Overview of Small Grants Program
U.S. Embassy Singapore 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 we focus on, and the procedures for submitting requests for funding. Please carefully follow all instructions below.
Each year, U.S. Embassy Singapore awards a limited number of grants and cooperative agreements, which are also called federal assistance awards, to support activities and exchanges linking the United States and Singapore with the aim of strengthening the bilateral relationship and people-to-people connections.
Proposals are accepted on an ongoing basis and will be considered pending the availability of funds. U.S. Embassy Singapore periodically convenes grant panels to make priority funding decisions and the submission deadlines for priority review in 2024 will be January 31, April 30, and July 31. The review periods are subject to changes and based on the availability of funding.
This annual program statement is our Notice of Funding Opportunity for Fiscal Year 2024 (FY24), which ends on September 30, 2024, and program work must commence before that date to be eligible for FY24 funds.
Proposals should be submitted a minimum of two months before the start of the activity for which funding is being sought, but applications can be submitted anytime. The Public Diplomacy Section may request revisions or additional materials related to the application. Funding of grants is subject to the availability of funds.
Purpose of Small Grants Program
The program supports organizations or individuals that engage Singaporeans in activities that strengthen ties between the United States and Singapore or the region. All programs must include an American cultural element, or connection with American expert/s, organization/s, or institution/s in fields that will promote increased understanding of U.S. policies, perspectives, or values.
U.S. Embassy Singapore is particularly interested in funding programs including but not limited to:
- Academic and professional lectures, seminars, and speaker programs;
- Artistic and cultural workshops or performances;
- Professional and academic enrichment or development activities; or
- Other programs that build people-to-people connections between Americans and Singaporeans.
U.S. Embassy Singapore Small Grants fund programs that:
- Support entrepreneurship, innovation, and increased economic opportunities;
- Address transnational threats including disinformation and other cybercrimes;
- Advance awareness of safety and security, health, and environmental cooperation between the United States and Singapore and its importance to the region;
- Promote the U.S. higher education system; or
- Support open, inclusive, and diverse societies;
- Promote the U.S. higher education system; or
- Create understanding about U.S. policies, culture, and shared values.
- Promote media literacy and journalism capacity; or
- Support innovative use of social media to advance mutually beneficial U.S.–Singapore goals and to include but not limited to social media influencers.
Participants and Audiences
Programs must engage Singaporeans. Applicants should identify a clear target audience and estimate the expected reach through both direct and indirect contact (i.e. activities, engagements, social or traditional media, etc.).
The following types of programs are not eligible for funding:
- Programs relating to partisan political activity;
- Charitable or development activities
- Construction programs
- Programs that support specific religious activities;
- Fund-raising campaigns
- Lobbying for specific legislation or programs
- Scientific research
- Programs intended primarily for the growth or institutional development of the organization;
- Programs that duplicate existing programs; or
- Programs that do not address priorities
Information about U.S. Embassy Singapore Federal Assistance Awards
- Funding opportunity title: U.S. Embassy Singapore Annual Program Statement FY24
- Funding opportunity number: PAS-SINGAPORE-FY24-001
- CFDA number: 19.040 — Public Diplomacy Programs
- Type of funding: Fiscal Year 2024 Public Diplomacy Funds. This notice is subject to availability of funding.
- Award amounts: Typically, award amounts vary between $1,000 USD and $20,000 USD, but exceptions are possible if the budget is commensurate with the project goals.
- Anticipated program start date: Awards fund future programs only, not programs that occurred in the past or are already in progress. Program activities must commence before September 30, 2024.
- Funding instrument type: Grants, Fixed Amount Awards (FAAs), Awards to Individuals, Property Grants, or Cooperative Agreements.
- Authorizing legislation, type, and year of funding: Funding authorities rest in the Smith-Mundt Act or in the Fulbright-Hays Act.
- Program performance period: Proposed programs should be completed in one year or less; exceptions will be considered in cases when it is determined that that a longer performance period would be in the best interest of the U.S. Department of State.
The Public Affairs Section encourages applications from the United States and Singapore, including:
- Registered not-for-profit organizations, including think tanks and civil society/non-governmental organizations with programming experience
- Non-profit or governmental educational institutions
- Public entities (e.g. schools or governmental agencies)
Typically, for-profit or commercial entities are not eligible to apply.
Application and Submission Information
Please follow all instructions below carefully. Proposals that do not meet the requirements or fail to comply with the stated requirements will be ineligible.
- The proposal clearly addresses the goals and objectives of this funding opportunity
- All documents are in English
- All budgets are in U.S. dollars
- All pages are numbered
- All Microsoft Word documents are single-spaced, 12 point Calibri font, with a minimum of 1-inch margins.
The following documents are required:
1. Mandatory Applications Forms
- SF-424 (Application for Federal Assistance – Organizations) or SF-424-I (Application for Federal Assistance – Individuals)
- SF-424A (Budget Information for Non-Construction Programs)
- SF-424B (Assurances for Non-Construction Programs)
** Note: Form templates can be downloaded here.
For organizations, download forms from SF-424 Family. (a. Application for Federal Assistance SF-424, b. Budget Information for Non-Construction Programs SF-424A, and c. Assurances for Non-Construction Programs SF-424B).
For individuals, download forms from SF-424 Individual. (a. Application for Federal Assistance SF-424 Individual, b. Budget Information for Non-Construction Programs SF-424A, and c. Assurances for Non-Construction Programs SF-424B Individual).
2. Summary Cover Sheet
A cover sheet stating the information:
- Organization’s name/Individual’s name
- Applicant’s name
- Applicant’s contact number
- Proposal date
- Proposal/program title
- Program period proposed start and end date
- Total budget requested (in U.S. dollars)
- Brief description of program, objectives, and outcomes (100 words)
- Brief description of the target audience (demographic/profile and estimated numbers)
- Status of www.SAM.gov Registration (see section 6 below): Active (please indicate expiration date or pending activation)
- Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) number (12-character alphanumeric ID issued via www.SAM.gov)
3. Proposal Narrative
Proposals must include the following:
- Proposal summary: A short narrative outlining the key elements of the program, including objectives and anticipated impact. This is the elevator pitch; when read out loud, the proposal summary should not take longer than 45 seconds to read;
- Introduction to the organization or individual applying: A description of past and present operations, showing ability to carry out the program; if applicable, list previous projects with U.S. Embassy Singapore or other U.S. government entities;
- Problem statement: A clear and concise statement of the problem being addressed and why the proposed program is needed to address the problem;
- Program goals and objectives: A brief outline of the proposed program goals (what the project aims to achieve at its completion) and objectives (measurable interim outcomes), and an explanation of how the program will improve relations between Singapore and the United States;
- Program activities, methods, and design: A description of the program activities, how the activities will be executed, and how the activities will achieve the goal.
- Proposed program schedule: The proposed timeline for undertaking and completing the specific program activities; include the dates, times if applicable, and locations for the various activities.
- Program partners: List the name and types of involvement of key partner organizations.
- Key personnel: Names, titles, roles, and experience/qualifications of key personnel involved in the program. What proportion of their time will be used in support of this program?
- Program monitoring and evaluation plan: This is an important part of successful grants. Throughout the timeframe 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?
- Program sustainability: A summary of plans designed to help the value of the program live beyond the period of performance.
4. Budget Narrative
After filling out the SF-424A Budget (above), use a separate sheet of paper to present each of the budget expenses in detail in a clear table.
A list of relevant project expenses in U.S. dollars, consistent with the proposal narrative, broken down into the following categories and cost per item and quantities.
- Personnel and fringe benefits: Describe the wages, salaries, and benefits of temporary or permanent staff who will be working directly for the applicant on the program, and the percentage of their time that will be spent on the program.
- Travel: Estimate the costs of travel and per diem for this program, for program staff, consultants or speakers, and participants/beneficiaries. If the program 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 program, which has a useful life of more than one year (or a life longer than the duration of the program), 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 program. 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 program activities.
- Other direct costs: Describe other costs directly associated with the program, 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 program activities, such as overhead costs needed to help keep the organization operating.
PDS strongly encourages, but does not mandate, that applicants include cost-sharing elements from additional sources in support of their proposals.
- “Cost Sharing” refers to contributions from the organization or other entities other than U.S. Embassy Singapore. It also includes in-kind contributions such as volunteers’ time and donated venues.
Note: Award funds cannot be used for alcoholic beverages. Please also note that programs supported by U.S. Embassy Singapore grants cannot be profit-earning programs. Income earned or derived from ticket sales or other sources related to the program must contribute to program costs not covered by U.S. Embassy Singapore grants.
In addition to the Mandatory Forms, Summary Cover Sheet, Proposal Narrative, and Budget Narrative, applicants are encouraged to submit:
- CV/Resume: A one-page document for each of the key personnel working on the program.
- Letters of support: If other partners have already committed to supporting the program, applicants should submit letters from them acknowledging their support and their understanding that support is also being requested from U.S. Embassy Singapore.
- Official permission letters: If required for program activities.
All proposals must be submitted to SingaporePASCultural@state.gov with “PAS Grant Application” and the applicant organization’s name in the subject line.
6. Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM.gov)
All organizations applying for grants (whether based in the United States or in another country; except individuals) must have a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) and an active registration with the www.SAM.gov.
System for Award Management (SAM.gov) is a free U.S. government operated website. In order to be eligible to receive an award, all organizations must have a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) number (12-character alphanumeric ID) issued via www.SAM.gov as well as a valid registration on www.SAM.gov. A UEI is one of the data elements mandated by Public Law 109-282, the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA), for all Federal awards.
To access SAM.gov, an organization is required to have a Login.gov account.
Individuals are not required to have a UEI or be registered in SAM.gov.
Note: As of April 2022, a DUNS number is no longer required for federal assistance applications.
The 2 CFR 200 requires that sub-grantees obtain a UEI number. Please note the UEI for sub-grantees is not required at the time of application but will be required before an award is processed and/or directed to a sub-grantee.
Note: The process of obtaining or renewing a SAM.gov registration may take anywhere from 4-8 weeks. Please begin your registration as early as possible.
- Organizations based in the United States or that pay employees within the United States will need an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and a UEI number prior to registering in SAM.gov.
- Organizations based outside of the United States and that do not pay employees within the United States do not need an EIN from the IRS but do need a UEI number prior to registering in SAM.gov.
- Please note that as of November 2022 and February 2022 respectively, organizations based outside of the United States that do not intend to apply for U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) awards are no longer required to have a NATO Commercial and Government Entity (NCAGE) code or CAGE code to apply for non-DoD foreign assistance funding opportunities. If an applicant organization is mid-registration and wishes to remove a CAGE or NCAGE code from their SAM.gov registration, the applicant should submit a help desk ticket (“incident”) with the Federal Service Desk (FSD) online at www.fsd.gov using the following language: “I do not intend to seek financial assistance from the Department of Defense. I do not wish to obtain a CAGE or NCAGE code. I understand that I will need to submit my registration after this incident is resolved in order to have my registration activated.”
Organizations based outside of the United States and that DO NOT plan to do business with the DoD should follow the below instructions:
Step 1: Proceed to SAM.gov to obtain a UEI and complete the SAM.gov registration process. SAM.gov registration must be renewed annually.
Organizations based outside of the United States and that DO plan to do business with the DoD in addition to Department of State should follow the below instructions:
Step 1: Apply for an NCAGE code by following the instructions on the NSPA NATO website linked below:
- NCAGE Homepage:
- NCAGE Code Request Tool (NCRT):
An exemption from the UEI and sam.gov registration requirements may be permitted on a case-by-case basis if:
- An applicant’s identity must be protected due to potential endangerment of their mission, their organization’s status, their employees, or individuals being served by the applicant.
- For an applicant, if the Federal awarding agency makes a determination that there are exigent circumstances that prohibit the applicant from receiving a unique entity identifier and completing SAM registration prior to receiving a Federal award. In these instances, Federal awarding agencies must require the recipient to obtain a unique entity identifier and complete SAM registration within 30 days of the Federal award date.
Organizations requesting exemption from UEI or SAM.gov requirements must email the point of contact listed in the NOFO at least two weeks prior to the deadline in the NOFO providing a justification of their request. Approval for a SAM.gov exemption must come from the warranted Grants Officer before the application can be deemed eligible for review.
SAM.gov requires all entities to renew their registration once a year in order to maintain an active registration status in SAM.gov. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure it has an active registration in SAM.gov.
If an organization does not have an active registration in SAM.gov prior to submitting an application, the application will be deemed ineligible. All organizations applying for grants (except individuals) must obtain these registrations, the latter are free of charge.
Application Review Information
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 (if applicable)
- Quality and feasibility of the program idea
- Program ability to meet goals and objectives
- Relevance to Embassy priorities
- Value of budget expenses
- Monitoring and evaluation plan
Process – A Grants Review Committee will evaluate all eligible applications. Successful and unsuccessful applicants will be notified in writing.
Federal Award Administration Information
The 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 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 – U.S. Embassy Singapore will provide some funds up front, the amount of which is determined by the Grants Officer based on needs and length of program. Subsequent payments will be tied to program deliverables. U.S. Embassy Singapore reserves the right to amend the final amount to be reimbursed after reviewing the final process and financial reports.
Organizations whose applications will not be funded will also be notified via email.
Administrative and National Policy Requirements
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: https://www.state.gov/about-us-office-of-the-procurement-executive/. Note the U.S Flag branding and marking requirements in the Standard Terms and Conditions.
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.
Federal Awarding Agency Contacts
If you have any questions about the grant application process, please contact PDS at: SingaporePASCultural@state.gov.
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 program, and the percentage of their time that will be spent on the program.
Travel: Estimate the costs of travel and per diem for this program. If the program 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 program, which has a useful life of more than one year (or a life longer than the duration of the program), 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 program. 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 program activities.
Other Direct Costs: Describe other costs directly associated with the program, 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 program 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.