2018 Democracy Commission Small Grants Program

This call for project proposals is now closed.


Notice of Funding Opportunity

Funding Opportunity Title:             2018 Democracy Commission Small Grants

Deadline for Applications:               until 17:00 local time, January 22, 2019

CFDA Number:                                19.900

Award floor:                                      $20,000

Award ceiling:                                   $50,000



Application Form

Application Guidelines



The U.S. Embassy Podgorica/Public Affairs Office of the U.S. Department of State announces an open competition for organizations to submit applications to carry out a program to address one of the priority areas stated below.

Please read Application Guidelines carefully.  Proposals that do not meet the requirements listed here will not be considered for funding. 

The application format may be found here.

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.

Priority Region: Montenegro

Program Objectives:

The United States Embassy in Podgorica supports specific projects and initiatives on the topics listed below through awards ranging from $20,000 to $50,000.

This year’s topics should include the following:

  • Transparency and accountability in governance and business
  • Civic engagement for youth
  • Women’s leadership
  • Capacity development for aspiring entrepreneurs
  • Empowerment of vulnerable groups, including (but not limited to) minorities; the LGBTI community; people with disabilities; victims of gender-based violence; victims of human trafficking; and the elderly population;
  • Reforms supporting the Euro-Atlantic integration of Montenegro



Length of performance period: 12 months

Number of awards anticipated: dependent on amounts

Award amounts: awards may range from a minimum of $20,000 to a maximum of $50,000

Total available funding: $250,000

Type of Funding:  FY 2018 Supplemental Economic Support Funds

Anticipated program start date: September 1, 2019

This notice is subject to availability of funding.

Funding Instrument Type:  Grant

Program Performance Period: Proposed programs should be completed in 12 months or less.

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

Proposals that do not meet the requirements outlined in the Application Guidelines will not be considered for funding. 



  1. Eligible Applicants

The following organizations are eligible to apply:

  • Montenegrin not-for-profit organizations, including think tanks, civil society/non-governmental organizations, educational organizations and other organizations that have displayed trustworthiness
  • U. S. Alumni organizations (registered as NGO)
  1. Other Eligibility Requirements

In order to be eligible to receive an award, all organizations must have a unique entity identifier (Data Universal Numbering System/DUNS number from Dun & Bradstreet), as well as a valid registration on www.SAM.gov. Please see Section D.3 for information on how to obtain these registrations.

Applicants are only allowed to submit one proposal per organization. If more than one proposal is submitted from an organization, all proposals from that institution will be considered ineligible for funding.


Proposals that do not meet the requirements of this announcement or fail to comply with the stated requirements will be ineligible.

Please ensure:

If your proposal does not meet the requirements listed below, it will not be considered.

  1. Attachments :
  • 1-page CV or resume of key personnel who are proposed for the program
  • Letters of support from program partners describing the roles and responsibilities of each partner
  • Detailed budget (follow Application Guidelines)
  1. Required Registrations:

Any applicant listed on the Excluded Parties List System (EPLS) in the System for Award Management (SAM) is not eligible to apply for an assistance award in accordance with the OMB guidelines at 2 CFR 180 that implement Executive Orders 12549 (3 CFR, 1986 Comp., p. 189) and 12689 (3 CFR, 1989 Comp., p. 235), “Debarment and Suspension.” Additionally, no entity listed on the EPLS can participate in any activities under an award.  All applicants are strongly encouraged to review the EPLS in SAM to ensure that no ineligible entity is included.

In order to be qualified for grants, selected organizations must obtain these registrations.  All are free of charge:

  • Unique entity identifier from Dun & Bradstreet (DUNS number)
  • NCAGE code
  • SAM.gov registration

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

DUNS application: 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 http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform

NCAGE application: Application page here: https://eportal.nspa.nato.int/AC135Public/scage/CageList.aspx

Instructions for the NCAGE application process: https://eportal.nspa.nato.int/AC135Public/Docs/US%20Instructions%20for%20NSPA%20NCAGE.pdf

Step 2: After receiving the NCAGE Code, proceed to register in SAM.gov by logging onto: https://www.sam.gov.  SAM registration must be renewed annually.


  1. Criteria

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

Quality and Feasibility of the Program Idea – 20 points:  The program idea is well developed, with detail about how program activities will be carried out. The proposal includes a reasonable implementation timeline.

Program Planning/Ability to Achieve Objectives – 20 points: Goals and objectives are clearly stated and program approach is likely to provide maximum impact in achieving the proposed results.

Budget – 15 points: 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 – 15 points: Applicant demonstrates it is able to measure program success against key indicators and provides milestones to indicate progress toward goals outlined in the proposal. The program includes output and outcome indicators, and shows how and when those will be measured.

Sustainability – 15 points: Program activities will continue to have positive impact after the end of the program.

Impact15 points: The extent to which the project will produce an impact in MNE, its institutions, legislation, education, and disadvantaged groups of society.

  1. Review and Selection Process

Democracy Commission will evaluate all eligible applications and will contact the applicants in case of any follow up questions.

Applicants will receive e-mail notification when and if selected for the final review.



  1. Federal Award Notices

The grant award 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 program 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 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: Dynamics of grant payments would be discussed with grant recipients individually, and once agreed upon they will be stated in the award document.

  1. Reporting

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



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


Present the budget in the form of a spreadsheet, in USD amounts, dividing the budget into the categories, as explained in the Application Guidelines.  Cost sharing is not required.  However, if the Recipient includes cost sharing in the project proposal, then the Recipient is accountable for providing additional funds and justifying the costs.