Notice of Funding Opportunity: Community-Based Activities to Build Civil Society and Youth Capacity

Funding Opportunity Title:             Community-Based Activities to Build Civil Society and Youth Capacity through Cultural Preservation and Inclusive Community Workshops

Funding Opportunity Number:       SML20018GR0005

Deadline for Applications:                August 20, 2018; 5:30PM GMT

CFDA Number:                                19.222

Total Amount Available:                  $350,000



    The U.S. Embassy in Mali of the U.S. Department of State announces an open competition for organizations to submit applications to carry out a program (or programs) to help counter violent extremism through cultural events and civic dialogue. Please carefully follow all instructions below.


Priority Region: Only projects that are executed in Mali will be considered. Particular priority will be given to projects that focus on building community resilience in underserved areas in Mali outside of Bamako.


Program Objectives:


The U.S. Embassy in Bamako works with partner organizations on a number of projects to advance shared objectives of a stable and prosperous Mali. One way this work is funded is through the Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership (TSCTP). TSCTP is the U.S. Government’s primary multi-year interagency vehicle to cooperate with partner countries in the Sahel and the Maghreb to strengthen civilian, military, and law enforcement capacity to counter terrorism and the spread of violent extremism. Under this Notice of Funding Opportunity, U.S. Embassy Bamako will consider proposals to receive funding for countering violent extremism (CVE) projects that increase young peoples’ and underserved populations’ access to information and civic dialogue via cultural gatherings, community events and workshops.


Proposals should outline programs that will bring young people in underserved populations / regions together through cultural gatherings, including music and sport caravans and festivals.  During these gatherings, young people from different communities should have the opportunity to engage with local government authorities, traditional community leaders, and members of other communities to come up with community-based, local and regional solutions for issues that threaten their communities, including violent extremism. All events should be organized entirely by Malian young activists and apprentices who learn transferable skills including planning, budgeting, and coordination, media and strategic communication, mediation, and negotiation.


Programs should also include a media / outreach component to broaden local awareness and extend the impact of programming. This could include citizen reporting on events and workshops, training for said citizen journalists on reporting, or radio coverage through established media outlets. All of these skills and activities should be designed as an integrated approach to increase economic empowerment and government stability via citizen interaction and empowerment.


In addition to the above, proposals should have as explicit objectives:

– Building resilience to violent extremism among vulnerable communities

– Supporting economic development in regions at risk of extremism due to a lack of economic opportunity by ensuring members of the local community are involved in carrying out and executing events

– Providing positive alternatives to populations vulnerable to recruitment and violent extremist messages

– Strengthening civil society capacity to counter violent extremism

– Countering violent extremist messaging and narratives

– Using cultural preservation to raise awareness about geographically isolated regions

– Women’s and youth empowerment and economic programs that include security and peace components

– Building connections and dialogue between local, regional, and national government officials and the communities they serve


Proposed projects must outline how they will ensure inclusion of different ethnic groups, women, and other underserved populations (as relevant).


Proposed budgets should include all costs necessary to carry out the program, in US dollars. Submitting organizations are encouraged to account for the impact that fluctuation in local currency rates may have on final project costs. Projects that propose construction will not be considered, and funds may not be spent on alcoholic beverages. See Section H, “Other Information,” for additional details on prohibited expenses below.


Participants and Audiences:

Including but not limited to: youth, populations in economically disadvantaged regions outside Bamako, civil society actors, local leaders, journalists.



Length of performance period: 6-12 months

Number of awards anticipated: Up to 3 awards (dependent on amounts)

Award amounts: awards may range from a minimum of $100,000 to a maximum of $350,000

Total available funding: $350,000

Type of Funding:  FY17 Trans-Sahel Counter Terrorism Partnership (TSCTP) Funds

Anticipated program start date:  October 1, 2018


This notice is subject to availability of funding.


Funding Instrument Type:  Grant


Program Performance Period: Proposed programs should be completed in one year or less.




  1. Eligible Applicants


The following organizations are eligible to apply:

  • Not-for-profit organizations, including think tanks and civil society/non-governmental organizations
  • Public and private educational institutions


  1. Cost Sharing or Matching


Cost sharing is not required.



  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 Please see Section D.3 for information on how to obtain these registrations. Organizations are encouraged to apply for these registrations early, as registration processes may take up to several weeks to complete.


All organizations must have a bank account, a physical address, and an accounting system.


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.




  1. Address to Request Application Package


Application forms required below are available at the links listed under “Mandatory Application Forms.”


  1. Content and Form of Application Submission


Please follow all instructions below carefully. Proposals that do not meet the requirements of this announcement or fail to comply with the stated requirements will be ineligible.


Content of Application

Please ensure:

  • 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 documents are formatted to 8 ½ x 11 paper, and
  • All Microsoft Word documents are single-spaced, 12 point Times New Roman font, with a minimum of 1-inch margins.
  • Proposals do not exceed 20 pages in length (see below for details on the content of proposals)


The following documents are required:

  1. Mandatory application forms


  1. Summary Page: Cover sheet stating the applicant name and organization, proposal date, program title, program period proposed start and end date, and brief description of the purpose of the program.


  1. Proposal (20 pages maximum): The proposal should contain sufficient information that anyone not familiar with it would understand exactly what the applicant wants to do. You may use your own proposal format, but it must include all the items below.
  • Proposal Summary: Short narrative that outlines the proposed program, including program objectives and anticipated impact.
  • Introduction to the Organization applying: A description of past and present operations, showing ability to carry out the program, including information on all previous grants from the U.S. Embassy and/or U.S. government agencies.
  • Problem Statement: Clear, concise and well-supported statement of the problem to be addressed and why the proposed program is needed
  • Program Goals and Objectives:  The “goals” describe what the program is intended to achieve.  The “objectives” refer to the intermediate accomplishments on the way to the goals. These should be achievable and measurable.
  • Program Activities: Describe the program activities and how they will help achieve the objectives.
  • Program Methods and Design: A description of how the program is expected to work to solve the stated problem and achieve the goal.  Include a logic model as appropriate.
  • Proposed Program Schedule and Timeline:  The proposed timeline for the program activities.  Include the dates, times, and locations of planned activities and events.
  • 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 Partners:  List the names and type of involvement of key partner organizations and sub-awardees.
  • Program Monitoring and Evaluation Plan: This is an important part of successful grants. Throughout the time-frame 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?
  • Future Funding or Sustainability Applicant’s plan for continuing the program beyond the grant period, or the availability of other resources, if applicable.


  1. Budget Justification Narrative: After filling out the SF-424A Budget (above), use a separate sheet of paper to describe each of the budget expenses in detail. See section H. Other Information: Guidelines for Budget Submissions below for further information.


  1. Attachments:
  • 1-page CV or resume of key personnel who are proposed for the program
  • If project will include partner organizations, letters of support from program partners describing the roles and responsibilities of each partner
  • If your organization has a NICRA and includes NICRA charges in the budget, your latest NICRA should be included as a PDF file.
  • Official permission letters, if required for program activities



  1. Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (


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.


All organizations applying for grants (except individuals) must obtain these registrations.  All are free of charge:

  • Unique entity identifier from Dun & Bradstreet (DUNS number)
  • NCAGE/CAGE code
  • registration


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 visiting


NCAGE application: Application page here:

Instructions for the NCAGE application process:


For NCAGE help from within the U.S., call 1-888-227-2423

For NCAGE help from outside the U.S., call 1-269-961-7766

Email for any problems in getting an NCAGE code.


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



  1. Submission Dates and Times


Applications are due no later than August 20, 2018; 5:30PM GMT.


  1. Funding Restrictions


  • Funds cannot be used for any military or paramilitary purpose
  • Funds are subject to a restriction on assistance to police, prisons, other law enforcement forces, and programs of internal intelligence or surveillance
  • All programming must be implemented in a manner consistent with the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. While programs may include working with clerics and/or religious officials, federally-funded programs and activities must have both a secular purpose and a secular effect (i.e. not a principal or primary effect of advancing religion)
  • Funds cannot be used for projects that are focused on development assistance
  • Funds cannot be used for construction projects and/or donations
  • Funds can only be given to an organization, not to an individual


  1. Other Submission Requirements


All application materials must be submitted by email to





  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, and corresponds to the Embassy’s objectives for funding. The proposal includes a reasonable implementation timeline.

Organizational Capacity and Record on Previous Grants – 20 points: The organization has expertise in its stated field and has the internal controls in place to manage federal funds.  This includes a financial management system and a bank account.


Program Planning/Ability to Achieve Objectives – 15 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 – 20 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 – 10 points: Program activities will continue to have positive impact after the end of the program.




  1. Review and Selection Process


A Grants Review Committee will evaluate all eligible applications based on the above criteria and notify applicants whether their application has been selected.


  1. Federal Awardee Performance & Integrity Information System (FAPIIS)


For any Federal award under a notice of funding opportunity, if the Federal awarding agency anticipates that the total Federal share will be greater than the simplified acquisition threshold on any Federal award under a notice of funding opportunity may include, over the period of performance (see §200.88 Simplified Acquisition Threshold), this section must also inform applicants:


  1. That the Federal awarding agency, prior to making a Federal award with a total amount of Federal share greater than the simplified acquisition threshold, is required to review and consider any information about the applicant that is in the designated integrity and performance system accessible through SAM (currently FAPIIS) (see 41 U.S.C. 2313);


  1. That an applicant, at its option, may review information in the designated integrity and performance systems accessible through SAM and comment on any information about itself that a Federal awarding agency previously entered and is currently in the designated integrity and performance system accessible through SAM;


iii. That the Federal awarding agency will consider any comments by the applicant, in addition to the other information in the designated integrity and performance system, in making a judgment about the applicant’s integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under Federal awards when completing the review of risk posed by applicants as described in §200.205 Federal awarding agency review of risk posed by applicants.


  1. Anticipated Announcement Date: September 1, 2018






  1. Federal Award Notices


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: Bank transfer in at least two tranches (depends on the total budget and timeline of the grant).



  1. 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:

Note the U.S Flag branding and marking requirements in the Standard Terms and Conditions.


  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.



However, for budgeting purposes, applicants should anticipate completing the following, at a minimum:

  • Quarterly reports and event documentation and media will be required for all activities.
  • Media reports including coverage of events on a quarterly basis
  • Financial audit requirements will be included in any grant over $250,000





If you have any questions about the grant application process, please contact:


All questions should be submitted by July 23, 2018. Answers will be posted by July 31.



Guidelines for Budget Justification

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.  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