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Embassy Small Grants Program
May 1, 2021




Overview of Small Grants Program

U.S. Embassy Singapore is pleased to announce funding opportunities through its Public Affairs Section (PAS). 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 next submission deadline for priority review is July 30, 2021.

This annual program statement is our notice of funding opportunity for Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21), which ends on September 30, 2021, and program work must commence before that date to be eligible for FY21 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 Affairs 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

To support 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 experts, organizations, or institutions in fields that will promote increased understanding of U.S. policies, perspectives, or values.

Given the current limitations related to in-person programming in Singapore due to COVID-19 public health guidelines, U.S. Embassy Singapore is particularly interested in funding programs focused on small group, virtual, or hybrid in-person + online engagements, 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 welcomes proposals that utilize digital platforms or other technological innovations that eliminate in-person programs, or support in-person programs that abide by Singapore’s current rules regarding events and gatherings. While applicants are invited to submit proposals with in-person components, we encourage applicants to consider digital delivery components in support of engaging broader audiences when appropriate.

Thematic Priorities

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 cooperation between the U.S. and Singapore and its importance to the region;
  • Support open, inclusive, and diverse societies;
  • Promote the U.S. higher education system; or
  • Create understanding about U.S. policies, culture, and shared values.
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. social or traditional media, follow-on activities, etc.).

The following types of programs are not eligible for funding:

  • Programs relating to partisan political activity
  • Charitable or development activities
  • Construction programs
  • Fund-raising campaigns
  • Lobbying for specific legislation or programs
  • Scientific research
  • Programs that duplicate existing programs
  • Programs that do not address priorities
Information About U.S. Embassy Singapore Federal Assistance Awards
  • Funding: This notice is subject to availability of funding.
  • Award amounts: Typically, award amounts vary between $1,000 USD and $25,000 USD, but exceptions are possible if the budget is commensurate with the project goals.
  • Type of Funding: Fiscal Year 2021 Public Diplomacy Funds
  • Anticipated program start date: Awards fund future programs only, not programs that occurred in the past or are already in progress. Programs must commence before September 30, 2021.
  • Funding Instrument type: Grants, Fixed Amount Awards, 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:

  • Registered not-for-profit organizations, including think tanks and civil society/non-governmental organizations with programming experience
  • Public entities (e.g. schools or governmental agencies)
  • Individuals

For-profit or commercial entities are not eligible to apply. Applicants with Active Exclusions in the System for Award Management (SAM.gov) are also not eligible to apply.  

Application and Submission Information

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.
  • Introductionto 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 Monitoring and Evaluation Plan: An explanation of how the activities will be monitored throughout the time frame of the grant 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.
  • Proposed Budget Narrative: 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.
    • “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.

** Note: Please note that 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 Proposal Narrative and Budget Narrative, applicants are also required to submit three mandatory application forms including:

  • SF-424 (Application for Federal Assistance – Organizations) or SF-424-I (Application for Federal Assistance – Individuals)
  • SF424A (Budget Information for Non-Construction Programs)
  • SF424B (Assurances for Non-Construction Programs)

** Note: Form templates can be downloaded here. For organizations, download forms from SF-424 Family. For individuals, download forms from SF-424 Individual Family. For SF-424A, download form instructions for guidance.

In addition to the Proposal Narrative, Budget Narrative, and mandatory forms, 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.

All proposals must be submitted to SingaporePASCultural@state.gov with “PAS Grant Application” and the applicant organization’s name in the subject line.

Application Review Information 

Criteria – Each application submitted will be evaluated and rated by a team based on:

  • 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
  • Sustainability

Process – A Grants Review Committee will evaluate all eligible applications. Successful and unsuccessful applicants will be notified in writing.

Federal Award Administration Information 

Systems – Awards can only be issued to organizations that are registered and have an active account in System for Award Management (SAM.gov). Detailed instructions and tips on the SAM.gov registration process can be found here. You can also refer to the quick guide here.

You will need a NATO Commercial and Government Entity (NCAGE) code and a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number to register your organization in SAM.gov. Please follow the steps here.

Note to new SAM.gov account registrants: Your organization’s name and address must be entered exactly the same for NCAGE code number, DUNS number, and SAM.gov account registration to prevent any delay in setting up your SAM.gov account.

Please allow 12-15 business days after you submit before your registration is active in SAM.gov, then an additional 24 hours for Grants.gov to recognize your information.

Budget Planning – The grant award or cooperative agreement will be written, signed, awarded, and administered by the Grants Officer. The recipient may only start incurring program expenses beginning on the start date shown on the grant award document signed by the Grants Officer.

Commitment of Funds – Issuance of this annual program statement notice of funding opportunity does not constitute an award commitment on the part of U.S. Embassy Singapore, nor does it commit U.S. Embassy Singapore to pay for costs incurred in the preparation and submission of proposals.  Further, the embassy 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 progress and financial reports.

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

Questions? Questions about the grant application process should be directed to SingaporePASCultural@state.gov