Small Grants Program


Notice of Funding Opportunity

Funding Opportunity Title: U.S. Embassy Lisbon PDS Annual Program Statement

Funding Opportunity Number: PDS-LISBON-FY23-01

Deadline for Applications: Proposals accepted through: May 31, 2023

Please note that the Public Diplomacy Section cannot provide any pre-consultation for application related questions that are addressed in this Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO). Once an application has been submitted, State Department officials and staff — both in the Department and at Embassies overseas — may not discuss this competition with applicants until the entire proposal review process has been completed.

CFDA Number: 19.040 – Public Diplomacy Programs
Minimum for Each Award:
Maximum for Each Award: $24,000

References – please note all grant awards will be subject to the following:

Standard Department Terms & Conditions [PDF 532 KB]

The U.S. Embassy Lisbon Public Diplomacy Section (PDS) of the U.S. Department of State is pleased to announce that funding is available through its Public Diplomacy Small Grants Program. This is an Annual Program Statement outlining our funding priorities, the strategic themes on which we focus, and the procedures for submitting requests for funding. After reviewing the information below, if you have questions about the grant application process, please e-mail: with GRANT QUESTION in your subject. Please carefully read through all tabs before applying for a grant.  Also carefully follow all instructions in each section.

Purpose of Small Grants: PDS invites proposals from individuals, non-governmental organizations, think tanks, and academic institutions for public diplomacy projects that strengthen the bilateral ties between the U.S. and Portugal.  PDS will only consider grants that have a public diplomacy component and identifiable “American content.”  This means there is a U.S. component or aspect in their proposal, including but not limited to being proposed by a U.S. based person or entity or graduate of a U.S. State Department exchange program; the proposal includes U.S. based tools, persons, methods, products or technology; the proposal intends using, propagating or teaching U.S.-originated models or modus operandi.

Examples of PDS Small Grants Program projects include, but are not limited to:

  • Academic and professional lectures, seminars and speaker programs;
  • Artistic and cultural workshops, performances and exhibitions;
  • Cultural heritage conservation and preservation projects;
  • Professional and academic exchanges and projects; and/or,
  • Professional development workshops and training

Priority Program Areas:  Proposals MUST address at least one of the priority programming areas below:

  • Technology, Innovation, Security: activities which support cooperation in space
    exploration, as well as solutions to transnational, regional, and global challenges,
    including cybersecurity, terrorism, trafficking in persons, and health threats.
  • Economic Recovery: activities that improve the connections between U.S. and
    Portuguese businesses, and/or expand economic opportunities for women and
    underserved populations in a post-pandemic world.
  • Countering Disinformation: activities that promote media literacy and critical thinking,
    resist malign influence, and/or counter disinformation.
  • Diversity Equity and Inclusion: promoting economic, educational, and/or cultural
    linkages between the United States and Portugal through activities focused on ensuring
    inclusion and equity for all regardless of gender, ethnicity, religion, disability, sexual
    orientation, or socio-economic status.
  • Climate Change: activities focused on educating, raising awareness or addressing
    issues related to climate change including alternative energy solutions, reforestation,
    sustainable development, and climate justice.

Participants and Audiences:

Applicant proposals must stipulate who their target audiences are, including professional or academic affiliation, estimates of age, gender, geographic break down and must estimate the expected audience reach through direct contact and as possible through indirect contact (via social media or traditional media). 

Applications must also include a “Monitoring & Evaluation” section that describes exactly how the impact of the activity will be measured and by when such impact results will be supplied.

Award amounts: minimum of $2,500 to a maximum of $24,000

Number of awards anticipated: 1-10 awards (dependent on amounts)

Type of Funding:  Fiscal Year 2023 Public Diplomacy Funding

Performance period: 1 to 12 months.  Grant projects generally should be completed within one year or less. PDS will entertain applications for continuation grants funded under these awards beyond the initial budget period on a non-competitive basis subject to availability of funds, satisfactory progress of the program, and a determination that continued funding would be in the best interest of the U.S. Department of State.

Anticipated project start date:  planned so as to be completed by September 1, 2024.

Budgets:  Applicants should consider their budgets carefully and submit a realistic budget commensurate with their project goals.  Cost sharing is encouraged though not required.  Please note specific budget information required in section H below.

Funding Instrument Type:  Grant, Fixed Amount Award, or Cooperative agreement. Cooperative Agreements are different from grants in that PDS staff are more actively involved in the grant implementation.

Authorizing legislation, type and year of funding:  Funding authority rests in the Smith-Mundt Act. The source of funding is FY2023 Public Diplomacy Funding.

This notice is subject to funds being made available for grants by The Congress of the United States.

  1. Eligible Applicants –  The Public Diplomacy Section encourages applications from U.S. and Portugal who are:
  • Citizens of Portugal or the U.S.;
  • Registered not-for-profit organizations, including think tanks and civil society/non-
    governmental organizations with programming experience based in Portugal or the U.S. whose projects inure to the benefit of Portugal or Portuguese; or
  • Non-profit or governmental educational institutions based in Portugal or the U.S.
    whose projects inure to the benefit of Portugal or Portuguese
  1. Applicants NOT Eligible
  • Organizations and individuals who are neither Portuguese nor American;
  • For-profit or commercial entities; and,
  • Government organizations whether Federal, State, Municipal or Local, whether Portuguese or American
  1. The following types of projects are not eligible for funding:
  • Scientific research;
  • Projects relating to partisan political activity;
  • Financial support for fundraising including for charity or fund-raising campaigns;
  • Trade activities or Commercial projects;
  • Health related activities and research;
  • Construction projects;
  • Projects that support specific religious activities;
  • Lobbying for specific legislation or partisan political projects;
  • Projects that are inherently development in nature, or that primarily consist of procuring supplies or equipment for an organization or individual;
  • Projects intended primarily for the growth or institutional development of the organization;
  • Funding of for-profit business ventures or microloans/microfinance projects, or seed money for enterprises of any scale;
  • The purchase or long-term lease of space or buildings in support of program activities;
  • Individual or group travel to conferences or other events;
  • Cash prizes for competitions;
  • Alcoholic beverages;
  • Programs focused solely on food distribution;
  • Scholarships to support educational opportunities or study for individuals; and,
  • Projects that duplicate existing projects or programs of the U.S. Department of State or Public Diplomacy Section or U.S. Embassy.
  1. Cost Sharing or Matching

When cost sharing is offered, it is understood and agreed that the applicant must and will provide the amount of cost share funding as stipulated in its proposal as and when it becomes necessary for the project. PDS Lisbon encourages, but does not mandate, that applicants include cost-sharing elements from other sources in support of their proposals.

The U.S. Embassy Lisbon Public Diplomacy Section will accept proposals between January 1 and May 31, 2023 and will review proposals according to the following schedule:

  • All proposals are due in final form no later than midnight May 31, 2023

Please ensure:

  • All documents are in English
  • All budgets are in U.S. dollars
  • All pages are numbered
  • All documents are formatted to A4 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 relevant to your application – All of the below are available at:
  1. Templates must be filled out for:

A) Application SF424 v.4 (PDF 317 KB)- Please note that for the purposes of the Application SF-424, some elements are pre-filled for your convenience.
You will not need to enter a CFDA Number.
You also do not need to enter a Competition Identification Number or Congressional District.
Your “start date” is the date on which you would estimate your project start; and “end date” is when you imagine it will end.
For the Estimated Funding, you need not enter any State (item c) or Local Funding (d).
item a. – Enter the amount (in US D) that you are requesting for this grant.
item b. – If you intend to contribute toward the cost of the project, please enter your cost-share here.
item e. – If any other entities are contributing to this grant, please enter this amount here.
item f. – if your project generates income, please enter the expected income amount here.
Your Application is NOT Subject to Review by State Under Executive Order 12372 Process.

B) Budget (PDF 362 KB) – All items should be entered in US$. For the purposes of the Budget SF-424A, please note:

Section A –
Column a item 1 should be the name of the project.
There is no CFDA number (column b).
Your requested total funding for this grant goes in column e1; any cost share or other entities contributing funding or total goes in column f1.

Section B –
Your budget should be divided into the categories listed.
Note that Personnel costs are only relevant to the period of performance of the project.
Note that Equipment should only be “capital” items of more than $5,000 in value.
If the equipment is “expendable” and valued less than $5,000, it should be listed in supplies. Cost of supplies also applies only to the period of performance of the project.
Contractual – applies to sub-contracts or services that you intend to engage during the project period.
The “Other” category is project implementation costs and should be described in detail in the project narrative.
Indirect Charges – this should be filled in if you have a “NICRA” agreement; or alternately, this figure can be a flat 10% of the sum of direct costs.
If you intend to have program income, please fill in the last night.

Section C – is only relevant if there are cost-shares from other entities.

Section D – your project is only for one year. Please enter the total requested grant funding in element 13a (Total for 1st Year) and divide the expected expenditures into 4 quarters (columns b, c, d and e.)
Should you have a cost-share enter your total cost share into item 14a and divide that into quarters of expected expenditure in columns b, c, d and e.

C) Concise Proposal (Microsoft Word, 40 KB) – A descriptive template for your proposal (item 4 below).

  1. Cover Letter (optional): Applicants are encouraged to submit a cover letter (on the organization’s letterhead) containing the proposal’s submission date, project title, project period (actual start date and completion, and if preferred, you may add its preparation/closeout period – must address specific timeline if included), the priority program area addressed, and the purpose and target audience of the project.
  1. Proposal (5 pages maximum): The proposal should contain sufficient information that anyone not familiar with it would understand exactly what the applicant hopes to do. You may use your own proposal format, but it must include all elements below.
  • Proposal Summary – Brief narrative that outlines the proposed project, including project objectives and anticipated influence of the project)
  • Priority Program Area addressed (See Program Description Tab) by your project. Which of the Embassy’s priority program areas is this project meant to target.
  • Introduction to the Organization or Individual – A description of your organization or if individual, a bio. Please include information on all previous grants from the U.S. Embassy and/or U.S. government agencies and relevant experience that supplies confidence in being able to implement such a project to completion.
  • Problem Statement – Clear, concise and well-supported statement of the problem to be addressed and why the proposed project is effective in addressing the issue.
  • Project Goals and Key Milestones – The “goals” describe what the project is intended to have achieved at its completion. The “key milestones” refer to the intermediate accomplishments on the way to the goals. These should be achievable and measurable with estimated timing.
  • Target Audience – who do you expect to reach with this project.
  • Project Activities, Program Methods and Design – A description of the specific activities related to the objectives that must be reached and the methods used to achieve the stated objectives.  Please also specify how there is American content in your project. Is it deploying American technologies, methods, etc. Is the individual or organization applying an American, are you collaborating with an American entity or person? Are you an alumnus of a U.S. State Department exchange program?
  • Proposed Project Schedule -The proposed timeline for undertaking and completing the specific project activities. Dates, times, and locations of planned activities and events should be included.
  • Key Personnel – Names, titles, roles and experience/background on the key personnel to be involved in the project – resumes required for the main key personnel. Who will work on the project?  What responsibilities will they have?  What qualifications do they have? What proportion of their time will be used in support of this project (e.g. total monthly/yearly salary at 5%)?
  • Project Monitoring and Evaluation – An essential element of successful grant applications is a description of, throughout the time-frame of the grant, how the activities will be monitored to ensure they are happening in a timely manner, reaching its audience, and how will the program be evaluated to make sure it is meeting or has met the goals of the grant? By when will the project report on whether it met its goals?
  • Proposed Budget – A listing of all project expenses, consistent with the proposal narrative, project activities categorized into USG-wide budget categories.  The types and amounts of funding your organization has received for the current project from other partners should be included.
  • Please see section H. Guidelines for Budget Submissions below for further information.
  1. Optional Attachments:
  • 1-page CV or resume of key personnel who are proposed for the project
  • Letters of support from project partners describing the roles and responsibilities of each partner
  • Official permission letters, if required for project activities
  1. Required Registrations:

All organizations (not individuals) applying for grants must obtain a registration. The process takes 2 to 3 weeks, so please plan accordingly.  It is all free of charge:

  • After April 4, 2022 a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) will be issued to you during registration process (below) and the previously required “DUNS” will no longer be necessary.  If you already have a DUNS number, please make sure that you register in to obtain a UEI as DUNS have been discontinued.

Make sure to obtain the Unique Entity Identification (UEI) number within even if you had a DUNS number in the past.

SAM Registration: | Home

For additional information on what is and registration:

Note: SAM registration must be renewed annually.

Please note that it may take about 10 days to make your SAM registration valid after it is submitted. Your organization my need time to gather required information to submit.  Plan accordingly.  You may make the above applications now if you hope to obtain a grant. A grant cannot be issued until your entity is active in and you have been issued a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI).

All application materials must be submitted via email to with “PDS
FY23 GRANTS” and the applicant organization’s name in the subject line of the email.

Only applications packages sent electronically to AND that meet all of the requirements in this documentation will be considered for funding.

The Grants Committee of the Public Diplomacy Section in Lisbon reserves the right to determine whether grant applications have met the requirements of this documentation.

Review and Selection Process– A Grants Review Committee evaluates all eligible applications using the below criteria, ranks all applications and selects those which are successful.

The review period is June 1 to July 31.

Both successful and unsuccessful applicants will be notified by email within 60 days of the application deadline.  The timeline is subject to the availability of funds.

Evaluation 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 each application.

  • Organizational capacity and record on previous grants: The organization has expertise in its stated field and our Grants Committee is confident of its ability to undertake the project.  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 project activities will be carried out and realistic expectations of outcomes. The proposal includes a reasonable implementation timeline.
  • Goals and objectives: Goals and objectives are clearly stated, aligned with the priority areas stated, and the project approach is likely to provide maximum impact in achieving the proposed results.
  • Embassy priorities, American content: Applicant has clearly described how stated goals are related to and support U.S. Embassy Lisbon’s priority areas or target audiences, and the American content is clear.
  • 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 project includes output and outcome indicators, and shows how and when those will be measured and well a report of evaluation will be issued.
  • Sustainability: Projects that continue to have positive impact after the end of the project are preferred.
  • Proposals due: by midnight May 31, 2023

Deferred proposals from the prior year may be rolled forward for re-consideration.

We do not and cannot provide any pre-consultation for application related questions that are addressed in the NOFO. Once an application has been submitted, State Department officials and staff — both in the Department and at embassies overseas — may not discuss this competition with applicants until the entire proposal review process is completed.

Only applications packages sent electronically to AND that meet the requirements above will be considered for funding.

  1. Federal Award Notices: The grant award or cooperative agreement will be written, signed, awarded, and administered by the Grants Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Lisbon. 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 project 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. Further, the U.S. government reserves the right to reject any or all proposals received.
  1. Payment Method: Payments schedule will be determined in consultation with the Grant Officer and based on a risk assessment and requirements of the program. Organizations must request payment using the standard SF-270 which will be provided to Grantees for completion.
  1. 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:
    All other details related to award administration will be specified in the award agreement as well. Note the U.S Flag branding and marking requirements in the Standard Terms and Conditions.
  1. Reporting Requirements: Recipients are required to submit financial reports and program reports disbursement of funds may be tied to submission of these reports in a timely manner. The award document will specify how often these reports must be submitted. Final programmatic and financial reports including Monitoring & Evaluation reports are due within 90 days after the close of the project period. Progress reports at a minimum should be submitted via electronic mail to an address to be provided in the award.


Inquiries: If you have questions about the grant application process, please e-mail: and please indicate GRANT QUESTION in your subject. 

Note:  We cannot and do not provide any pre-consultation for application related questions that are addressed in the NOFO. Once an application has been submitted, State Department officials and staff — both in the Department and at embassies overseas — may not discuss this competition with applicants until the entire proposal review process is completed.

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 project, and the percentage of their time that will be spent on the project.

Travel: Estimate the costs of travel and per diem for this project. If the project 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 project, which has a useful life of more than one year (or a life longer than the duration of the project), 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 project. 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 or sub-contract with a vendor.  Also describe any sub-awards to non-profit partners that will help carry out the project activities.

Other Direct Costs: Describe other costs directly associated with the project, 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, described or explained.

Indirect Costs:  These are costs that cannot be linked directly to the project activities, such as overhead costs needed to help keep the organization operating.  They may include a portion of office or space rental during the period of performance; a portion of ongoing employee salaries for the period of performance; a portion of telephone or internet expenses during the period of performance.

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 the U.S. Embassy.   It also includes in-kind contributions such as volunteers’ time and donated venues.

Alcoholic Beverages: Please note that no portion of any award funds may be used for alcoholic beverages.

All application materials must be submitted via email to with “PDS FY23 GRANTS” and the applicant organization’s name in the subject line of the email. 

Only applications packages sent electronically to AND that meet all of the requirements in this documentation will be considered for funding.

The Grants Committee of the Public Diplomacy Section in Lisbon reserves the right to determine whether grant applications have met the requirements of this documentation.