VAT expenses.
  • 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.)
  • The total of personnel costs, fringe and other direct costs should not exceed 30% of total award amount.
  • 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.
  • The total costs of promotional materials (brochures, banners, T-shirts, posters, leaflets, etc.) should not exceed 5% of the total award amount.
  • 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
  • Materials and equipment (unless absolutely necessary for project realization).
  • Expenses incurred outside of the territory of BiH, such as travel to international conferences, or the purchase of goods or payment of services in other countries
  • Provision of direct social services to a population
  • 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 Homestay Small Grants Program review panel according to the below criteria:

  • Proposals that bring students from “two schools under one roof” will be given priority consideration
  • Implementation capacity of applicant, prior experience with organizing home—stay exchange programs and capacity to carry out the project throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina.
  • Compliance with proposal guidelines and inclusion of mandatory components.
  • Clearly identified goals and target audiences component of family engagement
  • Innovative and creative solutions for family engagement
  • Well-developed activity plans that clearly supports program goals
  • Cost-effective budget, with concrete and reasonable expenses, and cost sharing amount
  • Project sustainability

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.

Applicant’s Contact Information

  • Implementing organization: Specify the officially registered name of the organization.
  • Contact person and title: Name and the title of the Project Coordinator, or the person who is authorized to sign official documents, if different from the Project Coordinator.
  • 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.

  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.
  • Elevator pitchIn 50 words or less, describe what your home-stay 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, “Young people in my community (our country) do not cooperate with other young people of different ethnic, religious backgrounds, although they live in close proximity.  Many have prejudices or a fear that they will not be accepted by others, though they actually face similar problems and share the same interests.”
  • Project goals and objectives:Please 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:  “Increase cooperation, tolerance and understanding among youth groups in my community (country) by empowering youth to combat stereotypes and prejudice in their own communities” and objectives might be to “teach participants how to recognize stereotypes and prejudice, and how to successfully embrace and promote diversity in BiH.”
  •  Description of Activities: Explain the activities you plan to implement in the scope of your project and how they will help achieve the project goals you described above.  Example:  “My project will engage families of students in ethnically diverse communities, and provide opportunities for youth from these communities to work together on organic farming.  As they host their peers in their homes, they will also learn about stereotypes, discrimination, equal rights and the worth of each individual, respect for diversity, and create opportunities for participants to promote these ideas in their own communities and to a wider audience.”
  •  Activity locations:List all the cities/towns/communities where you will implement the project activities, and their duration.
  •  Beneficiaries (including description of the selection process):Describe the anticipated beneficiaries of your project, including estimated number and age range, i.e. “approximately 30 youth, ages 11-15, from Mostar, Siroki Brijeg and Trebinje” will exchange home-stay visits.  Please provide explicit details how the project’s participants will be selected. Proposals that reach youth with little or no access to funding support for community initiatives will be given priority.
  • 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.
  • Project partners: If 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 personnelList 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.
  • Anticipated outcomes and outcome indicators of the project: Home-stay exchange projects have the goal of creating a dynamic, interactive relationship between participants and their families that previously did not exist.  The recipient should propose clear outcomes and indicators they use to measure the success of their interethnic programs.  It is important to make a distinction between the terms “output” and “outcome”.  An example of an output is:  “Number of individuals participating in the program,” which does not necessarily illustrate the impact of such participation. An 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, and it is measured by referencing outcome indicators.  Outcome indicators should be clearly defined, so that it is possible to measure the change during and at the end of the project.  Key terms included in the outcome descriptions and indicators should be defined before the start of the project.  For example, “as a result of our project, young people will have an increased understanding of and appreciation for cultural diversity and be equipped with the skills they need for peaceful conflict management.  To measure the success of the program, our project team will carry out a baseline survey with five key outcome indicator questions.  We will administer a post-program survey to measure how much participants’ knowledge, skills and attitudes have changed.”
  • Project sustainability: Please explain your plans for follow-on activities after the grant period to ensure project impact continues.  Example:  “After the home-stay exchange, the participants will continue to meet through school activities, community facilitated programs, and youth leadership opportunities, serving as a support network and peer educators with continued support from our organization.”
  • Background of implementing organizationBriefly explain the mission of the organization, examples of past and current programs implemented, as well as its technical and management capacity.   It is very important to enter a number of volunteers engaged on a regular basis in your activities, and how the records of such engagement are kept.
  • 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.  Cost sharing is encouraged.   If the Recipient includes cost sharing in the project proposal, then the Recipient is accountable for providing additional funds and justifying the costs.
  • Budget narrativePlease 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).

E. HOW TO APPLY FOR REQUIRED REGISTRATIONS

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
  • www.SAM.gov 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:

Zlata Mulać

Bisnode BH Director

Bisnode BH, Skenderpašina br. 1, 71000 Sarajevo

zlata.mulac@bisnode.com

Tel:  +387 61 896 753

www.bisnode.ba

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

E3.  Next, get your NCAGE/CAGE code

  • To apply, go to their web site.
  • Instructions for the NCAGE application process are available here.
  • For NCAGE help from outside the U.S., call 1-269-961-7766
  • Email NCAGE@dlis.dla.mil for any problems in getting an NCAGE code.

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

  • To register in the SAM system, go to https://www.sam.gov.
  • Please read the quick guide for grants registration attachment which is the part of the application package that is posted on the Embassy web site.
  • 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 SAM.gov 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.

E5.  All organizations must complete required registrations by the submission deadline.  We cannot review projects that do not include a DUNS number and completed SAM.gov registration. Please allow ample time, as the process can take up to 30 days. However, if you are unable to complete your SAM.gov registration by the application deadline of March 15, 2019, you may submit the other required elements and continue with your SAM.gov registration.  If you complete registration and notify the Office of Public prior to the meeting of the Homestay review committee, which will take place in April, we may still be able to consider your application.

F. FEDERAL AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION

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. The total amount for this program may not exceed 60,000 USD. The U.S. Embassy reserves the right to cancel this Notice of Funding Opportunity at any time without any commitment to any applicant.

A Cooperative Agreement (CA) may be issued, particularly in the case that the selected applicant is a first-time recipient of Federal Funding.  Elements of substantial involvement include:

  • Participating in the design or direction of activities, design of conference agendas, and training delivery models
  • Participating in the selection of key project staff and trainers
  • Participating in the presentation of results
  • Assisting in the selection and/or analyses of data
  • Review and approve each press release and other public statements and publications before releasing it in public

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 made in multiple installments.  A certain percentage of the total award amount up to 50% of the total 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 require justification.  The rest will be paid upon submission of the interim final program and financial reports by Recipient.  Each award document will contain detailed payment information.  The USG reserves 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 are 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 at:  https://www.state.gov/m/a/ope/index.htm

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.

G. FEDERAL AWARDING AGENCY CONTACTS

For more information, please contact us by phone: + 387 33 704-285,704-344, 704-301, fax:  + 387 33 704-432 or e-mail at SarajevoHomestayBiH@state.gov.