Small Grants Program

Notice of Funding Opportunity

Funding Opportunity Title: U.S. Embassy Lisbon OPA Annual Program Statement
Funding Opportunity Number: PAS-LISBON-FY19-01
Deadline for Applications: Proposals accepted on a rolling basis:
Q1 proposals due: December 31, 2018
Q2 proposals due: February 28, 2019
Q3 proposals due: May 31, 2019
Q4 proposals due: July 31 August 15, 2019


Unfunded proposals may be rolled forward for consideration in subsequent quarters.

Please note that we 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.

CFDA Number:  19.040 – Public Diplomacy Programs
Minimum for Each Award: $3,000
Maximum for Each Award: $25,000

Standard Department Terms & Conditions [PDF 532 KB]

The U.S. Embassy Lisbon Office of Public Affairs (OPA) 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 we focus on, and the procedures for submitting requests for funding.  Please carefully follow all instructions below.

Purpose of Small Grants: OPA invites proposals from individuals, non-governmental organizations, think tanks, and academic institutions for projects that strengthen the bilateral ties between the U.S. and Portugal.  OPA will only consider grants that have an American component or aspect in their proposal.

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

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

Priority Program Areas:

  • Media Literacy and Countering Misinformation: activities that promote media literacy and critical thinking, resist malign influence, and counter disinformation.
  • Trade and Investment: activities which support the expansion of U.S. exports and investments, improve the connections between U.S. and Portuguese businesses, and/or expand economic opportunities for women and underserved populations.
  • Technology and Innovation: activities which support cooperation in such areas as space exploration, energy, firefighting, and reforestation, as well as solutions to transnational, regional, and global challenges, including cybersecurity, terrorist, environmental, and health threats.
  • Azores or Madeira: activities focus on or are connected to the Azores or Madeira, which promote economic development and support business and cultural linkages to the U.S.
  • Student Mobility:activities which promote exchanges and mobility for American and Portuguese higher education students.

Participants and Audiences:

OPA Lisbon requests that all applicants for awards stipulate who their target audience is (age/gender/geographic break down) and estimate the expected audience reach through direct contact and if possible through indirect contact (via social media or traditional media). 

Authorizing legislation, type and year of funding:

Funding authority rests in the Smith-Mundt Act.  The source of funding is FY2019 Public Diplomacy Funding.

Length of performance period: 1-24 months
Number of awards anticipated: 3-30 awards (dependent on amounts)
Award amounts: awards may range from a minimum of $3,000 to a maximum of $25,000
Total available funding: $90,000 (est. based on current CR)
Type of Funding:  Fiscal Year 2019 Public Diplomacy Funding
Anticipated project start date:  Rolling
This notice is subject to availability of funding.

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

Project and Budget Performance Period: Grant projects generally should be completed in one year or less. OPA 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.

Applicants should consider their budgets carefully and submit a budget commensurate with their project goals. While OPA will consider proposals of $25,000 or more, projects that are smaller in scope are more likely to be considered.

  1. Eligible Applicants

The Public Affairs Section encourages applications from U.S. and Portugal who are:

  • Registered not-for-profit organizations, including think tanks and civil society/non-governmental organizations with programming experience;
  • Individuals;
  • Non-profit or governmental educational institutions

For-profit or commercial entities are not eligible to apply.  

The following types of projects are not eligible for funding:

  • Requests by organizations and individuals who are neither Portuguese nor American;
  • Projects relating to partisan political activity;
  • Charitable activities or Fundraising campaigns;
  • Trade activities;
  • Commercial projects;
  • Scientific Research;
  • Construction projects;
  • Projects that support specific religious activities;
  • Lobbying for specific legislation or projects
  • Projects intended primarily for the growth or institutional development of the organization; or
  • Projects that duplicate existing projects.
  1. Cost Sharing or Matching

When cost sharing is offered, it is understood and agreed that the applicant must provide the amount of cost sharing as stipulated in its proposal. OPA, Lisbon encourages, but does not mandate, that applicants include cost-sharing elements from additional sources in support of their proposals.

The U.S. Embassy Lisbon Office of Public Affairs will accept proposals throughout the year and will review proposals according to the following schedule:

  • Q1 proposals due: December 31, 2018
  • Q2 proposals due: February 28, 2019
  • Q3 proposals due: May 31, 2019
  • Q4 proposals due: July 31 August 15, 2019

Unfunded proposals may be rolled forward for consideration in subsequent quarters.

Please ensure:

  • All documents are in English
  • All budgets are in U.S. dollars
  • All pages are numbered
  • All documents are formatted to 8 ½ x 11 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 (available at:
  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), and purpose of the project.
  2. Proposal (15 pages maximum): The proposal should contain sufficient information that anyone not familiar with it would understand exactly what the applicant wants to do. You may use your own proposal format, but it must include all the items below.


  • Proposal Summary (Brief narrative that outlines the proposed project, including project objectives and anticipated influence of the project)
  • Introduction to the Organization (A description of past and present operations)Please include information on all previous grants from the U.S. Embassy and/or U.S. government agencies.
  • Problem Statement (Clear, concise and well-supported statement of the problem to be addressed and why the proposed project is needed)
  • Project Goals and Key Milestones (The “goals” describe what the project is intended to have achieved at its completion. How will it further the relationship between the U.S. and Portugal? The “key milestones” refer to the intermediate accomplishments on the way to the goals. These should be achievable and measurable.)
  • Program Methods and Design (A description of how the project is expected to work and solve or address the stated problem, please include your target audience)
  • Project Activities (Specific activities related to the objectives that must be reached and the methods used to achieve the stated objectives)
  • 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 (This is an important part of successful grants. Throughout the time-frame of the grant, how will the activities be monitored to ensure they are happening in a timely manner, and how will the program be evaluated to make sure it is meeting the goals of the grant?)
  • Proposed Budget (Listing of all project expenses, consistent with the proposal narrative, project activities and USG-wide budget categories)Types and amounts of funding your organization has received for the current project from other partners should be included.
  • Please see section VII. 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 these three registrations. All are free of charge:

  • Unique Identifier Number from Dun & Bradstreet (DUNS number)
  • NCAGE/CAGE code
  • registration

Step 1: Apply for a DUNS number and an NCAGE number (these can be completed simultaneously)

Organizations must have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number from Dun & Bradstreet.If your organization does not have one already, you may obtain one by calling 1-866-705-5711 or visiting;jsessionid=81407B1F03F2BDB123DD47D19158B75F.  Additional information: Steps for Foreign Organization to Obtain a DUNS Number [PDF – 309KB]

NCAGE Application page:
Instructions for the NCAGE application process:
For help from within the U.S., call 1-888-227-2423
For help from outside the U.S., call 1-269-961-7766
Email for any problems in getting an NCAGE code.

Step 2: After receiving the NCAGE Code, proceed to register in SAM.

SAM Registration:
Log onto:
or additional information: Quick Start Guide for New Foreign Registrations [PDF – 434KB]
Note: SAM registration must be renewed annually.

All application materials must be submitted by email to  with “OPA FY18 GRANTS– Quarter #” and the applicant organization’s name in the subject line of the email.

Proposals that do not meet the requirements above will not be considered.

  1. 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 an application.

Organizational capacity and record on previous grants: The organization has expertise in its stated field and PAS 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. The proposal includes a reasonable implementation timeline.

Goals and objectives: Goals and objectives are clearly stated and project approach is likely to provide maximum impact in achieving the proposed results.

Embassy priorities: Applicant has clearly described how stated goals are related to and support U.S. Embassy Lisbon’s priority areas or target audiences.

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.

Sustainability: Project activities will continue to have positive impact after the end of the project.

  1. Review and Selection Process

A Grants Review Committee will evaluate all eligible applications on a quarterly basis using the above criteria.

  • Q1 proposals due: December 31, 2018
  • Q2 proposals due: February 28, 2019
  • Q3 proposals due: May 31, 2019
  • Q4 proposals due: July 31 August 15, 2019

Unfunded proposals may be rolled forward for consideration in subsequent quarters.  We 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.

Both successful and unsuccessful candidates will be notified by email within 30 days of the application deadline.  Timeline is subject to the availability of funds.

  1. Federal Award NoticesThe grant award or cooperative agreement 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 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Reporting Requirements: Recipients will be 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 are due 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 contact Lisbon OPA at: and please indicate GRANT QUESTION in your subject.

Note:  We 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 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 and 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.  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 award funds cannot be used for alcoholic beverages.