Public Diplomacy Grant Programs

Annual Program Statement Information Corner

For information about our Annual Program Statement, click here

Overview

The U.S. Embassy in Israel administers a small grants program (“PD Small Grants”) to support projects that strengthen cultural ties between the United States and Israel. All programs are strongly encouraged to  include an American cultural element, or a connection with American expert/s, organization/s, or institution/s in a specific field that will promote increased understanding of U.S. policy and perspectives.  These small grants serve as one-time opportunities that can help launch projects that should be sustainable after the project period is over.  Grants available in this program CANNOT be used to support on-going operational costs, construction, scientific research, partisan political activity, trade activities, fund-raising campaigns, or commercial products.  Further restrictions may apply.  This page is periodically updated with new links and new announcements about funding opportunities, so please check back occasionally.

Please note:

  • The U.S. Embassy reserves the right to reject any or all proposals received.
  • Any funds received through this grant program cannot be used to match other U.S. federal grants, nor vice-versa.

Department of State grant programs are governed by the Code of Federal Regulations, particularly as found at 2CFR200.  Interested applicants are encouraged to familiarize themselves with applicable requirements.  Additional guidance and resources are available throughout this page.

Eligibility

The following types of organizations are eligible to apply for grants under this program:

  • Registered Israeli not-for-profit organizations, including think tanks and civil society/non-governmental organizations
  • Individuals
  • Israeli non-profit or governmental educational institutions
  • Israeli governmental institutions

Types of Awards

There are three types of awards.  The appropriate award type may vary depending on the nature of the project proposed, and will be determined during pre-award negotiations with successful applicants.  The three types are:  fixed amount awards, cooperative agreements, and standard grants.  Fixed amount awards are appropriate when costs are highly predictable.  Cooperative agreements are appropriate when there will be substantial involvement by the U.S. government in project implementation.  Awards that do not fit either of these categories will be issued as standard grants.

Forms

The following forms should be completed in order to submit a grant application:

Organizations

Individuals

Frequently Asked Questions

In order to apply for a PD Small Grant, you much complete the required forms and send them to TelAvivGrants@state.gov.  Keep in mind that unless you are applying as an individual, then you are also required to obtain DUNS and SAM numbers.  Further instructions are found elsewhere among these FAQs (“What registrations are required?”).  Also, keep in mind that if you are submitting your application in response to a call for proposals (NOFO or APS), then you should make sure your application meets any additional requirements specified in that notice.  For easy reference, the forms you need are as follows:

Organizations

Individuals

  • SF-424-I (Application for Federal Assistance –individuals) – required
  • A simple statement of work and budget narrative is also required, using one of the following methods:
    • PD Small Grants Optional Application Form
    • The applicant’s own format providing a statement of work, budget, and budget narrative describing the activity/project to be funded and associated costs (4 pages maximum, 8 ½ x 11 paper, single-spaced, 12 point Times New Roman font, with a minimum of 1-inch margins)

 

Most of our PD Small Grants are for amounts averaging approximately $15,000, though many are much smaller and a few are higher.  If you are applying in response to a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) or Annual Program Statement (APS), then further information about the amount of funds available is given in those announcements.

 

A NOFO is an announcement that requests grant applications for a well-defined program area or activity.  PD  occasionally publishes NOFOs on our website.

An APS is an open-ended, annual NOFO that requests grant applications on a rolling basis throughout the year for a wider variety of activities.  PD  publishes an APS on this website, as early as possible in the fiscal year.  The U.S. federal fiscal year goes from October 1 of one year to September 30 of the following year.

Further information is provided in the APS and any NOFOs.  Please see the boxes in the upper right corner of this page for a list of currently open NOFOs and APSs.

Projects periods can be as short as one day or as long as a year.  Your proposed project period needs to make sense, based on the kind of program you are proposing.

It is rare that we fund projects that have a project period of longer than one year.  If your program can only work on the basis of such a long period, then please inquire about project feasibility before completing an application package, by writing to TelAvivGrants@state.gov.  Keep in mind that some NOFOs exclude projects that require a project period of longer than one year.

No.  Receiving one grant in no way gives you any expectation of receiving another, especially for a continuation of the same program.  As such, we recommend that you only apply for an initial phase of a project that will require additional funding later if you are confident that you can identify adequate, non-U.S. government sources of funding for subsequent phases.  In such cases, applications should make it clear why your expectation of other funding at a later time is realistic.

It depends on whether this is allowed by the APS or NOFO that you are responding to.

Yes.  However, you should make sure that each program is different from the others.  In addition, keep in mind that project performance on prior grants influences your eligibility for future grants.  In particular, poor performance will make it less likely that your organization will be selected in the future.

An unsolicited proposal is one that you take the initiative to send us, without submitting it in response to a NOFO or an APS.  PD  accepts unsolicited proposals, but there is no guarantee that they will be selected for funding.  In addition, to be eligible, the proposal must offer a truly unique approach or demonstrate a highly unique capacity.

Unless you are applying as an individual, then you are required to obtain a DUNS number, an NCAGE/CAGE code, and a SAM registration.  All of these processes are free of charge.  You must complete these registrations in order for your application to be considered.  The process normally takes one to three months, so please plan carefully.  Even if you obtained a SAM registration before, it must be renewed annually.

A DUNS number is a Unique Identifier Number from Dun and Bradstreet.  You can apply for an NCAGE/CAGE code at the same time you apply for a DUNS number.  SAM is the System for Award Management, which an official website of the U.S. federal government.

To obtain these required registrations, follow this two-step process:

Step 1: Apply for a DUNS number and an 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 +972-3-733-0330 (the DUNS Israeli office ), or by visiting

NCAGE application: 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 NCAGE@dlis.dla.mil for any problems in getting an NCAGE code.

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

Yes.  However, the details of those provisions depend on the type of grant.  For this reason, they will be provided during the award phase.  In general, you should keep in mind that lobbying and partisan political activities are prohibited, as are construction activities.

Please follow these guidelines.  Additional information can be found in the Code of Federal Regulations section governing federal grants, particularly 2CFR200.

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.  Identify each position and indicate how it will support the project. If not provided in the Budget, indicate the numerical justification for the total cost.

For example: Project Manager – This individual is responsible for the overall management of the project. He/she ensures compliance with all the terms and conditions of the agreement including implementation, program and financial reporting. $40,000/year x 10% of time = $4,000.

Fringe BenefitsOutline various fringe benefits such as pension plans, health benefits, or other benefits offered to employees for which the project will be charged under the agreement.

Note: If an established NICRA includes a rate for Fringe Benefits, please ensure that you utilize and/or adjust the rate appropriately. If the Fringe Benefit rate is not included in the NICRA/your organization does not have a NICRA, please provide a copy of the company policy and/or rates (as a percentage of the personnel costs) that are being charged per category of benefits.

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.  All Headquarters and/or project employees’ travel must be identified via mode of travel, departure and arrival city, purpose, unit of measurement, and duration of trip. Also include a description of the purpose of the travel and how the travel relates to the project. Please note that the movement of project participants (who are not employees of the applicant organization) and supplies is a separate transportation line item. 

For example: 2 in-country trips via air transportation will be conducted to implement workshops and training sessions. Roundtrip airfare from City A to City B for 2 employees is anticipated. Each trip will include 3 days of per diem per employee.

In-country Airfare – 2 trips x 2 employees x $200 = $800

Lodging – 2 trips x 2 employees x 3 days x $100/day = $1,200

Per diem – 2 trips x 2 employees x 3 days x $57 = $684

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.  Specifically describe general categories of supplies and their direct use for the project. General Office supplies include the following items: pens; pencils; notebooks; printer paper; ink cartridges etc.

For example: Due to the opening of a new project office to support Sector “X” activities, project supplies include the following items: 2 laptop computers, 3 desktop computers, 2 printers etc.

2 laptop computers x $600 = $1,200

3 desktop computers x $800 = $2,400

2 printers x $300 = $600

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. Describe each contractual or consultant cost and outline the necessity of each for the project.  Identify consultants separately from other permanent staff. If possible, include anticipated position title(s), the proposed daily rate to be paid as compensation, and the number of consultant days that are anticipated.

For example: ABC Organization will serve as a partner to assist with implementing Sector “X” activities; $9,000 Detailed Budget is attached. XYZ Organization will provide IT consulting services via a contract; $4,000 Detailed Budget is attached.

Construction:  N/A for all projects. Construction costs are unallowable in the PD Small Grants program.

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.

For example: all the travel expenses associated with the travel of the participants (people participating in the program who are NOT employees of the applying organization).  This would include international airfare; in-country transportation; lodging; and meals allowance.  Note that if, for example, the applicant will contract a bus company to transport a group of participants, then that cost would belong on the Contractual budget line item, rather than the Other Direct Costs line item.

Indirect Costs:  Applicants are NOT required to request any funds under this line item, and many do not.  Indirect costs are prohibited in grants to individuals.  This line should only be used for costs that cannot be linked directly to the project activities, such as overhead costs like utility bills, and if requested, then they must be commensurate with the rest of the project budget.  This means that if your organization has a Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate (NICRA) and you wish to include NICRA charges in the budget, then you should attach a copy of your latest NICRA. For organizations that have never had a NICRA, you may request indirect costs of up to 10% of the modified total direct costs as defined in 2 CFR 200.68, if necessary.  This line cannot be used to plan for the organization to earn a profit by conducting the program.  Any cost that can be specifically linked to conducting the program must be listed on another line item.  For example, if renting an office space specifically and exclusively for the conduct of this project, then the rent should be shown as a contractual cost.  However, if your organization’s staff who will work on this project will be working from office space that they would have occupied – and which you would have paid for – even without receiving this grant or conducting this project, then some small, reasonable percentage of that rental cost could be included in the grant as an indirect cost.  Again, many grants do not request indirect costs, and those that do in the absence of a NICRA are limited to a maximum of 10% of the modified total direct costs for the grant.  Modified total direct costs must be calculated per the definition given in the Code of Federal Regulations, specifically 2CFR200.68.

No.  For-profit activities are not supported by this grant program.

This may be possible under limited circumstances and if the income is used to support additional program activities, NOT for the purpose of earning a profit.  Please keep in mind that because the justification and documentation process for project-based income is complicated, such approaches are strongly discouraged.

Award funds cannot be used to pay for alcoholic beverages.  A modest amount of funds can be used to cover the cost of meals or refreshments IF providing this is essential to the success and effectiveness of the program.

A “cost share,” also known as “matching costs,” refers to contributions from the organization or other entities other than the U.S. Government.   It can involve money from another funding source.  It can also include in-kind contributions from your organization and/or your partners, such as volunteers’ time, donated venues, or equipment that you own and which you provide for the project participants’ use as part of the project, without charging the participants.

If you have reviewed the FAQs and other information on this web site and still have questions, please email TelAvivGrants@state.gov.

The applicable regulations are found in the Code of Federal Regulations, specifically 2CFR200.