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 submission deadlines for priority review in 2023 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 2023 (FY23), which ends on September 30, 2023, and program work must commence before that date to be eligible for FY23 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
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 experts, organizations, or institutions 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;
- 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 opportunity title: U.S. Embassy Singapore Annual Program Statement FY23
- Funding opportunity number: PAS-SINGAPORE-FY23-001
- CFDA number: 19.040 — Public Diplomacy Programs
- Type of funding: Fiscal Year 2023 Public Diplomacy Funds. 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.
- 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, 2023.
- 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, including:
- 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)
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 following documents are required:
1. Mandatory Applications Forms
- SF-424 (Application for Federal Assistance – Organizations) | instructions or SF-424-I (Application for Federal Assistance – Individuals)
- SF-424A (Budget Information for Non-Construction programs) | instructions
- SF-424B (Assurances for Non-Construction programs) | instructions
2. Summary Cover Sheet
Cover sheet stating the applicant’s name, organization, and contact number, proposal date, program title, program period proposed start and end date, and brief purpose of the program.
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 describe each of the budget expenses in detail.
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.
PAS 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, 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. Required Registrations
All organizations applying for grants (except individuals) must obtain these registrations. All are free of charge:
- NCAGE/CAGE code
- System for Award Management (www.SAM.gov) registration
U.S.-based organizations: A Commercial and Government Entity (CAGE) code will be automatically assigned when the U.S. organization registers in www.SAM.gov. CAGE must be renewed every 5 years. Website for CAGE: https://cage.dla.mil/Home/UsageAgree. Grantees may be asked for more information to finalize and must comply.
Foreign-based organizations: Must apply for a NATO Commercial and Government Entity (NCAGE) code via the NCAGE Request Tool before registering in SAM.gov. NCAGE codes must be renewed every 5 years.
It is in the organization’s best interest to check if their CAGE/NCAGE codes are active. Organizations are required to register/or renew their CAGE/NCAGE codes prior to registering or renewing www.SAM.gov. Both registration and renewals for both CAGE and NCAGE can take up to 10 days. Organization’s legal address in NCAGE/CAGE must mirror www.SAM.gov.
System for Award Management (www.SAM.gov) registration
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. Individuals are not required to have a UEI or be registered in SAM.gov.
Starting April 2022, the UEI will be assigned when an organization registers or renews its registration on www.SAM.gov. To access SAM.gov, an organization is required to have a Login.gov account. As a reminder, organizations need to renew their SAM.gov registrations annually.
The Unique Entity Identifier (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. SAM.gov is the Federal government’s primary database for complying with FFATA reporting requirements. OMB designated SAM.gov as the central repository to facilitate applicant and recipient use of a single public website that consolidates data on all federal financial assistance. Under the law, it is mandatory to register in SAM.gov.
Any applicant with an exclusion in SAM.gov 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.”
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 plans to issue a sub-contract or sub-award, those sub-awardees must also have a unique entity identifier (UEI number). Those entities can register for a UEI only at 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.
Note: As of April 2022, a DUNS number is no longer required.
Application Review Information
Criteria – Each application submitted will be evaluated and rated by a Grant Review Committee 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
Process – A Grants Review Committee will evaluate all eligible applications. Successful and unsuccessful applicants will be notified in writing.
Federal Award Administration 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.
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.
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.
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.