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GRANT OPPORTUNITY 2023/2024: Statement of Interest

Notice of Funding Opportunity:  Statement of Interest 

  • Funding Opportunity Title:  Local Grants Program 
  • Funding Opportunity Number:  4216-24-001   
  • Deadline for Applications:  Rolling deadline (see below) 
  • CFDA Number:  19.040 – Public Diplomacy Programs for Valletta   
  • Federal Agency Contact:  U.S. Embassy, Valletta   
  • Email:usembmalta@state.gov   


Program Description   

The U.S. Embassy in Malta of the U.S. Department of State announces an open competition for organizations and/or individuals to submit a statement of interest (SOI) to carry out a program to support one or more of the objectives described below.  The U.S. Embassy will accept proposals for funding under the Embassy’s Public Diplomacy Grants program in the period from November 2023 to June 2024.   The submission of a Statement of Interest is the first step in a two-part process.  A SOI is not a full proposal.  A SOI is a concise concept note designed to clearly communicate a program idea and its objectives before the development of a full proposal application.  The purpose of the SOI process is to allow applicants the opportunity to submit program ideas for evaluation prior to requiring the development of full proposal applications.  Upon a merit review of eligible SOIs, U.S. Embassy Valletta will inform selected applicants through a Notice of Award and invite them to comply with the full Grants Application Process.       

Please carefully follow all the instructions below.    

Statement of Interest Program Objective:   Funding will support projects that have a significant connection to U.S. Embassy mission goals and increase the people-to-people connections between citizens of the United States and Malta.  Competitive projects will advance priorities in the U.S.-Malta bilateral relationship and increase positive public exposure for the U.S. Embassy by promoting:  regional security, commercial diplomacy, diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility (DEIA), human rights protections, democracy, press freedom, and rule of law. Projects should explain how they will:     

  • Encourage the fullest participation, especially of women and youth, in government, business, and civil society;   
  • Promote bilateral cooperation in regional security;   
  • Promote empowerment of minorities by strengthening the bridge of mutual understanding and shared values between the United States and Malta;    
  • Promote freedom of the press and strengthen the role of independent media;  
  • Enhance rule of law, and standards of good governance and ethics.    

Local grant proposals must have a connection to U.S. society and values or should be directed to increasing understanding in Malta of U.S. society and values.     

Activities that are typically funded include, but are not limited to:   

  • projects that give a voice to minorities and/or promote inclusive societies, including the integration of migrants;   
  • youth leadership and empowerment programs;   
  • youth community service projects that highlight democratic processes and encourage volunteerism;   
  • civic education projects that promote democratic processes and human rights;    
  • projects that develop strong, responsible, and independent journalists;  
  • partnerships that promote innovation and entrepreneurship;    
  • arts and culture programs that include masterclasses, lectures, media engagement, and other message amplification efforts.   

Activities that are typically NOT funded include, but are not limited to:   

  • Cultural activities that do NOT target Maltese beneficiaries or reach youth and minority audiences and do not include project add-ons;   
  • One-off conferences or events; and   
  • Projects that do NOT have a significant connection to U.S. Embassy mission goals, namely:   regional security, commercial diplomacy, diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility (DEIA), human rights protections, democracy, press freedom, and rule of law.     
  • Receptions/Parties.  In some circumstances, tea/coffee breaks that are an integral part of a program may be considered.  Alcoholic beverages are prohibited in all cases.     

Participants and Audiences:     

Maltese-based individuals and non-federal entities - including non-governmental organizations (NGOs), not-for-profit think tanks, and academic institutions - are eligible to apply.   

Proposals may be sent to the U.S. Embassy between November 2023 and June 2024.   

Applications received after June are unlikely to be funded and will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. 

Please contact the Public Affairs Section (usembmalta@state.gov) for more information and to receive required standard forms to apply.   

Federal Award Information   

Length of performance period:   Varies.     

Number of awards anticipated:  Six awards (dependent on amounts requested) for programs that will each reach at least 20 Maltese residents.   

Award amounts:  Awards may range from approximately $5,000 to approximately $10,000, depending on the availability of funding.  If the U.S. Embassy cannot provide full funding for a project, the Grants Panel will consider allocating a specific amount to the project (to be determined during discussions about the project) on condition that the requesting organization guarantees that the project can be fulfilled and obtains sufficient funding from other reputable sources.  U.S. Embassy partial funding is dependent on a review of the co-sponsoring organizations.     

Type of funding: Fiscal Year 2024 Public Diplomacy Valletta funds. 

This notice is subject to availability of funding.   

Funding Instrument Type:  Grant, Fixed Amount Award.     

The U.S. Embassy in Malta reserves the right to refuse requests in the absence of worthy applications or under such other circumstances as it may deem to be in the best interest of the U.S. government.  The U.S. Embassy in Malta reserves the right to award less or more than the amount requested by the applicant.     

Program Performance Period:  Proposed programs should be completed by December 31, 2024.  Program length can vary.  In the event that a project cannot be completed by the stipulated time, grantees must contact their Grants Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Malta prior to the expiry of the grant.     

The U.S. Embassy retains the right to execute non-competitive continuation amendment(s).  Any amendment(s) must be based on performance, pending availability of funds and is not guaranteed.  The U.S. Embassy generally awards Fixed Amount Awards (FAA).  Amendments to FAAs are solely for period of performance purposes and do not permit requests for additional funding.    

Eligibility Information   

  • Applications are encouraged from all sectors:  committed and organized civil-society organizations, local representatives of civil society, think tanks, NGOs, academic institutions, and individuals.  Applicants must be based in Malta, have a Malta-based headquarters, or identify a Malta-based partner to carry out their project, targeting primarily Maltese residents.   
  • Cost-sharing or matching:  Cost-sharing is not required but applications should explain clearly other likely sources of funding or in-kind participation, if applicable.    
  • Other eligibility requirements:  In order to be eligible to receive an award, organizations must have a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) number issued via SAM.gov as well as a valid registration on SAM.gov. Please see Section E.2 for more information.  Individuals are not required to have a UEI or be registered in SAM.gov.  Please note that registration is free of charge on all platforms and applicants are never required to pay any fees.  This also applies to renewal of registrations.   
  • All organizations seeking funding must review all the terms and conditions and required certifications which will apply if a full proposal application is requested and awarded, to ensure that they will be able to comply.  These include: 2 CFR 200, 2 CFR 600, and the Department of State Standard Terms and Conditions which are available at:  https://www.state.gov/about-us-office-of-the-procurement-executive/. 


Statement of Interest Application and Submission Information   

Please contact the U.S. Embassy (usembmalta@state.gov) for more information on the relevant documents required.  Once all the documents are complete, please send them to the U.S. Embassy (usembmalta@state.gov).     

Mandatory Application Forms available from Grants.gov:   

  • SF-424 (Application for Federal Assistance – organizations) or  
  • SF-424-I (Application for Federal Assistance – individuals).    
  • Local Partner Grant Request Form     
  • SF424A (Budget Information for Non-Construction programs)    
  • SF-424B (Assurances – Non-Construction Program) 

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 Calibri font.   

A Grants Committee will review the preliminary proposal and budget outline to determine eligibility.  The U.S. Embassy will inform the applicant of the status of application for funding through a Notice of Award.  If successful, the applicant will complete the full grants package.     

Funding Restrictions   

The U.S. Embassy is restricted from funding:  

  • projects that do not have a business plan for sustaining the activity or monitoring results;   
  • social welfare projects;   
  • paying to complete activities begun with other funds;   
  • projects that contain the appearance of partisanship/support to individual or single party electoral campaigns;   
  • international travel, unless specifically justified within the project;   
  • U.S. citizen exchange programs with foreign countries;   
  • projects that are mainly designed to pay organizational salaries or to cover only logistical costs (e.g., room/chair rental, coffee breaks, etc.).   

Other Submission Requirements   

All application materials must be submitted by email to usembmalta@state.gov.   


Application Review Information 

Review and Selection Process   

A Grants Review Committee will evaluate all eligible applications against the criteria listed above and reserves the right to request additional information or refuse applications.   SOIs will be reviewed individually against the criteria and not against competing SOIs.  The panel may provide conditions and/or recommendations on SOIs to enhance the proposed program.  Conditions must be addressed, and recommendations should be addressed, in a full proposal application. 

Following the review, any successful SOI applicants will be contacted and instructed to submit full applications. A full application will include: 

  • 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) for individual or organization exempted from registering in SAM.
  • Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM.gov) (NOTE:  This section is required and not optional, except for NOFOs targeting applications only from individuals.) 

Required Registrations: 

Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM.gov):  Proceed to SAM.gov to obtain a UEI and complete the SAM.gov registration process. SAM.gov registration must be renewed annually. 

All organizations, whether based in the United States or in another country, must have a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) and an active registration with the 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.  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.


Federal Award Administration Information 

Administrative and National Policy Requirements 

Terms and Conditions: Before submitting the SOI, applicants should review all the terms and conditions and required certifications which will apply if a full proposal application is requested and awarded, to ensure that they will be able to comply.  These include: 

2 CFR 200, 2 CFR 600, and the Department of State Standard Terms and Conditions which are available at:  https://www.state.gov/about-us-office-of-the-procurement-executive/. 

If applicable:  In accordance with the Executive Order on Advancing Racial Equity and Underserved Communities, concept notes should address how the program advances equity with respect to race, ethnicity, religion, income, geography, gender identity, sexual orientation, and disability. The concept note should also demonstrate how the program will promote further engagement in underserved communities and with individuals from underserved communities. Concept notes should address how addressing racial equity and underserved communities will enhance the program’s goals and objectives, as well as the experience of participants. 

Other Information   

Guidelines for Budget Justification   

Alcoholic Beverages:  Please note that award funds cannot be used for alcoholic beverages.    

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.  Bookings on a U.S. carrier, or U.S. code-shared airlines are obligatory for travel to and from the United States, with some exceptions:  Please contact the U.S. Embassy in Malta for information, prior to purchasing tickets. Should travel restrictions preclude in-person programs, the U.S. Embassy will support costs for virtual programs, if applicable.  

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.