Funding Opportunity: Democracy Commission Small Grants Program


The U.S. Embassy Public Diplomacy Section announces an open competition for organizations to submit a statement of interest (SOI) to carry out projects that foster the development and education of civil society in Moldova under the Democracy Commission Small Grants Program.

The Democracy Commission program is a focused yet flexible mechanism that provides seed money for unique and sustainable projects, particularly projects that help develop the capacity of non-governmental organizations in Moldova. The selection of the projects is based on the applicants’ ability to demonstrate concrete achievements that can show impact in a given field or in a specific community.

Project proposals must address at least one of the following themes:

  • Strengthening and promotion of civil society, democratic institutions.
  • Institutionalization of open, pluralistic, and democratic political processes at the local level
  • Civic education
  • Public participation in decision making
  • Free flow of information, freedom of speech, transparency in government and good governance
  • Conflict resolution

Please carefully follow all instructions below.

The submission of the Statement of Interest (SOI) is the first step in a two-step process.  Applicants must first submit a concise SOI designed to clearly communicate program idea and objectives.  This is not a full proposal.  The purpose of the SOI process is to allow applicants to submit program ideas for evaluation prior to requiring the development of a full proposal application.  Upon a merit review of eligible SOIs, selected applicants will be invited to expand on their program idea(s) by submitting a full proposal application.  Full proposals will go through a second merit review before final funding decision are made.

 This funding opportunity is authorized by the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961.

Priority Region: The Embassy will give priority to projects implemented outside of the major cities of Moldova

Program Objectives:

  • To increase the role of citizen engagement in advocating for accountable governance by partnering with civil society
  • To strengthen key democratic institutions, increasing transparency
  • To develop better governance, accountability and sustainability of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs).


Participants and Audiences:

Implementing partners should have a balanced gender approach and involve minorities and other marginalized groups in its activities to the extent possible. Applicant organizations are encouraged to extend programming and reach audiences in the Transnistrian and Gagauz regions of Moldova.

Data collection  

Award recipients may be required to track and report quarterly on a list of standard output and outcome indicators which will be specified in the award specifics.   


Award recipients may be required to collect data (name, email, profession, interest) about program participants and submit this information to the embassy at the end of the project performance period. Organizations should collect, store and handle the information in compliance with local laws. 


Length of performance period: 12 months

Number of awards anticipated: 5 awards, depending on the availability of funding.  

Award amounts: awards may range from a minimum of $10,000 to a maximum of $25,000

Total available funding: $100,000

Type of Funding: FY21/22 AEECA Funds under the Foreign Assistance Act

Anticipated award start date:  June 1, 2022

This notice is subject to availability of funding.


Funding Instrument Type:  Grant and fixed amount awards

Program Performance Period: Proposed programs should be completed in 12 months 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 registered officially in the Republic of Moldova.

2. Cost Sharing or Matching

Applicants are not required to include funding from other donors. 

3. Other Eligibility Requirements

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.

The Public Diplomacy Section reserves the right to request additional background information on applicants that do not have previous experience administering federal grant awards, and these applicants may be subject to limited funding on a pilot basis.

Please note: The Department of State prohibits profit under its assistance awards to for-profit or commercial organizations.  No funds will be paid as profit to any recipient.  Profit is defined as any amount in excess of allowable direct and indirect costs.  The permissibility of costs incurred by commercial organizations is determined in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) at 48 CFR Part 31, Cost Accounting Standards, and Part 31 Contract Cost Principles and Procedures.  Program income earned by the recipient must be deducted from the total project or program allowable cost in determining the net allowable costs on which the federal share of costs is based.


1. Address to Request Application Package

The full application package will be provided to selected organizations  

2. Content and Form of Application Submission 

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

Content of SOI must include:

  • A brief project description summarizing goals, objectives outcomes, performance indicators, beneficiaries, and proposed timeline.
  • A clear statement of the applicant’s organizational capacity to carry out the proposed activity and manage U.S. Government funds.
  • The anticipated total budget amount (in U.S. dollars)

Please submit the information via the form available at the following link:  (Funding Opportunity PDS-CHISINAU-FY22-02)


3. Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (

Successful applicants may be required to register in SAM.GOV (System for Award

Management) before an award can be made. You should consider starting the registration process early to avoid any delays if your grant is selected for funding. Registration is free of charge.

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.

Be Aware: is a free government-managed website; applicants do not need to pay to have their organization registered. A/OPE receives frequent reports that recipients are contacted by organizations posing as and threatening to cut off registration unless a fee is paid for registration or renewal. These emails are not coming from

Please do not contact the U.S. Embassy regarding the SAM.GOV registration process.

4. Submission Dates and Times


SOI Submission Deadline is December 10, 2021, 18:00


5. Funding Restrictions

The Grants Program cannot fund:

  • Organizations with affiliation to elected officials, political parties, or religious groups;
  • Humanitarian or charitable activities, including direct social services to populations;
  • Fundraising campaigns;
  • Career development;
  • Political or partisan activities;
  • Scientific research;
  • Individual trips abroad;
  • Trade activities;
  • Health projects;
  • Construction costs;
  • Pre-award costs.

6. Other Submission Requirements

Applicants should conduct research to determine currently existing programs as they related to the proposed scope of activities, while advising how the proposed program will build on rather than duplicate those efforts.


The Program will fund proposals that best address the Program’s themes and that reflect the values of the United States and the mandate of the Embassy of the United States of America.  Successful proposals will contain accurate and well-developed implementation plans and clear explanations of how the project goals will be achieved.

Project selection is competitive. 

1. Criteria

Each Statement of Interest will be evaluated and rated on the basis of the evaluation criteria outlined below.

Quality of Program Idea (50 points):  The SOI is responsive to program framework.  The idea is communicated well and is feasible.  SOI’s that promote creative approaches to address program objectives are highly encouraged.   The proposed timeline is reasonable.  

Organizational Capacity and Record on Previous Grants (35 points): The SOI should demonstrate the organization’s expertise and previous experience in administering programs.  If a local partner is identified SOI should briefly describe the partner’s role and experience.


Program Planning/Ability to Achieve Objectives (15 points): The SOI should clearly articulate proposed program activities and expected results towards achieving program objectives and goal(s).

2. Review and Selection Process

All eligible SOIs will be reviewed against the criteria listed above. SOIs are reviewed individually against the criteria and not against competing SOIs. For a balanced review all panelists will review the first page of the SOI up to the page limit and no further.  The panel may provide conditions and/or recommendations on SOIs to enhance the proposed program.

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


  1. SF-424 (Application for Federal Assistance – organizations) 
  2. SF424A (Budget Information for Non-Construction programs)
  3. SF424B (Assurances for Non-Construction programs)
  4. Application Format (will be provided to selected organizations)
  5. Budget Details Format (will be provided to selected organizations)
  6. Monitoring and Evaluation Plan (Sample Template will be provided to selected organizations)
  7. CVs of the implementation team



1. Federal Award Notices

Applicants will be notified electronically about selection results.  An email message will be sent to the email addresses included in the application (authorized representative and a carbon copy to the project contact person). Grants Program Staff might also contact the applicant to request additional information or to clarify certain aspects of the application documents; therefore, it is important to provide accurate contact information.

Unsuccessful program applicants will receive an email notification.  Grants Program Staff can provide a signed rejection letter upon request; however, the Grants Program will not provide specific reasons for rejection. 

Successful program applicants must sign a Notice of Award (grant agreement) before receiving the funds.  The grant or cooperative agreement will be written, signed, awarded, and administered by the Grants Officer. The Notice of Federal Award signed by the grants officer 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 award document signed by the Grants Officer.  


No costs should be incurred by the applicant prior to signing a Notice of Award.

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.

2. 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:


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

Grants Program



Organizations that submit applications in response to this announcement acknowledge and accept all the requirements contained herein. This announcement serves as notice to select interested parties to have equal opportunity to submit project proposals for funding consideration. All submissions in response to this announcement are voluntary and do not obligate the Department of State to fund any proposal or proposal preparation costs.

Issuance of this Request for Proposals does not constitute an award commitment on the part of the Government, nor does it commit the Government to pay for costs incurred in the preparation and submission of proposals. Further, the Government 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 in connection with the award. Renewal of an award to increase funding or extend the period of performance is at the total discretion of the Department of State.


Funding Opportunity Title:  

Democracy Commission Small Grants Program

Funding Opportunity Number: 


Assistance Listing Number: 


Assistance Listing Title:

AEECA PD Programs

Assistance Program: 

Democracy Commission Small Grants Program

Announcement Type:

Open Competition

Announcement Date:

November 9, 2021

Submission Deadline:

December 10, 2021, 18:00

Anticipated Award Date: 

June 1, 2022